Sunday, February 2, 2014

File folder envelope swap - due March 17th

Somebody suggested we swap “really big” postcards, and it made me revisit the file folder swap we did here way back in June 2012.  It was the second swap I hosted here at MMSA and only 8 people participated.  We have so many adventurous artists now I thought it would be fun to try again.

This is one I made

It’s really fun to get something so big and colorful in the mail, and if you’re so inclined to can put your new art to work!  You can use it as a file folder of course, but I also use decorated file folders as rigid dividers in my MMSA basket.   

And I have this beautiful file folder envelope from Carroll that has become a pocket inside my art journal.

Read through all these details please – there are some different requirements from our usual swaps.
  • Start with a plain file folder.  
  • Decorate the front and back anyway you like.  Any style, technique or media is welcome, but keep in mind it will eventually be mailed to your partner without an envelope.
  • Stick a little note inside with your name and contact info, and include a little surprise for your partner (such as a little bit of collage fodder or ephemera or pretty paper.  Don’t go overboard, we’re not stuffing the envelope or anything.  Just a few little bits.)
  • Seal the edges - glue, tape, stitching - anything to make it secure.  
  • Put a blank address label of some sort on the front.  
  • Adhere sufficient postage for me to mail it to your partner.  At a minimum this will cost you $.98  (the cost of a large envelope 1 ounce or less).  Obviously the rate goes up if it’s heavier.  And if it’s rigid or if it has a lumpy object inside that causes more than ¼ variation in thickness, it will have to be shipped as a package which will cost $2.32.
  • I strongly recommend going to the post office and asking then to calculate the rate for you.
  • Stick the stamps on before mailing it to me if possible (rather than sending them loose inside the envelope)
  • If you don’t have stamps, it’s okay to send me cash or to send money through my paypal account (
  • Stick the whole thing inside a big envelope and mail it to me by March 17th.


  1. I am a bit confused. Is the idea that the file folder is merely the "envelope" for what's inside, or is the intent that the file folder will be able to be used as "a file folder" when done? (Depending on how the thing is closed up, it may not be easy to get it open without cut-and-slash, which might render it useless for filing office-size paper ever again.)

    My guess would be that a swap with bigger items like this might reduce the number of pieces people could send in (?), since there might well more time invested in each piece. That would translate to an easier swap week for you, and would then free all of us from something like a "Lawn Mower Themed Swap!" if you decide that you're desperate for a slow mail art week, with, oh, only four, say, incoming postcards to sort, label and post. (With appropriate, advance apologies to Toro, Snapper, and John Deere.)

    1. sorry to confuse. I think the idea is really to use the file folder as a giant postcard - a piece of work in and of itself. the fact that it has an "inside" makes it a cool envelope for a treasure/note. and yes, opening it may render it less useful as an actual file folder, but the usefulness isn't really the point.

  2. Carroll's folder is stunning! It looks like an incredibly happy and beautiful burst of sunshine every time you open your journal. I haven't had time to make anything recently but I will definitely try to join this folder swap.

  3. This was a really fun swap last year, looking forward to doing it again. xox

  4. Karen, is this a one piece limited swap?

    1. no, I didn't place any limits on this one.

  5. Oh good, cause I am midway through making two..!

  6. I am putting mine in the mail to you today! :)