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Good Mail Day: A Primer for Making Eye-Popping Postal Art

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  661 Ratings  ·  58 Reviews
“What is a good mail day?” A good mail day is a day when, instead of just bills, catalogs, and advertisements, your postal carrier delivers artful, beautiful, personal mail from friends and acquaintances all over the world. Mail art is a collaborative art form with a long and fascinating history populated by famous artists as well as everyday practitioners. The term “mail ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Quarry Books (first published January 1st 2009)
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Hannah Greendale
Oct 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Good Mail Day is a comprehensive introduction to the art of handcrafted envelopes and is packed with colorful images to inspire creativity.

The authors provide a brief history of mail art along with a list of rules for newbies who wish to join the mail art community. Tips are provided on how to win over one's mail carrier along with guidance on where to discover unique ephemera for free.

Much of the book encourages readers to make everything from scratch, so helpful information is provided on cu
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: craft
Once upon a time there were letters. This was the Olden Days, of course. Back when people used more than their thumbs and a bunch of short-handed spelling to communicate...which is, in itself, such a labor I know, because there should be emojis for everything. (Someone you've actually met is nodding their head right now.) But no, these were hardy folk some might mistake for pioneers who picked up pens and filled several sheets of paper with their thoughts and questions - then signed their names ...more
Jaina Bee
Dec 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: pen pals, mail artists, crafty types
Recommended to Jaina Bee by: Chloe
Fun, fancy, and full of ideas, technique, and just enough mail art history to send you searching for more. This book inspired me to get back into sending things via post.
Jan 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crafts, nonfiction
Innovative, bright ways to re-invent your junk mail and build relationships via the old-fashioned art of correspondence wait for you in this book. Gone are the days of the pony express, sadly. Yet we humans still loiter around the mailbox, rallying our hopes if the postal worker's bundle looks interesting. If I received any of the resourceful and occasionally stutter-inducing missives pictured in Good Mail Day: A Primer for Making Eye-Popping Postal Art, I'd probably give Phillip a hug. I'm not ...more
Nov 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art, make-craft
This is a nifty little book. It doesn't blow up the world for people who've been naturally signifying their correspondence, but the authors provide affirmation that others are doing it too and show you how to connect with your postal art comrades. There might be a few nuggets of interest for mail artists who already know this world and explored various techniques. I don't consider myself an expert. I would assess myself as intermediate-level. I do try to make my notes, letters, cards and envelop ...more
Enjoyable look at the history of mail art, with plenty of tips and ideas for creating and sending your own mail art.
liberal sprinkles
I'm so happy I stumbled across this book in the library. I love it! The photos are lovely, the artworks delicious and the book is pure fun.

- It sets down rules: among them, "no returns" - yay!; "give as good as you get"; "document".
- It spells out the 10 commandments. My favorite: Thou shalt be irreverent.
- It gives plenty of advice (the 7 seven sins of mailing; 7 suggestions for shepherding your mail art safely to its destination) and
- there are great tips and reminders on looking out for inspi
Rachel Kopel
Nov 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
I read this book in a morning at Borders. I used to do a lot of mail art, but rarely do any these days. This book was a delight, I referred it to two friends right away. Mostly I knew what it had to say, but the information was wonderfully clear and presented in a fun way and very inspirational. I came home and did a little mail art. Great for a beginner, but also inspiring for someone with experience. More eye candy.
Aug 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who likes to write letters and wants to send "good mail"
Recommended to Jan by: found online several places but Missive Maven's blog convinced m
What fun. This book is filled with such great ideas & cute pictures I had to start reading it as soon as it arrived in my mailbox.

Love the "Ten Commandments of Mail Art," the chapter creating a traveling mail art kit, fun ways to decorate envelopes, and they even included an envelope template and stickers. In short, it's filled with great ideas that even a non-artistic person like myself can use to send creative mail.
Jan 18, 2010 rated it liked it
I wanted to like this more than I did. I think I was expecting more of a primer - more "how to" content. Instead, it addresses the "why to" and provides a lot of inspiring examples. The examples are great, but the book was not what I expected overall.

Go make a good mail day for someone - send mail art! Or even just a card. :^)
Mar 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-of-2012
"When you write to your friends, make your letters so beautiful in form and text that they will be read, re-read, and cherished a long time after as a fond memory." ~Book of Etiquette, 1922
As is true for many – or even most – DIY and art instruction texts, this book would've looked much better in its print or even Kindle edition. But Jennie Hinchcliff and Carolee Gilligan Wheeler's Good Mail Day: A Primer for Making Eye-Popping Postal Art's actual audience is artists (or even those who would only call themselves "hobbyists") who already have some experience with producing ATCs, decos, collaborative art journals, or other mailed/shared/traded art forms, so more textual information ...more
Jun 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Fun to look through, and overall pretty good, but at times the authors got FAR too melodramatic about their passion for snail mail. "REDEEM EVERY WASTED MOMENT OF YOUR LIFE AND TURN IT INTO ART! NO LONGER WILL ALL YOUR SPARE TIME BE MEANINGLESS!" they reiterate a few too many times. Whoah. Just chill. I'm as passionate about snail mail, crafts, and my hobbies as many are, but it is OKAY to be doing nothing sometimes. Resting is ok. Pausing is ok. Life isn't meaningless if you aren't doing someth ...more
Mar 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: domestic-bliss
An interesting book that lays out a ton of rules and commandments for creating and sending mail, which turned me off so I just flipped through the rest of the book.
I prefer pastels and shabby chic designs and decor, so that maybe why I wasn't inspired to rummage through recycling bins and find random "materials" (which I call junk) for making mail art.

