DIY & Crafts

CRAFT IT: Surprise Mail

I always have an urge to craft and recently it’s been urging me more often. For a long time I felt crafting just to craft wasn’t “practical”. Why make all these pretty things and just have them sit there on my shelf or in a box? Crafting itself wasn’t enough. But recently there has been a lot of celebrations and things to be happy about around me and moreso things that I’m happy about FOR the people around me.

I now know that I’m not just crafting for me, I’m crafting FOR my friends and family that I want to celebrate; I’m crafting for fellow crafters. That’s why I was so happy to find out that a colleague of mine was promoted! It was a well deserved promotion and though we’ve only worked together for less than a year, she’s been an integral part of where I am in my career right now. And for that, I’ll always be grateful for the opportunity she’s given to me. I wanted to do a little something special; something more than just a card to say CONGRATS in a simple but creative way.

I’ve decided to put together “Surprise Mail”.

I picked up a tin mailbox at Target for $1.00 a while ago and decided this would be the perfect “box” for the gift. First, I made a washi tape banner, inspired by the tutorial on The Red Thread.

Washi Tape (I chose pastel colors in different patterns)

Cut about 12 inches of twine. Lay flat on a smooth surface and as straight as you can. You can use tape to hold down the ends of twine to help keep it from moving around too much. Leave about 3 inches on each end to tie/attach to your end product.

Cut washi tape into 1 1/2 inch strips. I used 5 colors and cut TWO strips of each color for my banner. Fold each strip of washi tape over the twine; the twine will sit in the middle of the strip as you fold together the ends of each strip to create each banner piece. No need to be perfect (we’ll be cutting the ends). Space each “banner” about 1/2 inch from each other. Wrap each strip over the twine until you’ve reached the 3 inch mark.

Cut the ends of the washi tape. I chose to cut mine like a flag. You can cut yours diagonally one way, straight across or in varying cuts. Once you’ve perfected your ends, you’ve finished your banner!

Hang it anywhere; over a picture frame, on your door, or in your cubicle just because.

The next part of the gift would be the card. I was inspired by the  Accordion Thank You Card featured on Julep.

Washi Tape (scraps/or cut into tiny pieces to look like confetti)
Card Stock OR Colored Paper

Cut a 2 inch strip of cardstock (from an 8.5×11 piece) vertically.  You can also use patterned paper, with a solid light color/white on the back side. I didn’t have any that I wanted to use so I improvised; besides, why give up a reason to use washi tape? Make a 1 inch wide fold and accordion fold the rest of the strip. There will be a little access that you can cut right off. You should end up with 8 rectangles to write your message.

If you use pattern paper, you can skip this step. For those who used plain paper like I did, you can create your own confetti pattern. I cut tiny pieces of washi tape (the same colors I used for my banner above) into triangles and some distorted triangle shapes and taped them all over the top of my accordion card. Do this until you are content with your confetti pattern.

Flip the accordion card to the side where the message will be. My message was CONGRATS. In each of the rectangles I outlined each letter in block letters with a Sharpie pen. I had these fun chalk pencils I picked up at TJ Maxx one time and decided to fill in the letters with them. I used the same color to match the chalk pencils to the Sharpie pen. You can use regular colored pencils/markers or even stenciled stickers for your message. Just be sure that if you’re using a Sharpie or marker, that the ink doesn’t bleed through the paper.

Close your  accordion card with the pattern on top. Cut about 6 inches of twine/ribbon. Wrap around the card several times and tie in a bow. Your mini accordion card is ready for delivery!

My surprise mailbox is just about ready. I placed part of the banner on the side of the mailbox and the card inside. Now, time to place the final touches, fill it up with goodies and send off the surprise mail.

What’s in your mailbox?


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