Friday, December 9, 2011

Tutorial: Air Mail Envelope Jotter Notebooks

I love air mail envelopes.  I don't what it is about them:  the bright red and blue colors, the great graphic border, the lightweight paper, the suggestion of communications with people living in other lands.  Some combination of all these factors draw me to air mail envelopes (though truth be told, I'm a fan of pretty much all envelopes). 

I ordered some air mail envelopes and gummed air mail labels from a supplier via Amazon, paying exorbitant and completely unnecessary shipping costs.  But I knew I wanted to do some sort of mail art project with them, so I braced myself for the higher price.  (My local Staples and Office Depot don't carry these evelopes, but I have since found them at a great store called Deals in the nearby town of Media for much less than what I paid .)
Today I'm going to show you step-by-step how I turned the air mail envelopes into little jotter notebooks that totally appeal to my mail art aesthetic.
Grab an air mail envelope and play along!

Step 1:  First, I folded the air mail envelope in half.
Step 2.  Then, I made a small cut to the right and left of the fold line on the envelope's flap.
Step 3.  Next, I cut paper to put inside the airmail envelope "cover."  I chose graph paper because the blue grid lines looks so nice with the red and blue edges of the air mail envelope.  I folded six sheets of full-size graph paper in half, tucked it into the envelope, made a pencil line where I needed to cut it down to fit inside, and used a box cutter along a metal ruler to cut through it all at once.  I ended up with twelve pages in my jotter notebook (twenty-four if you count front and back).
Step 4.  Using a sewing machine, I  sewed right down the middle of my book--the "spine," if you will. 
I used red thread to match my colors. I made the inside my "clean" side, and the outside my "messy" side, with all of my thread ends and such. I'm sure this part could be hand stitched as well.
Step 5. To camoflage my messy thread on the outside of the envelope, I taped a strip of red electrical tape along the spine.  You could probably use all manner of your favorite decorative tapes to do this.
Step 6.  To camoflage the weird, stretchy electrical tape, I added gummed "Via Air Mail" stamps along the two sides of the "spine".
Step 7.  Next you can add whatever you like to your book cover, preferably keeping with the air mail theme.  I chose to keep it simple and clean with a label, a small piece of paper tape, and a foreign stamp.  You could add rubber stamping, cancellations, drawings, stickers--whatever suits your aesthetic.  You can do the same to the back of the little jotter notebook, but I chose to leave mine plain.
Step 8.  Tuck paper goodies into the front and back pockets!
Make a few for yourself, and lots for your friends.  These air mail envelope jotter notebooks are pretty fast and simple to create!

45 comments:

VivJM said...

Great tute - I think I have some airmail envelopes from about 20 years ago (!) will have to give this a go :-)

donna!ee said...

very clever andria! these are fabulous for everything...thank you much for the how-to's!! :)

joyfulploys said...

Andria...this is a wonderful little book. I love the small journals!! Thanks for sharing your process in making the notebook.
Mary

lee said...

great tute, i also love small journals thanks for sharing that

laurie said...

so very cute! my mind was spinning, thinking of all the fun things that could be put in the inside pockets. this would be a fun travel journal.

April Cole said...

Fantastic Idea!
Love everything about these :]

Caatje said...

Such fun! Thanks for sharing. These are very cute.

lyric said...

Sweet! I love this tutorial.
could you send me an email - I'd love to send you a gift as part of my "make the world a better place" campaign!
lyric@pobox.com

suzanne cabrera said...

These are gorgeous!!!!! Lucky friends!

Kym said...

Thank you for the wonderful tutorial. That is a really great idea!!

PamelaArtsinSF said...

This is great -- I want to put the link to it on my mail art blog -- people are always asking me how to do things like this. Very nice!

Karenann Young said...

I wanted to leave you a comment about the envelope you sent me recently because I forgot to say anything about it when I wrote you. I loved your envy! I keep all my special envelopes for inspiration. Then I saw your tutorial about Air Mail envelopes!!! LOVE them! Bought some a few months ago and love your idea!!! I'll be making some soon!!! Thanks for the GREAT IDEA!!!

Karenann Young said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GinaVisione said...

Awesome! I've been wanting to make a few Mail Art ledgers for myself, and just haven't gotten around to it. Thank you for sharing your ideas, for myself, and maybe a few lucky recipients! (and thanks to Jennie Hinchcliff at redletterdayzine for sharing your link!)

Hyemyoung Park said...

great idea! I'd love to try this way! Thank you!

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Dianne said...

so adorable! thanks for the tutorial. these are so handy to carry around for notes!

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