Returned Mailart Book

4.30.11 Mailart little books all

In 2011 I attempted a 365 mailart project. Partway through the year I had the idea of making little staple bound books, where I would collage the cover, seal it shut, address and apply postage and send it naked (not in an envelope) through the post. I probably made around 50 of these? Inside each book was a rubberband and a message from me explaining what the book was. Pages were blank and I liked to imagine each book was kind of like a collaboration between myself and the recipient, where the inside would be filled with their own work. I never asked for the books back, but yesterday I had a little surprise.
I went to the post office to drop off a package and when I did I noticed something in my PO Box. Artist Mim Golub Scalin filled out the book I sent her and then sent it back to me! I never expected it and as I opened the package I just kept saying “what? what? what?” with a big dumb grin on my face.

mailart package from Mim

She also sent me a couple other goodies, such as a padded book from photos she took. She didn’t send me the Ecard, that was just on my work surface when I opened the package. I was so delighted to go through the book and see what she did that I decided to make a Vine video to share. See it below. Now, remember, Vines are only 6 seconds long so it moves quickly. If you want to see details visit my vine page (you have to have the app) and if you click on the image while it is playing you can pause it. Oh, it looks like you can click on the image below and pause it as well.

I love how she added her stamp at the end. I also LOVE how she added a ribbon with washi tape in the back to use as a bookmark. I am embarrassed to admit, but I still have plenty of these books that I made and never sent out. I’ve been thinking since the NaDa Farm sale how I want to work on some mailart and this package was exactly what I needed to push me to actually do it. I want to finally catch up, send out all the backlogged mailart I have and make some more even! Now if I can just not fall into the junk TV trap when I come home from work.

If you are interested in seeing more little books and mailart I’ve sent over the years, visit this flickr photo set.

4 Responses to “Returned Mailart Book”


  1. 1 Stephanie

    Love, love, love these! I have been missing mail art a bunch lately — it’s what got me into crafting a zillion years ago. I really miss the playful experimentation that your project is the perfect example of. If you are looking to send out the remaining books, I would gladly fill one up and return it to you. :) Would be super fun!

  2. 2 Roni J.

    There are a few things I love about these.
    1. The fact that you made so many and have them stashed away. I made over 250 mini index card collages over Christmas and haven’t taken them out of the rubberband I bound them with since. Isn’t it funny when artwork sits around us, and is among us but isn’t directly a part of the daily routine?
    2. That someone sent one back to you! How divine. Love mail art, from anywhere and anyone. 3. LOVE that they were turned into books. More of these. More, more, more.

  3. 3 Crabica

    That is awesome! I love the little envelope at the end–too adorable:)

  4. 4 Con el mate

    You’re so lucky! Surprises in the mail are the best!

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