Monday, April 21, 2014

Recycled postcards - due May 5th

Time to raid your recycling bin!  Create a postcard using items that would typically be tossed away - things most people would never consider to be art supplies.  This might include junk mail, catalogs, food packaging, bills, old homework, grocery lists, etc.

The base of your postcard should be something from your recycle bin as well.  Cut up a cereal box.  Cover up one of those advertising postcards. Get creative.   Someone once sent me a collage on a flattened holder from a six-back of beer bottles. 

It would be great if everything on your card came from the recycling bin, but if you really want to add some paint or crayon or marker, go ahead.  (But you’re on your honor not to use any images or text or papers that weren’t already destined for recycling.)

Swap details:

  • You may submit as many as  four cards  (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 recycled 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. 

  • Add a note for your partner.  You could share something about yourself, or describe how you made your postcard, or share a favorite quote or joke.

  • include a mailing label with your name and address for each card you create
    (I will attach them to the cards I mail back to you)

  • Please attach the proper postage to your postcard (see below for postal guidelines).  If you don’t have any stamps and it’s difficult for you to get some, go ahead and send me money instead.  You can stick cash in the envelope, or send it to me via paypal (

  • international swappers are welcome - the postage cost is $1.15 per card (paypal account is

Postage and Card Size
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) 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

  • 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 May 5th. (I don’t need to receive them by the 5th, they need to be postmarked by the 5th.)

Karen Isaacson
PO Box 532
Shrewsbury, MA 01545
United States


  1. This quote might be difficult to follow, since I find the beauty in so many things that should REALLY go in the recycling bin:
    "(But you’re on your honor not to use any images or text or papers that weren’t already destined for recycling.)" :D

    1. I think she meant "things that would normally go in the recycle bin in a non-mailartists' house"...:P

    2. I look at this swap as an archeologist might, knowing how depictive of real life those trash middens were. I took last night as a frozen moment in time and considered only that which was in the household trash cans right at that moment (meaning, dry, clean, papery, nice things, and not anything drippy or fuzzy that might have been extracted from the nether reaches of the fridge).

      The idea being that I would only which I successfully "Dumpster dived" at that point, and nothing else except (as Karen said) marker, crayon, etc.

      I also assume that things like tape and glue (or other "affixers") can be added, and yes, I think we should ALL use brand new stamps, rather than what we might scrape off a discarded envelope. : )

      DO BE CAREFUL, however, not to get so excited mail arting that you fail to obliterate any confidential personal data (such as account numbers, phone numbers, etc.), especially if you are using things like bills. Also, be careful with trash can items that pertain to family members, "changing the names to protect the innocent" as it were.

  2. Bwah - hah - hah! SCORE! I rooted through my husband's trash cans in the basement, and just happened to find a whole box of bottled inks for refilling his old ink-jet printers that he "just happened" to throw out this week. It won't be the Mona Lisa, but the colors do blend, and they paint well on paper.

    Suppose the USPS will let us "recycle" our old postage stamps to mail these? : )