Send a Wood Postcard with Photo

wood postcard

On my honeymoon in Hawaii (humble brag) I bought a wood post card and didn’t believe that it could be mailed with regular postage. I was wrong. I knew I had to make my own some day. I mean, who doesn’t want to receive a wooden postcard in the mail?

Be warned, there are restrictions on what the post office will allow you to send. I have done the troubleshooting for you, so all you have to do is follow the rules. As long as you follow these rules, you can mail a piece of wood at regular postage rate plus a “non-machinable surcharge.” It’s all less than a dollar!

RULES

*Cannot be more than 1/4″ thick
*Cannot exceed letter size (6 1/8″ x 11 1/2″)

MATERIALS

wood postcard1*Piece of wood (Michaels has rectangle pieces that are 6×5 and only 1/8″ thick)
*Gel Medium (gloss)
*Mod Podge (I like the antique)
*Foam brush
*Sand paper
*Picture photocopied onto thin paper

FIRST

*Find a picture you want to use. If it has any words on it, you may want to flip the picture horizontally. If not, all of the letter will be backwards in your finished product.
*Get the picture printed using a photocopier.
*Using the foam brush, apply the gel medium liberally onto the wood and the picture.
*Place the picture face down onto the wood and smooth it out. (use a credit card or something like that)
*Let it dry over night.

SECOND

wood postcard2wood postcard3*The next day, get some water in a bowl and wet your fingers and dampen the entire surface of the paper (you can also use a sponge if you want).
*Lightly rub away all of the paper. It will come off of the wood leaving the photo on the wood.
*Let it dry completely.

THIRD

wood postcard4wood postcard5*Using the foam brush, apply Mod Podge onto the surface.
*Allow to dry for 20-30 minutes and re-apply.
*You can put 3-4 coats on, until you are satisfied with the feel. (This is why I like to get 1/8″ thick wood pieces. If you start with 1/4″ it won’t fit within the rules when you’re done)
*Once it is all dry, you can sand the edges with the sandpaper to get the leftover gel medium off.

FINAL TOUCHES

*Design the back in any way you want. Remember to leave the area for the stamp they will put on and they may even put an ink stamp somewhere, so don’t fill up the back with a love sonnet.
*I like to design the back with the addresses and a quick note, then I put a layer or two of Mod Podge over it so that come rain or snow, the design will go through!

AT THE POST OFFICE

*Remember, they don’t see this very often and may tell you that it has to go as a package. That’s like $3 and they put stickers all over the post card. Be nice, and let them know this…

“It should be the letter rate, not parcel rate. It doesn’t exceed letter dimensions.” If they are still having a hard time believing you, ask them to, “Go into DMM101.1.2, that’s the non machinable criteria. Look at Letters B and E. It’s still a letter sized piece. Not a parcel.”

Believe me, I’ve done the research! They will probably NOT look anything up, because if you’re saying all that, they know you did the research. Just do me a favor and as you walk out, say quietly, “Thanks, Pat!”

Happy DIY-ing, my friend!

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