Monday 16 September 2013

30 postcards to myself: tips on making a postal-themed mini book

Hello  hello and welcome to day one of Going Postal 2013! 

It's the 3rd time I've run this themed blog series celebrating all things post-related and it's so nice that some of you have let me know already that you're planning to join me on your own blogs at some point between now and Sunday October 27th when I'll draw these 6 weeks of posty-correspondence to a close. Thank you!

In the past I've run the series through the summer but this year I thought that leaving it a little later might work for us all.
  • Now that the air is starting to turn a little chilly I thought it would be nice to have something creative and even nostalgic to focus on when we're tucked up in front of the fire!
  • Plus I thought it might coincide nicely with the time of year when preparations are being made to make and post-off Christmas cards! [Yes, I said it. It's out there now. Christmas. Look! I just said it again!].
And it also meant that leaving it a little later meant I could share the post-themed journal I'm making in response to Learn Something New Everyday : a series of life-documenting prompts delivered by Shimelle Laine each September.

So, allow me to introduce my 2013 journal which, by the end of this month, will contain 30 postcards I've written to myself. One a day throughout September:
Rather than just leap in with the finished item, I thought I'd share with you the 'bare bones' of this project in case you'd like to do something similar with all those postal supplies you've got in your stash.

And if you haven't got any postal supplies in your stash well ... this might just be the excuse you need to go and get some!

[If Ilfracombe, North Devon is familiar to you, you might be interested to know there are 2 vintage postcards from the town in my shop today].

A proportion of my 30 pages began life as various vintage / reclaimed [blank] postcards:
I'd always intended to collage on top of some of my postcard collection ... and this gave me the push I needed to finally get around to it!

The remainder of my pages began life as the covers of a 'White Stuff' fashion catalogue which landed on my doorstep while I was planning this project!

As it featured lots of lovely autumnal animal illustrations it was too nice not to use - so I simply trimmed its cardstock covers to postcard size:
Other pages include: scrapbooking journal cards, kraft cardstock and two old Cluedo game cards. Basically:
  • anything vaguely 6"x4" sized and sufficiently sturdy can be used for this kind of 'junk' style postcard mini-book;
  • have a good rummage around all your craft supplies and your junk mail pile for anything suitable;
  • even the cardboard inserts inside packaging supplies can come in useful here.
TOP TIP: To help create a cohesive feel to this type of 'pick & mix', 'bit of everything', 'found materials' project ... limit your colour palette.

Restricting yourself to a specific colour scheme will:
  1. prevent the finished project from looking too unfocused, and ...
  2. help you narrow down which supplies to use in the first place. Sometimes having too many options can scare your creativity into hiding!
To continue with the postal theme ... I set aside a handful of my old postage stamp collection which matched my colour scheme:
Along with matching my colour palette of blue, green and naturals the stamps I chose also reflected the overall theme and feel of my book which was 'animals/nature' and 'landscapes'.

A selection of vintage collectors' cards and a handful of landscape photos [all from my ephemera collection] came in useful to add a postcard feel to those pages which weren't postcards:
Finally, and predictably ...

I dipped into my Plundered Pages to snip images from and to use as collaged layers:
These included sheets from a beautiful old French botanical book, my ever-useful number books and a Judy comic. [I'm happy to create custom orders for any and all of these items if they've caught your eye.]

And finally ... once I had 30 postcards in need of a home I needed to find some book covers.

And what better way to safely store a collection of postcards than inside an old shoe box?
I'd saved this box, from a pair of James's trainers, for years because I loved the printed design [of tiles and a cement floor I think!] knowing that at some point I'd find a use for it.

And now I have!

I just trimmed it to size, wrapped the spine with corrugated card, punched holes and then clipped everything together on a book-ring.

Over the coming weeks I hope to inspire you to try out this type of journal by ...
  •  sharing photos of each of my 30 postcards, each of which has been decorated / collaged upon and had my Learn Something New Everday 'lesson' stamped on the front;
  • plus I'll share how I went about decorating 30 pages in advance, all in one go ... to offer up a way you too can tackle ANY 'daily' kind of life-documenting project;
  • and I'll even give you an idea of how you can deal with all your leftover scraps!

I'm looking forward to sharing more of this album, plus lots of other completely separate posty projects with you in the coming weeks.

See you very soon.


If you join in with a posty post of your own:
  • let your readers know you're Going Postal [a few words of introduction is fine];
  • link up to my blog or the Going Postal Pinterest board
  • then - if you use Pinterest please consider pinning it to one of your own boards, link me up, and I'll 're-pin' it.
  • but - if you DON'T use Pinterest drop by here or my Facebook page and leave a link to your postal-themed project or story before Oct 27th and I'll add you to the board for all to share your contribution.
Any problems or questions - just get in touch. :-)


  1. Love this and all the recycling. My mom has a postcard wall at her work and said that it was a real talking point amongst her clients. X

  2. Love the book, it's really inspiring!


  3. This has given me a great idea. I am going to New England for a holiday soon. I always buy postcards when I'm away despite the 1000s of photos I take. I often put postcards into my travel journal but I think this time I will send myself a postcard every day to record our holiday. When I get back I shall have an almost ready made journal.

  4. I like this idea & may steal it for my Journal Your Christmas album as I am not going to be able to scrap one this year most likely. But I do have a couple months to put something like this together.

  5. Oh I love your LSNED journal Julie - I decided to go with postcards for my LSNED this year too as I was starting my September by going on holiday, and it seemed a good way of keeping up the class. I made 30 postcards though from kraft cardstock. I did buy a couple of cards on holiday which I inserted on the relevent days - so have a couple of spares now. Looking forward to joining in with Going Postal this year. J x

  6. Julie, you always pull together such lovely projects. Looking forward to your series x

  7. I´m stiil avoiding Pinterest. :D But I´ll participate through FB. ;)
    Lovely album!

  8. I am desperate to gently leaf through this lovely book - so tactile! Looking forward a great deal to this series, Julie :).

  9. I am doing my LSNED on postcards this year Julie! but I didn't think of re-cycling, wish I had seen this on Sept 1st! I designed my cards digitally. Oh well stash that idea away for next year. I might just 'borrow' your binding idea if thats OK?
    As Alexa says your book is lovely and begs to be held and looked at for ages.....


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