Collage a Postcard

Postcards are so versatile–they make great ways of letting people know you are thinking of them, can be hand-delivered or left on a desk, used as a bookmark, or as a confidence boost. And when you make them yourself, the theme has no limits. I travel a lot, and like to thank people who were kind or interesting. Sometimes I ask for their business card and send them a postcard. In fact, I carry stamped postcards with me, so I can be impulsive.

POstcard7In this case, a friend was debating taking a long trip to someplace she’d never been. She was understandably nervous, because the trip was a trial to see if she wanted to start a new job in a foreign country. Reminding her that she would find herself all over again through the experience, I made this card for her using both Yasutomo products and Altered Pages digital collage backgrounds.

Here’s what you’ll need to make this card:

Post1Digital downloads are new to me, so I experimented re-sizing and printing  the map page, finally settling on printing it as a full page on a cut down manila folder. (I cut it to a standard American piece of office paper–8.5 inches x 11 inches) and printed it landscape.

Post3Next, to get it to postcard size, trim two adjacent images. I used the bottom two. Check the allowable postcard sizes in your country. Here, postcards can be oversized; they will then need a letter stamp. My printer is an inkjet, and those colors often run when wet. To keep the colors stable, I put the cut maps between two sheets of parchment paper and ironed them on a cotton setting. I then let the printed page dry completely for a few days. The colors didn’t run at all.

90287bTo make the background less distinct, I covered it with paint. You can also do it digitally, but I prefer using art materials. I mixed white, yellow, green and a bit of black together till I had the neutral I wanted. Use very little of the colors and a lot of white. To make sure the background shows through, use enough water to thin the paint. I also wiped some of it off with paper towels.

Post2To create the card, I used Altered Pages sepia Alphabet Squares (shown on the left) printed on heavy white paper. You can use any color paper or cardstock, but I wanted a crisp result. I then carefully trimmed the letters to use in the message: Find your heart.

Using a few pieces from my own stash, I added transparencies of postage stamps, a small image of a postcard and the letters. Using a hot iron and parchment paper (to protect the iron), I distorted some of the stamp images, which were printed on plastic.

Using Nori paste (which is archival and reversible), I glued the cut out letters to the postcard. When the postcard was dry, I mixed water with the sumi-e gold paint and, using a #6 watercolor brush, painted a line around the letters a, r and t in the word heart.

POstcard7My friend is an artist, and I was letting her know that trying out a new country for her job would also inspire her art. The sumi-e gold color is vibrant and metallic and always adds an elegant touch. I added a message and an address on the back and off it went through the mail to its new owner!

This is my last post as a Niji design team member, although I’ll be coming back from time to time with a special project! I’ve had a lot of fun playing with Yasutomo art supplies, and am delighted that my order from a few weeks back arrived!

–Quinn McDonald is a Niji design team member, a collage artist, and the author of The Inner Hero Creative Art Journal, published by North Light Books.

2 thoughts on “Collage a Postcard

  1. Love your postcard the Altered Pages Maps look great. Thanks for sharing and good luck in your future endeavors.

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