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OriginalYouth
02-18-2008, 09:26 PM
HOW TO: Pack and Mail your ATCs for Swaps
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original article by Sarah Zamora, first posted here (http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:kBcbIzCEJxkJ:www.atcards.com/forums/showthread.php%3Ft%3D8774+atcards+how+to+article+p ack+mail+swaps+original&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us). August, 20, 2007. updated Feb 2008. all rights reserved.
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You've found ATCs, woohoo! Now that you've made the art, what next?
Here are some tips about shipping them off, so they'll reach their new homes safely and swiftly.


First: What goes on the back?
There are lots of variety of opinions on this.

Here are a variety of examples of card backs:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3079/2289421847_77316afd89.jpg

At a MINIMUM, make sure you put:
--First and Last Name
--USERNAME (mine is OriginalYouth)

I highly recommend also adding:
--Title of the card
--Title of the swap it was for (if it is a group swap)
--Date the card was created
--Contact information (address or email address, etc.)
--Signature

Other things people sometimes put:
--City, State, Country (We like to know where our cards are from!)
--Number of series/edition/ATC you've ever made
--Who the card was made for (if it's a personal swap)
--Materials/media used.
--Cute sticker, stamp, drawing or other decoration. (If you want it to look pretty!)


HOW to put it on the back?
--Use an ATC sized piece of paper, write it out.
--Print sheets with your information on them
--Use an address label and date stamp
--Purchase a specialised ATC back rubber stamp

There isn't a right or wrong way, just do them the best you see fit!

Next. How to Package them for mailing?
--First, get clear plastic sleeves for your cards.
They are not mandatory for all swaps, but they help protect your cards; from each other, transfer of glue, pencil, ink, etc, and moisture. Here are places to buy them: Wal-Mart, Hobby Lobby, Comic stores, Baseball/Sports cards stores, Ebay, and other online sources. The cheap ones are just fine, and can be found for approximately 1 cent each. (packs of 100)
--Next, secure the cards TO EACH OTHER. This way they are not rattling around in the envelope while in transit, which can cause the envelope to rip as it shifts weight in the machines.

Overlapped taping method:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3020/2289421933_8747cf500d_o.jpg

Side-by-side taping method:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2290/2290215182_c0e8f111f3_o.jpg

Both of these use a piece of cardstock behind, to secure them and keep the envelope stiff. I use clean postcards from my church (leftovers from events) and shiny junk mail.

-FreidaQuilter uses the 9-pocket pages, cut to size. Read more here. (http://www.atcsforall.com/forum/showpost.php?p=31009&postcount=6)

WHAT ELSE DO I INCLUDE?
--For a group swap, check the guidelines. Usually you'll need a Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope (for your returns).
--Make sure to read carefully for instructions about anything else the host wants done.

2 Things that are almost ALWAYS appreciated:
--A quick note! Nothing in depth, just a 'thanks for the swap'
--Extra postage. New stamps help a host pay for International returns.

--*If you want to add more, here are some ideas. Please read the host's swap instructions to see what their preferences are; there are a few hosts that do not want to receive ANY extras.
-Extra ATC as a Host/Hostess card
-ATC blanks (most of us always want to make more cards!)
-Pretty papers, stickers, fibers, embellishments (for COLLAGE artists only, a hand-drawn or digital artist might have no use for these!)
-Ephemera (papers in another language, postcards, tickets, maps, travel info)
-Stickers for the host's kids to play with (always fun!)
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2200/2290215374_6f0a560a02.jpg
NOTE: This is completely optional, and are just little gifts to say thanks!
You can always check the host's 'WISH LIST' in the bottom of their profile for more ideas.

NOW, HOW TO I ADDRESS MY ENVELOPE?
I know we all learned the basics of this when we were in 3rd grade, but there are some finer tips that will help our mail get to it's new home safely and swiftly.

