Monday, January 20, 2014

Altered postcards - Due March 3

For this swap, find a commercial postcard and alter it in some way.  Add something.  Cut something away.  Layer over it.  Obscure part of it.  Search Google images for “altered postcards” and you’ll get lots of good ideas.

These two cards were quick examples I threw together and are certainly not the only way to alter a card.  Pretty much anything goes as long as you leave part of the original postcard image visible and incorporate it into your own art.

Swap details:
  • Take a commercial postcard and alter it in some way.  Use any technique you like – paint, draw, cut, sew, collage, etc.  Make sure some of the original image is still visible.
  • make as many cards as you like - you will get back the same number you send
  • if you're sending me more than one, please make sure you insert waxed paper or parchment in between the cards so they don't get stuck together in the envelope
  • write “MMSA altered postcard” on the back of your card to remind your recipient why they are receiving this wonderful work of art in the mail
  • write your return address on the back of the postcard (in case of postal delivery problems) and your email address so the recipient can thank you.  Consider adding a note or favorite quote for your partner.
  • include an address label for each card you create
    (I will attach them to the cards I mail back to you)
  • New for 2014: when including postage, go ahead and stick the stamp on the postcard.  You no longer need to send it loose in the envelope. (if you don’t have stamps, you can still send me cash, or send me postal money via paypal) 
  • international swappers are welcome - the postage cost is $1.15 per card (paypal account is

Postage and Card Size
Postal rates go up January 26th!
You are welcome to make any size postcard you want, but please pay attention to the following postal guidelines
  • In order to use the postcard rate ($.34 as of January 26th) your card cannot be bigger than 4.25 x 6 inches, and it must be thin and flexible.  A 4x6 card that is thick, lumpy or doesn't bend, needs more postage than one of those "apple" stamps
  • If your card is a rectangle bigger than a postcard, but still flat and flexible, a regular "forever" ($.49 ) stamp is what you need.
  • If your card is an unusual shape (square, round) or is flexible but has some lumpy embellishments it will probably cost you the "non machinable" rate of $.70
  • If your card doesn't bend at all, the post office considers it a package and you should go get it weighed to figure out the proper postage.
You can find all the postal specifications (and a handy postage calculator) here:

Mail your cards no later than March 3rd. (I don’t need to receive them by the 3rd, they need to be postmarked by the 3rd.)

Karen Isaacson
PO Box 532
Shrewsbury, MA 01545
United States


  1. Those altered postcards are really funny and colorful. I'd like to try dallas postcard and do this, I wonder how it will look like.

  2. When I first read this swap, my thought was "meh . . . " The idea didn't seem as "arty" as the other exchanges, and although I shuffled through some Minnesota postcards that we have, I didn't see much that I could do with them.

    Then, today, when I was bringing the mail ad inserts in, I saw the perfect alteration, and when I checked vis-a-vis the card, it fit wonderfully.

    And yes, such a swap might not be "arty," but having tried the idea, I love it for vacations. One doesn't often have as much time or space as at home, but these are vastly funner than just sending a boring, "Having a great time, wish you were here" card.

    It almost makes me want to try this on my next vacation, and actually send some commercial cards like they did in the olden days, only I would want mine to be funnier.

    Thank you, Karen, for the swaps and challenging us to stretch a little.

  3. I have four going in the mail tomorrow, so that means Monday postmark. Last minute, as usual :/

    I had fun with this one!!