DIY Postcard Swap

April 5, 2011

My niece, Elizabeth, sent me the following thank-you note. I really liked the illustration so looked at the artist’s website which is where I found the link to this DIY postcard swap – two days before the sign-up deadline.

Along with the thank-you, Elizabeth sent me a field notebook. I’m a farmer’s daughter from Iowa. Field notebooks are used by farmers to keep track of, among other things, which seed corn they plant where and what kind of yield that seed corn gets. I suppose farmers use computers now but I’d like to think there are still some paper field notebooks out there somewhere.

My first step was to find postcard dimensions on the USPS website. I recorded them in the notebook and made a little postcard sketch.

I used some of my favorite things in this project:

  • This quote.  “Happiness is nothing more than having something to look forward to.”  [As said by Earl Pilcher Jr., played by one of my favorite actors, Robert Duvall, in A Family Thing, written by Billy Bob Thornton.]
  • French Paper Company. I used their Pop Tone 65lb cover stock in Blu Raspberry and Sour Apple. [Note to self: Read your printer manual before ordering paper. Sadly, I discovered my printer could not handle the 100lb cover stock I ordered.]
  • Free things! The font Czaristite from Font Space.  
  • Double-stick tape. I simply adore adhesives (ha) and this one is at the top of the list.
  • The blue & green color combination. My love of this combo is illustrated by some of my other favorite things:

The totem my dad made. [And another favorite thing, my dog, Emma, peering through the door.]

The painting my brother, Jake, did of my first dog, Annie. I call it Annie Warhol. [Jake is my niece, Elizabeth’s, Dad.]

A spring scarf. [Purchased in one my favorite towns, Iowa City, Iowa.]

Because there’s a surprise in the postcard, I needed to put two pieces of paper together. I tested four adhesives – wood glue, rubber cement, a glue stick, and double-stick tape.  I ruled out the wood glue immediately because it caused the paper to curl. I mailed the other three test postcards to myself. The adhesives all fared about the same so I went with my favorite.

My tools are lined up and ready to go!

The postcards are done and mailed (April 5th.)

Because of the little surprise in the postcard, I’ll wait a bit before I post the final product. It’s a tiny little miniscule surprise. Nothing like a bundle of cash or a ticket to paradise. But, it’s a surprise, nonetheless.

At work, I’m posting the cards I receive linked to their country, or state, of origin. Cards received as of April 28.

 My postcard

The surprise, inside.