First, what NOT to do:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3068/2289422323_eac270562e_o.jpg


Next, best things TO do:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2396/2289422359_e70c866a5e_o.jpg

Summary:
--Keep it Simple.
--Print, clearly, in good ink
--Don't over-decorate the front, it just confuses things!
--Automated machines read from the bottom up
- so if you're going to write anything on the envelope or decorate it
- don't put it on the very bottom or even with the last line of your address, put
it higher up.
--For INTERNATIONAL requirements, check the Universal Postal Union website (http://www.upu.int/post_code/en/postal_addressing_systems_member_countries.shtml)f or more information about your country.
--Here is the DETAILED Tutorial (http://www.upu.int/post_code/en/guide_headings_used_chapter_en.pdf)on everthing-you-might-possibly-ever-want-to-know-about-how-to-address-your-envelopes and what everything means (in PDF form)

POSTAGE!
--From US: check here for current postal prices: http://www.usps.com/prices/welcome.htm
--Is your envie thick or heavy and you want to see how much it will cost? Check out this USPS postage calculator (http://postcalc.usps.gov/LetterProperties.aspx?Country=Domestic&M=0&P=0&O=2&OZ=02141&DZ=13045).
--Want to pay for your own postage when the host is in another country? Check out information about IRCs (International Reply Coupons), (http://www.upu.int/irc/en/index.shtml)or contact the host to see if they have a Paypal account.

Lastly, it's always safer to HAND deliver your envelopes to the local post office, or post office box. It's not possible for everyone, but highly recommended.

Once again, I just want to reiterate that this article is just MY OPINION of what I have found works best. I've hosted bunches of ATC swaps in 2 years, and participated in 50+ group swaps, and 100's of personal swaps. I've probably sent and received at least 800 envelopes at my home in the past year (yes, my mailman hates me) and I rarely have any problems, and this is the system I use.


Happy swapping!

Any questions?

miss
02-21-2008, 08:07 PM
I'm so glad this awesome advice made it to the new site! But I think you have some images missing...

friedaquilter
02-23-2008, 12:39 PM
I always send my ATCs in the 9 ATC pages available for 3 ring binders, cut to size, so 6 pockets, 3 or 4 whatever the swap is for. That way they are nice and flat and don't wobble about inside the envelope. The hostess can use the same page to mail my swaps back to me. Here in the U.K. we have to pay more for bulky envelopes, which concentrates the mind!

OriginalYouth
02-23-2008, 01:06 PM
I always send my ATCs in the 9 ATC pages available for 3 ring binders, cut to size, so 6 pockets, 3 or 4 whatever the swap is for. That way they are nice and flat and don't wobble about inside the envelope. The hostess can use the same page to mail my swaps back to me. Here in the U.K. we have to pay more for bulky envelopes, which concentrates the mind!

GREAT tip, Frieda!

I've been searching for my pics to update this thread but haven't found them yet. I promise I will update when I find them! :D

OriginalYouth
02-25-2008, 11:40 AM
Okay guys! Links and Images added, whew! I found them via Google Archive!

Let me know if it is missing any holes.

Thanks!

TheeCoyote
02-29-2008, 04:21 PM
:notworthy: Excellent tutorial OY.

kristinized
03-06-2008, 09:01 PM
Exellent directions, I hope everyone reads and follows! It makes hosting so much easier!

Bright-Spark
06-27-2008, 01:15 PM
I would be interested to hear what hosts feel about using the ATC pages, as described by friedaquilter?

I have only done a few swaps, and I have followed this advice, but I think so far I have only once received the swap cards back in the page. I was wondering if it was too much hassle.

stillatthetop
06-27-2008, 02:03 PM
I was curious if the added weight of the heavier plastic raises the weight and postage costs.

When I mail swaps, my postal worker is always concerned with how rigid the package is, and often adds the extra charge because they are concerned that it is too stiff to be machined. I generally tape my cards to a backing page (regular bond folded like a letter) with just a slight overlap (most times I send 4 cards side by side).

Ibus
06-27-2008, 09:10 PM
Sorry, I didn't read the rest before I answered SATT, so my mail is about cardboard and not the ATC page.

It adds weight, which costs extra. I read this thread soon after I joined and was sending out my cards stuck to cardboard, sometimes between two pieces of card to be safe. Until I noticed that the hosts were not complying with the same guidelines. Since then I have changed my packaging and save myself at least 40p per time.

Ibus
06-27-2008, 09:16 PM
I would be interested to hear what hosts feel about using the ATC pages, as described by friedaquilter?

I have only done a few swaps, and I have followed this advice, but I think so far I have only once received the swap cards back in the page. I was wondering if it was too much hassle.
When I queried why my card was not being used for returns, I was told I would have to request it. Maybe the same applies to your packaging.

Kynara
06-27-2008, 09:43 PM
Once again, I just want to reiterate that this article is just MY OPINION of what I have found works best.

