Repurposing My Postcrossing Postcards

A Postcrossing postcard

Several years back, I discovered Postcrossing while researching vintage postage. I’ve always loved snail mail and for years kept up a correspondence with friends worldwide.

Postcrossing is the creation of Paulo MagalhΓ£es. Simply put, he started the project so he would receive more postcards in his mailbox. To date, 68 million postcards are in circulation.

“The goal of this project is to allow anyone to send and receive postcards from all over the world! For each postcard you send, you will receive one back from a random postcrosser.”

Paulo Maglhaes

I set up a Postcrossing profile in March of 2016. Over the years, I’ve sent and received 257 postcards from 40 countries.

Postcrossing profile

The organizer in me enjoyed sorting the cards by country, but as my collection grew, I started sorting by subject. As a result, my collection includes gorgeous cat photos and illustrations, botanical drawings, and clever garden illustrations.

Gorgeous cat postcard
This is one of my all-time favorite cards

It seemed a shame to keep these miniature works of art in a box, so I came up with the idea of laminating several cards to use as a cover for my garden bench.

First, I created a template using a piece of thick gift wrap, then arranged the cards within the parameters of the bench’s surface.

Our local teacher’s supply store has an oversized laminator. They charge by the inch, so it’s a bargain. I used the laminator to fuse the cards to the gift wrap, returning home with what looked like a large placemat.

I slid the sheet of laminated postcards below the clear acrylic top.

Garden bench with postcard topper

I’m pleased with the final results and reminded once again how a bit of creativity soothes the soul. It’s fun remembering when each of these cards arrived in the mail, and what a joy it is to send and receive cards around the world.

Postscript: May I send you a postcard? If you would like a card in your mailbox, please send me your name and address via my contact form. I’m happy to post your card anywhere in the world.

16 thoughts on “Repurposing My Postcrossing Postcards

  1. Another clever and creative project ! I had no idea you could have something like that laminated, that’s fantastic. Your potting bench continues to be a pretty part of your garden with this latest makeover. Kind of funny, I recently was in need of an Edmonton postcard (for the traveling art journal) and had a hard time finding one I liked. Looks like other parts of the world do a much better job than us.
    BTW, one of the ‘Related’ posts here was your trip to Alberta. So I re-read that too. With Petals being ill this summer, we didn’t get to the mountains, so it was fun to look at those photos again πŸ˜€ πŸ’—πŸ’—

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    • Thank you, my dear. Postcards can be hard to find outside of tourist spots. I see them at airports and in kiosks along the Boardwalk or in downtown Carmel. The pricing is so variable, too. When we were in Sacramento earlier this year for a wedding, one place sold them five for a dollar. Other places sell them for $2. Did you finally find a card from Edmonton that you like?

      I followed you to that same post. We sure packed it in on that trip. You’ve treated me to some gorgeous places. I hope to go back again. xo

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  2. Lovely! Are you going to make a few of them and rotate them according to season? I do worry your hot sunshine might fade the colours in time, otherwise… Certainly here that would be a problem. And yes, I’d LOVE a postcard – I think you have my address already, but if not, let me know. And once I have it, I shall return the favour 😊

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    • Thank you, Kate. I love color, so finding cards of the same color and theme was enjoyable. I also like the idea of seasonal changes, though we don’t get as much use from the bench in the winter months. However, I fear you’re right about the fading. I thought the cards would do better sealed in laminate with the added acrylic top, but they have lightened a bit. I’ll bring them in for the winter and use them again next summer. One postcard coming up!

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      • I have a thought… Could you take photos of the cards, reverse the images, group them on a sheet, make iron-on transfers and turn them into cushion covers? That way, you get to ‘visit with friends’ every time you sit there.

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  3. This is a brilliant idea, Alys. I agree with Kate….you need 3 more (or more?!) so that you can make seasonal ones. The other advantage of laminating is that you would still see the messages and stamps on the reverse. Maybe that could be a feature at times too.

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    • Thank you, Anne. It was a fun and easy project, and I have many more cards in the queue waiting for inspiration. I originally wanted to show both sides since the postage and notes are equally precious, but I couldn’t figure out how to do that. Without placing the cards on the gift wrap, there is no way to feed them through the laminator. I welcome any ideas you might have to help me do that.

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