PDP Exclusives by Rebecca

Friday, October 7, 2011

From Krissi's Art Studio: Franken-velope (mailing envelope comes to life from crafty leftovers)

Union Riveter Krissi has been writing tutorials for many a year, and we asked her if she would republish a few here for our readers at Modern Rosies. Of course she said "you bet!"

This photo has gotten a lot of hits over the years, and I and receive e-mails every now and then asking where I bought it. I didn't buy it - I actually made it out of leftover craft stuff, most of which was destined for the garbage bin.

Recycling is FUN!
When I was just starting my business, I used to do a lot of swaps withother artists. It's a great way to challenge yourself and try things withoutpressure. Swappers LOVE getting decorated envelopes, too!

Of course you've saved padded mailers. Well, go find one. I'll wait.
Altered/Recycled Padded Mailer (Tutorial)
Yes. That Folsom. Like the prison.

While you're in there, get some decoupage medium, a brush, your white paint (or gesso) and some pretty tissue papers (you could also use old newspaper or wrapping paper scraps).
Altered/Recycled Padded Mailer (Tutorial)
If you don't have decoupage medium, you can use white glue, just dilute it a little first.

Tear off any glossy tape and labels that are easily removable and prime your envelope with white craft paint or gesso.
Altered/Recycled Padded Mailer (Tutorial)
stripping the labels and giving the envelope a coat of paint is optional,but it does
give an even look to the piece, making the final look more finished.

Start with one side of the envelope and coat a small area with decoupage medium. Add pieces of tissue paper and recoat with glue/decoupage medium.
Altered/Recycled Padded Mailer (Tutorial)

Keep going....
Altered/Recycled Padded Mailer (Tutorial)

Keep going!
Altered/Recycled Padded Mailer (Tutorial)

OK... That looks pretty good. Let it dry, then do the back side (optional, but totally cool looking and very much appreciated by your recipient).

You can work on the back while the front is still wet if you have a non-stick craft sheet, but I use the drying time as an excuse to play with my dog.
How to...
Abby the Jack Russell Terrier - around this town, I'm just "Mrs. Abby."

Once both sides are dry, you can address, fill and send your mailer, but I like to decorate mine even more. If you look at the original envelope, you'll see some cool looking hearts - here's how I did that.Using your favorite stamp, and some Staz On, Archival or other permanent ink, stamp an image onto a piece of tissue paper...
Altered/Recycled Padded Mailer (Tutorial)
*cough* my Skelekitty© rubber stamps are available from Guadalupe's Fun Rubber Stamps in New Mexico

...then affix it to the envelope. This technique will give you a better stamp impression than if you stamp directly onto the lumpy envelope.
Altered/Recycled Padded Mailer (Tutorial)

Have some fun!
Altered/Recycled Padded Mailer (Tutorial)
I glued a little red tissue paper in the heart. Don't bother staying in the lines.

And it's finished! No... wait. It needs something.
Altered/Recycled Padded Mailer (Tutorial)

It still needs a little sparkle! I got the idea of adding iridescent glitter to mod podge from Kathy Murillo, The Crafty Chica on one of her art cruises. Fun times, people. Fun times. Anyway, just sprinkle a little glitter into a container with some decoupage medium, mix and apply. Super easy. If you're the glitter-on-everything type, you could pre-mix some in one of these handy dandy bottles to keep on hand at all times. You know, in case of a glitter-emergency.
Altered/Recycled Padded Mailer (Tutorial)
Craty Chica brand glitters and Tulip Fashion Glitters are made byDuncan (ilovetocreate.com)

NOW it's finished!
Altered/Recycled Padded Mailer (Tutorial)
back view of envelope and another view of Skelekitty

If you make a Franken-velope (errrr... I mean "upcycled art envelope"), We'd love to see it, so be sure to post a link in the comments!

Krissi Sandvik is a mixed-media artist and the owner of Krissi's Art Studio, home of Skelekitty and Friends. She was recently named "best tutorialer on the web" by her friend Rachelle Rose. She publishes a tutorial or "Ask Krissi's Art Studio" column every Friday on Modern Rosies.


  1. That is such a cool & awesome idea! I know I'd love to get one of those in the mail!

  2. I absolutely love this idea! If only I had time to do this to every envelope... everyone's life would be better!