You know... the example of the envie with all the whoo-haa all over it IS a no-no in the usps rules ;) so it's not just an opinion :cool:

so to everyone out there that sends sase's with all that on it... please don't!! It might not make it back to you!!

(sorry. those envies are teensy pet peeve of mine. lol i'll get of my soap box)

Ibus
06-27-2008, 10:46 PM
whoo-haa?

Kynara
06-29-2008, 09:15 AM
well? what else would you call all the extra unnecessary stuff around the address ;) hehehe

kristinized
06-29-2008, 10:54 AM
gobblygoop?


well? what else would you call all the extra unnecessary stuff around the address ;) hehehe

Kynara
06-29-2008, 08:20 PM
gobblygoop?

hehe that works too! ;)

JAD
06-29-2008, 10:27 PM
ATCs are not a big thing in New Zealand, especially in my little back of beyond town that I live in. I'm afraid all my cards come in zippy bags (that are the right size).
It's the best we got :eek:

Hi there, Just pm me your address and I will send you some ATC sleeves..No charge :)
Jeannie

howiewonderstud
08-06-2008, 05:52 PM
well? what else would you call all the extra unnecessary stuff around the address ;) hehehe

ummmmmmmm
that frilly stuff is called Mail Art, silly...:wubclub:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mail_art

teeejay
08-21-2008, 10:25 AM
Don't know how I've missed this thread. Great info! Thanks OY! I guess I ought to spend a little time reading the "stickies", huh? :yes:

CentralCaliGrrrl
10-13-2008, 01:57 PM
How do I politely tell a trader that they did not put enough postage on their package and I had to pay the difference?
This has happened to me several times and I don't want to be rude, but I think it would be helpful to everyone if they knew.

kristinized
10-13-2008, 03:23 PM
I don't think anyone swapping here would be upset if you pm'd them thanking them for their cards but that their envie didn't have enough postage on it. In fact, they'd probably appreciate you straight out telling them so they don't make the mistake again.

OriginalYouth
10-13-2008, 03:57 PM
I agree. Great question and answer!

KatieV
10-13-2008, 05:20 PM
I've never told anyone about that! I just paid my postie for it. :embarrassed:

kristinized
10-13-2008, 06:10 PM
that's very nice of you, a postage angel :)

sometomato
11-01-2008, 11:39 PM
I have a suggestion about packing your ATCs for mailing. I have noticed that most people use scotch tape to tack the cards together for a swap. The problem with scotch tape is that it can be hard to remove without damaging the sleeves (and sometimes the cards!)
I try to use masking tape instead. It really isn't expensive and is much safer for the cards and sleeves. (and then you can re-use the sleeves!)

kristinized
11-02-2008, 12:52 AM
I have the same problem with scotch tape, I usually end up easing the cards out and tossing the sleeves because I can't get the tape off. Masking tape is a good suggestion.

OriginalYouth
11-02-2008, 03:36 PM
I have a suggestion about packing your ATCs for mailing. I have noticed that most people use scotch tape to tack the cards together for a swap. The problem with scotch tape is that it can be hard to remove without damaging the sleeves (and sometimes the cards!)
I try to use masking tape instead. It really isn't expensive and is much safer for the cards and sleeves. (and then you can re-use the sleeves!)

I'm even cheaper than that, I like to use the edges from the sheets of self-adhesive stamps... Those little 1/2" by 1" strips are the perfect size! Not too sticky either.

Totofoto
11-27-2008, 09:00 PM
Thanks for all the good suggestions and info.

MACE
01-01-2009, 04:29 PM
I've received a few cards that were taped to cards so hardily that when I removed the tape, it tore the plastic sleeve. I've been using this stuff for years and it works great. Sticks to whatever you want it too, but peels off easily upon delivery to recipient. Thumbnails below.

Siena
01-01-2009, 04:31 PM
Yes, good stuff. And if you don't have any, I find very small pieces of any tape are enough to hold cards in place and then remove easily.

AvaElizabeth
01-23-2009, 11:14 AM
Great post! Thanks for all the info.

Siena
01-30-2009, 07:19 PM
I would imagine little bags are fine... as long as it is protective and transparent, that's what's important. But try a hobby store where they sell pokemon cards and stuff for kids (also models to paint and that kind of thing). That's where I found mine.

BlueEclipse
01-30-2009, 08:15 PM
Seaside Rose - I get my sleeves for atcs at toys r u. They have them with all the sports cards. I think the brand is UltraPro or something... also, back in high school I used to play a trading card game and you could find these sometimes at comic book stores or sport card shops.

amyfaerie
02-13-2009, 10:10 PM
seaside rose, your plastic wrap idea is a good one! i might have to try it!

