I’ve been asked numerous time how I create mixed media style Pocket Letters that look like one cohesive image spread across the 9 pockets.
It’s actually quite easy and I recently took some photos to show you how I do it.
The base for this particular Pocket Letter was a Dyan Reaveley Diamond stencil placed on top of a 9.5 x 11 piece of white card stock and sprayed with various Dylusions Inks.
When it was dry, I brushed on some Media black gesso and let that dry.
Let me take a moment to mention a couple of important things.
Dylusions Inks reactivate with moisture, even looong after they’ve dried. If you’re going to add a wet medium over them, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve properly sealed the Dylusions layer first. I didn’t seal the first layer because I didn’t need to. Had I tried this with white gesso, I very likely would have had the reactivated inks seep through. Since I was working with black gesso, it wasn’t an issue.
The other thing that I’d like to mention is about borders. If you want your PL to have a border, maybe something stamped or hand drawn, and are concerned about losing some of it when cutting, wait to add it until a bit later in the process.
Ok, so for this Pocket Letter I wanted to have one large main focal point. I used a stamp from Dyan Reaveley’s Survivor stamp set, some book paper and Hero Arts India Ink in black.
After cutting out the stamped image I gave it some color with Sakura gel pens and Copic Spica glitter pens.
I also added some additional dots and doodles to the base, then glued down my focal point.
Next it was time to cut. This seems to be the part that trips people up, but once you get the sizing down, you’ll be able to do it easily.
The typical page protector used for Pocket Letters is a 3-ring, 9 pocket trading card protector. Each of the pockets measure 2.5 x 3.5, which is also the standard size for an ATC, or Artist Trading Card.
I’ve found that, for me, the easiest thing to do is to first trim my mixed media piece to size. Since I created my base with a 8.5 x 11 sheet of cardstock, I trimmed it down to 7.5 x 10.5. I lose a bit around the edges but I’m ok with that since I took that into consideration when placing my focal point. This is something that you’ll want to keep in mind when placing your own lettering or artwork so as to avoid having to cut through an area you didn’t want split.
Ok, remember how I mentioned earlier about waiting a bit if you wanted to add a border? Well now that your base has been trimmed it’s a great time to add it!
With it trimmed to size, it was now time to cut it into 9 pockets. I began with cutting it into 3 equal horizontal pieces that measured 3.5 inches high.
Next I cut it vertically, making each cut 2.5 inches wide. This cut is what produces the individual cards and is especially important because the pockets you’re slipping each piece into have very little give to them. You want to make sure that this measurement is accurate.
Once done, I inserted each card into its respective pocket, basically reassembling the image as a whole.
With the cutting done, it’s time to embellish and add goodies! I personally prefer do this one card at a time, and place each card back into its pocket before moving on to the next. I find that doing it this way works best for me as it helps me remain aware of placement relative to the overall look of the page.
Once you have these measurements and basic technique down, you can create your own mixed media Pocket Letters in no time, making each one truly unique.
I should add that you can also use this same technique for cutting one large image or photo for your non mixed media Pocket Letters.
Here are a couple more that I recently sent out for swap.
This first one shows how you can achieve an even border by waiting to add it until after it’s been trimmed to size.
For more info on Pocket Letters, please visit Janette Lane’s site HERE or look for the Pocket Letter Pals group on Facebook.
Thanks for looking and happy swapping!