Hand Made Recycled Envelopes and Art Cards

artTeaching kids to look at old things in a new light is a great creative activity and can lead to some fun art projects! You can make you own cards and envelops easily out of old paper and found objects that might otherwise end up in the landfills.  These cards are perfect for holidays, family correspondence,  and thank you notes. You could even make a bunch of cards and envelopes, leave them blank and give them as gifts.


There are many different types of paper you can re-purpose into your own custom handmade envelopes. Consider using: Old maps, magazines, wall paper samples, newspaper, your kid’s artwork (with their permission/help) packaging material, tissue paper, used wrapping paper, cardboard, and paper bags. You can also use all of these materials as a base for you own custom recycled Art Cards.

Find an envelope template on the Internet by searching for “ Printable Envelope Templates” onto the recycled paper of your choice. Cut out and glue or tape together.

Please keep in mind that if you are going to send homemade envelops through the mail the front must be easy to read. You can glue light colored paper onto the front or use blank mailing labels in the to/from area.

Here are some ways you can decorate your art cards using recycled/found objects:

Painting/Stamp tools – With a bit of paint many old and/or broken objects can become tools to decorate your cards. Old combs drawn through paint create great texture. old make-up sponges can be reused to paint cards. A potato that has turned green or started to sprout can be cut and turned into a simple stamp.

Rubbings – old coins, buttons and small objects can be placed underneath your paper and  colored over with crayon or pencil to create unique rubbings.

Collages – Old scraps of paper and foil – even candy wrappers – can add pop and color to art cards. Use a light layer of glue or mod podge to get them to stick.

Wax Resist – Use up those candle stubs and broken white crayon by drawing a picture on your card. Paint over top of the whole card with water color paint and allow to dry. Wherever you drew with wax will be colorless, allowing the original paper to show through. This is an easy project to do with kids too!

Do you have any ideas for making your own Recycled/found art cards and envelopes? Please share!

Posted in Activites/Games, Holidays.

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