Ethereal_sheep
05-18-2009, 03:00 PM
Postage is up to 44 cents now (as of May 11, 2009) ^_^

OriginalYouth
05-18-2009, 03:00 PM
It's true! Thanks!

For a more in depth article about these issues, read the current ART TRADER MAG article by Shelli Heinamann!

kristinized
08-26-2009, 11:00 PM
I make flat cards (drawing/painting/paper collage mostly so my cards are flat and that is the best way to save on postage imo. I send 4 cards for .61 and 6-8 for $.98. I don't worry about delivery confirmation myself.

There's a lot of packing methods mentioned in this thread, but I store my cards in a 9-pocket page and then fold it so it's flat. It fits perfectly in a business length envelope. That way I don't have to mess around with tape.

OriginalYouth
08-26-2009, 11:31 PM
Those are great tips, a good way to go Kristin.

ICraft
10-12-2009, 10:49 PM
I just wanted to let you know that as a Newbie this was one of the most helpful threads I came across and even though I've done several personal swaps and several organized swaps now I still use it as a reference to make sure I'm not forgetting anything.

Thanks for taking the time to post all this info.
Dena

OriginalYouth
10-13-2009, 04:48 PM
EVERYtime it's helpful to one person, it's worth it. :)

Ms Bunni
10-19-2009, 09:49 PM
Thank you!:yes:

ICraft
11-24-2009, 02:35 AM
I love this posting about mailing ATCs it is awesome and so informative. Now that I have mailed several swaps and personal trades I accidently came across an idea I hope someone else finds helpful. *If I am doing a private trade 1/1 or 2/2 I always write a little thank you to the other trader and now I tape my card or cards (in their protective sleeves) on the inside of the card on the flap I have not written on (top or side depending on the card) it protects the card and - the trick - I use painters tape. It stays when you need it to and comes off clean without tearing up the plastic sleeves. I also have used it for larger swaps that I tape the cards together.
I think it works great.

Charlie
11-28-2009, 06:01 PM
I usually send atc's in a three piece bit cut off a sheet of nine but this doesn't work well if you want to send four. And it makes extra work if someone has to pull them out and slot them into single sleeves.

tlsexton0913
01-15-2010, 03:04 PM
Thank you for this very helpful information. Being new to the ATC trading this comes in handy, as I didn't know some of this. :wub:

tlsexton0913
01-22-2010, 11:38 PM
This was such a helpful hint! Now I know what to do with all those pocket pages I have. Do you cut them down when only sending like 3 cards?


I make flat cards (drawing/painting/paper collage mostly so my cards are flat and that is the best way to save on postage imo. I send 4 cards for .61 and 6-8 for $.98. I don't worry about delivery confirmation myself.

There's a lot of packing methods mentioned in this thread, but I store my cards in a 9-pocket page and then fold it so it's flat. It fits perfectly in a business length envelope. That way I don't have to mess around with tape.

kristinized
01-22-2010, 11:41 PM
I do cut the pages into thirds, but I've seen them folded too. Whatever works I guess! :)

dmnh
01-23-2010, 02:12 PM
I've always used scotch tape to tape the cards together. I always fold over one end of the pc of tape to make a little tab to get ahold of the tape to remove it easily without damaging the sleeve. I've never had any complaints using this method.
I also use greeting cards for stiffeners in the envelopes trades are sent in. The ATCs are taped to the inside of the greeting card, extras are put inside the greeting card and a note written on the inside of the greeting card. If you trade with me, you are likely to get a halloween card at christmas or a christmas card in july or a get well card when you feel absolutely fine! I don't pay attention to what the greeting card is for, I pay attention to whether the trade will fit comfortably in the greeting card.
I've never been charged more than a first class stamp for a greeting card with up to 4 ATCs and a few extras in it. Most of my cards are flat, without embellishments to add extra thickness or weight to an envelope. Those that do have embellishments, I pay the extra for.
Greeting cards can be had for a song at the thrift store. I buy them ten at a time for 50 cents. I've also found them at yard sales in the free box on many occasions!
Your tutorial on packing and mailing is quite helpful, OY!

