Saturday, August 17, 2013

Secret Keepers: Adding Envelopes To Your Anything Book

I don't know about you, but I love envelopes. I love them in all sizes and shapes. I love commercial business envelopes and personal mail envelopes.

I love the idea that an envelope contains something that isn't known and visible. An envelope is a secret keeper. And that idea, being a secret keeper, is why I add them into so many of my Anything Books.

An envelope is meant to be opened. Every time you see an envelope, you instinctively want to open it.

Adding envelopes to your Anything Book or art journal is a great way to preserve your memories. The envelope makes a perfect storage space for small and precious items. And the envelope you choose can hold it's own memories.

Let's get started!

A string clasp envelope inserted into an Anything Book is a perfect place to keep valuable items.
When you flip through the pages of your completed Anything Book, the items you attached to the pages are all visible. But the items you stick inside an envelope are not immediately visible. You have to open the envelope to view them. And, of course, you have to know that there is something hidden inside the envelope.

The postage stamp on the front of this tiny envelope hints at secret keeper item it holds.
That's what life is like. Some things are obvious, and other things require a little more time to discover. Secret keepers are like that. It takes a little longer to learn what they hold. That's why they make a perfect addition to your Anything Book or art journal.

I collect envelopes that arrive at my home and I reuse many of them in my Anything Books. You can do the same thing. Do your bills come with a reply envelope for sending the payment? Why not keep one of them for your art journal, especially one for an important payment. Or a mundane payment. That's the beauty of recording your life. You don't have to just record the big, huge moments of life. Adding in details from the mundane, the every day, makes your art journal richer.

An envelope from inside my personal Anything Book.
I added this 1099 tax document envelope because I have people who work for me. I send out 1099 forms to several people each year. I love the placement of the windows on these envelopes. They give you just a peek at what's inside. I've decorated the front with small items and a photograph.

This envelope was attached as a tag to a piece of clothing I purchased.
It's the surprise of a small envelope that I love. When I was small, my parents would say that great things come in small packages. I feel that way about my art journal envelopes. What goes inside them is a precious photo or a bit of journaling where I've told a secret.

It's easy to add envelopes to your art journal or Anything Book.

  1. Find interesting envelopes as you move through your day. Check your mail including the business reply envelopes you normally throw away.
  2. Check through your mementos for the envelopes from old birthday and holiday cards from loved ones and family members. What a great way to keep their memory alive by adding the envelope to your journal.
  3. Ask friends and family to start keeping interesting envelopes for you.
  4. Pull together a collection of envelopes and your Anything Book or art journal.
  5. Sort through them by size. It's okay for an envelope to stick out a little more than the regular pages. But in general, it's best if the envelope is slightly smaller than the regular pages.
  6. Based on the layout of your pages, practice positioning your envelopes in different directions on the page. The best position might be up and down based on your book.
  7. Decide if you want the front of the envelope or the back to be on top in the book. This determines if you see the front or back first when flipping through the pages.
  8. Remove the page directly under where you want to place the envelope. You will use the holes in this page as a guide to punch holes in the envelope.
  9. For smaller envelopes, you might only need one hole. For larger envelopes, you might need to punch two or more holes (depending on the number of book rings that make up your book binding.
  10. When you are sure about how you want to position the envelope inside your Anything Book or art journal, use a standard hole punch to add holes using the page you removed as a guide.
  11. Replace the page you removed and add the envelope to your art journal.
  12. Begin decorating the outside and decide what you might want to put on the inside.

When I allow people to look through my personal Anything Book, I'm always surprised at how they skip over items without looking at them, and turn the page with envelopes without opening them. Perhaps they are in a hurry. Or perhaps they feel a little awkward going through something so personal.

A business reply envelope becomes a ready-made secret keeper in my art journal.
Now that I've inspired you, what sorts of envelopes will you add to your Anything Book or art journal? And what secrets will you have them keep for you?


Sylvia Pelekane said...

Thank you for this post! How wonderful!
I have struggled so much with heritage scrapping and this answers so many issues plus my dmash books can be more fun too!
Thank you!

Carolyn Albro said...

Great post, thank you for sharing. I tend to hoard envelopes, I think it's about time to put them to work for me.

Anonymous said...

I encourage children to open old envelopes and draw in them. I tell them how Emily Dickenson wrote poetry on the inside of envelopes.