Who doesn’t love getting a letter in the mail, something addressed to a person and not “To Occupant”? Put a smile on a loved one’s face by sending a letter, and make it eco-friendly by creating your own stationery. Watercolor paintings that didn’t quite turn out can be cut down to use as stationery cards. What a great way to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! It’s an especially good use of beginners’ watercolors if you’re a novice artist simply practicing, and it saves money, too, because you’re not out buying new stationery.
Watercolor paper is thick and fibrous and hard to fold. It’s easier to treat these as single layer cards, not folded cards.
Use whatever envelopes you have on hand. I had mostly small (A2 size) envelopes, and I cut my paintings down to 4.25 inches by 5.5 inches, but whatever envelopes you have, simply measure them then cut the paintings about ¼ inch smaller than the envelopes in width and height.
Just a heads-up: It’s better to use rectangular envelopes than square envelopes if you’re on a budget because the square envelopes require more postage.
Alternatively, you can skip the envelopes altogether and make postcards instead. Just remember that USPS postcards must be 3.5-to-4.25 inches tall, and 5-to-6 inches wide.
In the postcard example, I used a child’s painting from a carnival . . . you know the kind I mean, those spin paintings when you took your grandkid to the county fair, and he got to drop paint onto a card attached to a rotating disk. Display the best one on your fridge, sure, but the rest of them make great postcards!
All done! Now I get to write some letters! Hint: Use a bold pen on colorful stationery. I often use a very fine tipped Sharpie.
Make this day even better. Consider:
• I painted ten little paintings that topped cardboard lunchboxes for a fund raiser at our city’s Garden Day. It was a way to use my moderate skill for helping out a good cause, and volunteering is good for older adults’ mental health and acuity, so yay! (I won’t bore you with the links supporting that fact but trust you’ll do a web search if you’re interested.) What skill do you have that you can use to help others? Play the piano in a Sunday school class? Knit for charity organizations? Socialize cats at the animal shelter? Get out there and allow your community to benefit from your talents!