Stephanie
03-13-2010, 08:48 PM
To those of you sending out in a regular business sized envelope - how are you including the SASE? just cramming it in there? im trying this method as i type and it aint pretty. as if it weren't obvious, this is for my first swap.

beeps
04-11-2010, 07:09 PM
To those of you sending out in a regular business sized envelope - how are you including the SASE? just cramming it in there? im trying this method as i type and it aint pretty. as if it weren't obvious, this is for my first swap.

Here is how I pack for swaps (3 or 4 cards) with SASE:

I use a regular business envelope and cut a sheet of cardstock to fix (about 3.75" by 8.5"). I then sleeve my cards and tape 2 to each side. You can also write a little note on here for the host!

For the SASE, I just figured out that you can fold the edge over about 1 inch to make the envelope about 8x4 inches (fold over the short side, not the long). I then tuck my cardstock/cards in the fold (so the SASE is behind the cardstock) and slide this in the envelope. Now, the envelope is a bit tall to seal it normal, but I just fold it over and tape it shut. I should post pictures next time I mail something.

I've read in other threads that the less folds in you SASE the better for the machines. If I'm doing a swap that wants a label and stamps/money, I just tape these carefully to the cardstock.

kristinized
04-11-2010, 11:10 PM
I fold my SASE into 3rds, and have never had a problem with postal machines. Of course I rarely swap anything other than flat/drawn cards so maybe that's why the envies don't get caught in the sorting machines.

Tilas
08-03-2010, 07:50 PM
This guide is really helpful! I have a bunch of those binder card holders from when I collected Pokemon cards, so I'll use those for shipping!

Question though, for the backs of the cards, I made actual "business cards" which are almost the same size (2X3.5) for mine, are they okay? Can I just glue them on the back, or should they be removable with tape?

KatieV
08-03-2010, 07:52 PM
Yeah, go ahead and glue them on!

PAMI
08-16-2010, 02:58 PM
Thanks for the info wished that I had gone to this page before I mailed them today.Oh well live and learn. I stored thi info in my memory bank that is if iI don't loose it.

ICraft
08-27-2010, 08:25 PM
Whenever I trade with someone new I try to remember and send them a link to this site - I found it so helpful and informative when I was starting out - I was very happy to see that a couple of people I recently sent the link to visited and left comments - thanks for taking the time to write this up for everyone - we all appreciate it.

Art101
09-03-2010, 05:05 AM
I have limited stores in my area, but finally found plastic sleeves in WalMart (30 miles away!). Now, the location within the WalMart store was another hunt - not in stationary, not school supplies, not arts/craft, not toys, but in the tobacco section up by the front register. Seems that the tobacco section handles trading cards, thus the plastic sleeves. I was lucky to find a manager who knew the store layout, the first 4 workers I asked were clueless. :arghh:

Anyway, I found a pack of 25 for about $3.00. Thanks for all the tips, I'm working on my first trade. :yes:

Siena
09-03-2010, 09:15 AM
Hey, if you have to travel that far and pay that much for sleeves, you should put sleeves on your wish list for supplies, on your profile page. That way, some people will stick a few in with the trades they send you, and hopefully you won't have to buy too many!

ICraft
09-05-2010, 02:07 AM
Ouch, Art101 you paid a lot for those - I think Siena has a great idea to put them on your wish list. Our Walmart has them in the baseball (well all sports really) trading card section at the front of the store. They come packaged 100 sleeves for $1 - they're so cheap for me I'd be more than happy to send you some.

Art101
09-06-2010, 05:28 AM
Why thank you ICraft! I PM'd you my address. I'll keep looking for a source around here, too.

Art101
10-27-2010, 03:05 AM
Update: I finally found the "penny sleeves" [as they are known in the baseball card world, or so I was told] in a comic book store on the mainland. They were more like "2 pennies each sleeves", but still way cheaper than what I'd found before for the heavy weight ones. So if you are searching, try a comic book store.

tlsexton0913
10-29-2010, 03:17 PM
You can get 100 sleeves for .75 at BCW Supplies (http://www.bcwsupplies.com/products/trading-card-sleeves-and-toploaders/card-sleeves-2-5_8x3-5_8.htm) online.

