A crafty traveler such as yourself doesn’t want to visit some awesome place, think awesome things about that place, and then send back to your loved ones that same old tired postcard that every single other tourist and her dog is buying from that same tourist-trap gift shop, do you?
Well, do you? I didn’t think so. Here’s how to hook yourself up with the awesome, DIY postcards that you deserve:
You will need:
- heavyweight, professional-quality artist’s paper–Bristol board or illustration board are both perfect for making DIY postcards
- ruler, gridded cutting mat, and x-acto knife or scissors
- art supplies sturdy enough to survive the postal system
1. Depending on your travel plans, it’s probably best to cut out all your postcards at home. Acceptable postcard sizes for the United States Postal Service range from a minimum of 3.5″x5″ to a maximum of 4.25″x6″. I usually cut out my postcards at a size somewhere in between, so that I don’t have to worry about any imprecision in my cutting.
2. Pack your stash of blank postcards, some postcard stamps, your address list, and your travel art supplies. Some of that can go in your overnight luggage, but you may want to keep your blank postcards and art supplies with you while you sight-see.
3. When inspiration strikes, either on site or back in your hotel room, create your beautiful postcard artwork. A variety of materials, from watercolors to permanent markers to crayons, are appropriate. Remember, however, that your work is going to go through the mail–it should be pretty sturdy.
Your postcard image can take the entire front side of your postcard. The postcard stamp goes in the upper right corner of the blank back, and your recipient’s address should be neatly printed on the right side of the blank back. Don’t forget to write a message.
Your postcard image can be anything! I encourage my girls to draw something that we’ve seen that day, as part of their homeschooling in geography. Of course, sometimes they draw the Gateway Arch, and sometimes they draw the hotel pool- either way, it’s a memory put on paper.
See? The ONLY way you could ever possibly get a postcard of the hotel pool would be to draw one yourself!