Fold up some mailart by creating a Japanese-style self-sealing envelope out of a single sheet of paper. Write the name and address on one side, and a long letter on the other, fold up, add a stamp, and post!
- Plain white copy paper to practice
- A heavier paper for the real thing – 100gsm minimum won’t wrinkle too much when painted. 190gsm Bockingford Watercolour is used here
- Writing pen. The trusty Lamy Safari can be seen in these pictures
- Paints, inks, coloured pencils, crayons
- Washi tape to seal (optional)
- Transparent pocket to protect envelope in the mail (optional)
Practice the fold with copy paper first, then move on to the thicker sheet when you’re happy with the creases.
Step by step:
Fold page in half widthways, and open out flat.
Fold one corner up to meet the centre fold.
Repeat with the diagonally opposite corner.
Fold one long cut edge up to meet the other cut edge, as above.
Repeat with the other cut edge. Do you see the corner point on the left hand side?
Take it up to slide under the triangle on the left. Then take the top right corner point, fold it down, lining up with the right hand side, to slide under the triangle on the right. Easier to do than describe!
Ta da! A beautiful self-sealed origami envelope, ready to personalise.
Undo all the folds, and lay the page ‘outside’ up.
Add the name and address of your dearly beloved recipient in your best handwriting.
Then decorate the rest of the page. I went for loose brushstrokes of inky blue. Take time out as your waiting for the sheet to dry.
Turn the page over and think about all the things you want to ask/describe/share.
You can fill the page with words, as I’ve done here OR embellish around the edges first.
Once the ink is dry, fold two diagonal corners in to meet the centre crease.
…and repeat each fold in the same order as before.
It looks so different when decorated, doesn’t it? This is when you could seal the envelope with a strip of washi tape, if you like. Now too is the time to slip your mailart inside a transparent pocket to protect it from the vagaries of the postal system.
Add a stamp (*maybe* a little more up-to-date than this one.)
Post your letter into the mail box, S.W.A.L.K (Sealed With A Loving Kiss) and wish your envelope a safe journey.