Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Altered Junk Mail and Craft Bags

I’ve had a bit of play with these junk mail return envelopes.



I watched a couple of YouTube videos then dove right in.

I was about to write a letter to my pen pal so I decided to present it a bit unusually.  

You seal the envelope, cut it to the size,  then trim the open corners.  Fold down one of the top flaps.  You then have a pocket.



Cover the various parts that show with decorative papers and embellish as desired.  I tucked my letter inside the pocket then put it all in a regular envelope for mailing.

   

I next made tags for birthday gifts.  They are made the same way as the letter pocket.

   

These were fun to make.  They are kind of tedious to make but it’s so surprising to see a big transformation from a junk mail envelope.



I had some fun altering boring craft gift bags.  First I slapped some Gesso on the bag fronts.



Next I chose some ephemera pieces to glue on collage style.  These are stamped and/or photo copied onto tracing paper.  I like the transparent look that tracing paper provides.  I glued all the pieces onto the bag, added some stamping and finished the bag with a die cut greeting. 

   

The second bag is made similar.  I began by gluing a piece of decorative paper over the Gesso.  Then added a bit more Gesso over the paper design to mute it somewhat.  This bag includes some washi tapes and a small talk sticker.

   

The backside of the bags looked so plain.  I made tiny tags to hang there.  


The tags are decorated on both sides so if they get flipped, they are still fun looking.

   

These are not very large bags.  About 8” tall and 5.5” wide.  I have a lot of them to use up.

   




I don’t really have many occasions when I actually give a gift (other than these two people).  So I don’t know how many bags I will get to alter.  These bags were returned so that I’d fill them again next year.  Ha!  Maybe I’ll try some Christmas bags next.  I hope to improve on my altering designs.

22 comments:

Daryl @ Patchouli Moon Studio said...

I love all of those Annie! I would never have guessed those envelopes started out as junk envelopes. They are so pretty. Your recipients will adore them.

jenclair said...

I adore those pockets! And the gift bags are another creative success! How fun and creative you are, Annie. :)

tubakk said...

You're so creative. Your bags are super fun. Next time you give them away, tell the lucky receivers to use the bags for their presents. That way many people will have a chance to se your beautiful art. I love what you did with the envelopes, and have to try something like that when I'm home again in some weeks.

Valerie-Jael said...

These are all wonderful, Annie, some great ideas there. I love altering paper bags, too! Hugs, Valerie

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

Fantastic! Your creativity makes all the projects shine brighter.

Ruth said...

WOW Annie, What a fun post to look at. Your altered junk mail is so beautiful and creative. I love closely inspecting all of the details on your envelopes and tags. Your gift bags are equally as wonderful and tubakk has the right idea they should be passed on so more people can enjoy them. Keep on having fun playing and creating.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I've seen several clever ways to alter these security envelopes, but this is a new way to me. You did an excellent job with these and I really enjoyed seeing what you created.

LOVE those bags. They are so different and creative. I also like the little tags that are double sided, too. Very, very clever indeed.

Lin said...

Lovely transformation of theose envelopes - I am going to try adding some into my sketchbooks to pop things into. Great bags too - yes, they need to be passed on so more people enjoy them. xx

Karen Dunbrook said...

so clever...what a great re-use. You did a great job.
xx Karen

Tera Callihan said...

Your art always amazes me! I love everything here! I bet the birthday recipient's were so freaking excited to see the bags and tags!!! Lucky ducks! Also loving the altered junk mail pockets!!! A friend talked me into joining her last year to do a junk journal with them. I should take pictures and share some time! It lives with mom now since she fell in love with it. Lol. Have an awesome day, and enjoy creating!

My name is Erika. said...

What great ways to recycle and make pouches and pockets. These would also work great in an altered book or art journal. Super idea Annie.

Vicki in MN said...

You are really throwing us all kinds of fun ideas. I especially like the envelope one today.

Patti said...

Great post as always!! I will have to reread this post a couple of times to figure it all our. Pen Pals what fun those used to be. Where is yours from?

quiltingbydawn said...

How clever of you, Annie, to use all those junk return envelopes you get in the mail. Who would know after seeing your altered results! Thanks for the ideas!

The Joyful Quilter said...

Fun, fun, fun!! I have done other envelope projects, but have tried one like these. Thanks for sharing!

sheila 77 said...

You have so many great ideas and you actually put these into practice. Of course I had to go immediately and get a business envelope (out of the waste bin) and try it out. I couldn't imagine it from your description and photo but as soon as I tried it with a real envelope it worked immediately. So clever. No business envelopes will get in the waste bin in the near future.
The envelope tags - another great idea and your decorated ones are terrific. My favourite is the one with the butterfly and the second favourite is the orange spotted one top right. You certainly know how to use your craft supplies.
The tags on the craft bag are fabulous too, so colourful and happy with the fun layering, and there is even a teensie one hitching a ride.
Thanks for all these ideas and all the colourful examples.

Carol S. said...

Incredible tags, bags and pockets...wow! You are so, so creative!

craftytrog said...

Wonderful envelope and paper bag art Annie!

Let's Art Journal said...

What a transformation! The envelopes and bags are fabulous, such a lovely gift in themselves 😁. Happy wishes! Hugs, Jo x

pearshapedcrafting said...

What a fabulous post! Love how you brightened the back of the bags with tags too! Hugs, Chrisx

Carol said...

These are just incredible! 💖

silverrose said...

Awesome! Fantastic artwork..on a shoestring! Clever use of available free resources and great recycling! You've given so many wonderful craftsy ideas that I can share with my daughter