Maybe Elyse Major could write about about tinkered mail art. (Hint hint) :-)
Tami Winbush
Dec 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Nice book, with good facts on how correspondence is used and mail art came to be, but I was really hoping for more hands on/how to information.
Jan 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: art, non-fiction
OOooh! Pretty! Inspiring! Now I will make mail out of trash! And become an esteemed part of the NETWORK! :)
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I never realized just how much mail art and Dadism and the Fluxus movement were tied together! All the connections are starting to make sense to me now. A delightful guide that is sure to inspire and motivate people to think outside of the box and send some mail!
Korie Brown
Oct 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fun ideas in here!
Dawn-Elin Fraser
Fun and creative way to jumpstart your letter writing.
Joan Marie
Oct 22, 2016 rated it liked it
A fun book to browse for those who love to think outside the box, or in this case, the envelope.
Feb 27, 2015 rated it liked it
This was fun, with a quick history of mail art from the 20th century on (dada to fluxus), and a whole host of GOOD ADVICE on what you can do that will make it through the post - and what usually doesn't work but has been tried. (someone mailed a clay brick? seriously? I can just imagine how much it cost in postage...) I won't lie, I felt a little melancholy reading this. My local post office has been cut and hammered into nigh nonexistence as the powers that be try to bully everyone into online ...more
liberal sprinkles
I'm so happy I stumbled across this book in the library. I love it! The photos are lovely, the artworks delicious and the book is pure fun.

- It sets down rules: among them, "no returns" - yay!; "give as good as you get"; "document".
- It spells out the 10 commandments. My favorite: Thou shalt be irreverent.
- It gives plenty of advice (the 7 seven sins of mailing; 7 suggestions for shepherding your mail art safely to its destination) and
- there are great tips and reminders on looking out for inspi
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, own
I really enjoyed paging through this pretty book and will draw a ton of inspiration from it. My current infatuation with snail mail will be a lot more creative and colorful based on many of the ideas offered in both the text and the beautiful photos. I especially liked the idea of creating a portable mail art kit to take with me on trips and how to get inventive with various materials while corresponding on vacations. This really covers all aspects of creative mailing: the history of mail art, t ...more
Oct 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
A fabulous inspiration for seasoned Mail Art practitioners and people coming to it for the first time alike. Mail Art is using the postal system to be inspired and disseminate art, and is great fun! This book not only has some useful 'how-tos' but also examples of existing work, and pointers on things such as etiquette and handwriting.
Even if you don't know what Mail Art is all about but like things to do with paper, or mail, or stationery, this would be a book worth checking-out.
Jennie Garcia
Apr 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book! It has a bunch of history bits and anecdotes without being boring. It has many cool ideas with things you can find at home. I like the artist stamps chapter, it was probably my favorite. I enjoyed the extra stickers on the back! The gallery is very cool and interesting and I wish they had even more examples. The references to other books and websites are great. I wish they had gone a little bit more artistic but for that I could buy a mixed media book.
Mar 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art, favorites
I love mail. I love art. This is a mail art book with some history of the movement along with helpful tips on how to get started and how to adhere to the established rules of the art movement, of which there are only three: no jury/no returns/documentation for all.

That phrase was enough to pique my interest, and it certainly turned out to be a lovely find. Will be using this book as reference as there are many good tips as well as web sites and other information.
Taymara Jagmohan
May 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book!

It revived me from the post traumatic stage I have been going through! :)

Absolutely wonderful. I enjoyed it.

Thank you so much, and now everything seems so light and creative. Postal art, prepare for Taymara to take you through! :D

Yours truly and ever blossoming,
Dec 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book! It has a really nice way of explaining the history of mail art and the photographs and illustration is really nice. I enjoyed looking at the Mail Art Mailbox artwork from around the globe. I think this book is great for people who are new to mail art and I like the postcard templates in the book and think they will help anybody learn where to start.
Apr 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Truly enjoyed the history, as well as the photographs, in this book. Authors seemed to do quite a bit of research. Love the sense of mail voyeurism as I paged through the collection. The how-to sections, postcards and stickers have prompted me to start up mail art again, but this time with my daughter and hopefully, niece.
Mary Cartledgehayes
Aug 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The go-to book about jumping into the eternal network of mail artists.

I'm biased; I'd only just begun doing mail art when one of my pieces was chosen for this book. But it's a fine piece of work nonetheless.
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