Collaging directly on to a used cover or vintage postcard is what I consider to be envelope art. I like choosing a vintage envelope or postcard as a substrate because it gives me a couple of elements to begin with. Elements include the following:
- the color and size of the envelope or postcard
- handwriting or print
- any other markings, deliberate or accidental
Depending on the combination of the above, that determines how many additional elements I want to add. With this envelope, I love the text print in the upper left side, the handwriting below it, and the typewriter text of the destination. The stamps and postmarks are quite vivid as well so I wanted them to show as much as possible. Lastly, the pieces I chose to add needed to go well with the color paper of the envelope. Almost anything goes with that light caramel color.
Next, I have this example below of a light blue envelope with quite a lot going on in it. The original envelope was not very attractive, mainly because the handwriting of the address was sloppy and there were scratch-out lines through some of it. I wanted to cover that up but keep the Egyptian stamps and postmarks in the upper-right side. After I added the paper bits, including a stamp from Czechoslovakia, I rubber stamped the “2f” in a light brown, and stamped a postmark over the Czechoslovakia postage stamp in black. This one turned out much better than what I had hoped for.
Below is an example of what I did on a vintage postcard. My collage was kept very small to preserve everything else on the postcard. I simply wanted to enhance the look and feel of the postcard, and not change it too much. The only rubber stamping I did was to the two corners in a very light beige. It’s very subtle.
I love all the details on this postcard from 1897 Porto, Portugal.
Sometimes I get envelopes that are too pretty to do anything on. I’d prefer to leave this one as it is. This one came from one of the members from my local stamp club. In the world of philately, envelopes are referred to as “covers“. This cover is filled with stamps from Hungary.
Lastly is envelope art in a more “modern” style. The postmark said 1949 before I collaged over it. Very little of the original envelope remained except for the stamps and some of the postmark, and the return address. I needed a lot of space for all the pieces I added, including the rubber stamping in the upper and lower right.
This collage was a lot of fun to make. In the short time-lapse video below, I documented how I put this one together.