Art101
10-30-2010, 03:35 AM
You can get 100 sleeves for .75 at BCW Supplies (http://www.bcwsupplies.com/products/trading-card-sleeves-and-toploaders/card-sleeves-2-5_8x3-5_8.htm) online.
Thanks for the lead. Unfortunately, shipping can be a make-it-or-break-it for me (I do not live in the continental U.S). Shipping for 3 packs of sleeves ($2.25 for products) is quoted as over $33.00 for shipping to me. That is because they won't use regular U.S. Postal Service, which has the cheapest price for small packages. :huh:

tlsexton0913
10-30-2010, 01:18 PM
Thanks for the lead. Unfortunately, shipping can be a make-it-or-break-it for me (I do not live in the continental U.S). Shipping for 3 packs of sleeves ($2.25 for products) is quoted as over $33.00 for shipping to me. :huh:

Wow, that is alot for shipping! I hope you can find something in your country.

Art101
10-31-2010, 03:34 AM
I pay $1.25 for 100 of them. PM me your address and I'll send you some.


holy cow. That's a lot. Well I hope you found someplace where you can get them for less than that.

I did find a place, thank you, on the mainland. At a comic book store. I bought MANY packs of them. :wub:

Art101
10-31-2010, 03:39 AM
Wow, that is alot for shipping! I hope you can find something in your country.
Actually, Hawaii is in the United States, it is not a different county. Although, there are many people here who would like to see a renewal of sovereignty. Anyway, back on topic, the shipping can be crazy if the company won't ship a small package via the postal service. For large stuff, it is a toss up on which method of shipping is the most economical - post office vs UPS/FedEX.

tlsexton0913
10-31-2010, 12:43 PM
Yay! So glad you found some!


I did find a place, thank you, on the mainland. At a comic book store. I bought MANY packs of them. :wub:

Art101
11-01-2010, 08:50 PM
Wow, Art101, I'd love to go to Hawaii someday. *dreamy eyes*
There are travel packages that are really affordable!! :yes:

Art By Camilla
11-02-2010, 04:08 PM
Several people in this thread have advised using masking tape to secure the cards. I was just contacted by someone I sent cards to, and they said the masking tape damaged the sleeves, and I would be better off to use Scotch tape. Just wanted to point that out for those of you that read this thread and are considering masking tape. Apparently it is not such a great choice.

Camilla

Art101
11-02-2010, 07:20 PM
Maybe what they use is the artist's tape, which is less tacky than regular masking tape?

Hint: When I tape to sleeves/paper, I try to remember to "fold over" one end of the tape before I place it onto the sleeve/paper. That way, when someone else tries to remove the tape, it has a tiny little "handle" to pull, so that it comes off easier.

tlsexton0913
11-02-2010, 10:54 PM
Painters tape is the blue tape and it is great for securing the cards in sleeves inside an envelope. It doesn't damage the sleeve either. I've received cards in my swaps from people who use it and it comes off easily and clean!

Art101
11-03-2010, 03:18 AM
Yes, painter's tape is another option.

I think artist's tape is even "less sticky" than painter's tape. I have a brand of artist's tape that is the same beige color as regular masking tape. But it pulls off of paper without damaging it, and it is a "must" supply to me for watercoloring.

By the way, it is great for wallpaper repairs, too. When wallpaper seams pop open, you can use glue and artist's tape (to hold the paper down while it dries). The tape will peel off once the glue is dry. [But test a small area first, to make sure this technique is compatible with your type of wallpaper.)

Art By Camilla
11-03-2010, 05:45 AM
Painters tape is the blue tape and it is great for securing the cards in sleeves inside an envelope. It doesn't damage the sleeve either. I've received cards in my swaps from people who use it and it comes off easily and clean!

I had been avoiding painters' tape due to the cost, but after trying to work with scotch tape last night and make little tabs on the ends, I found myself very frustrated. (I have manual dexterity issues with my hands/fingers). I may have to break down and buy some. Gosh, is this turning out to be an expensive hobby! Getting started out is the hardest part, because there are so many basics that you need to have. After that, it is just replacing/expanding your supply collection as you go along. (Or I least I hope I reach that point soon!)

Thanks for a great discussion about this tape topic, everyone. I appreciate the input.

Camilla

tlsexton0913
11-03-2010, 10:00 AM
I had been avoiding painters' tape due to the cost, but after trying to work with scotch tape last night and make little tabs on the ends, I found myself very frustrated. (I have manual dexterity issues with my hands/fingers). I may have to break down and buy some. Gosh, is this turning out to be an expensive hobby! Getting started out is the hardest part, because there are so many basics that you need to have. After that, it is just replacing/expanding your supply collection as you go along. (Or I least I hope I reach that point soon!)

Thanks for a great discussion about this tape topic, everyone. I appreciate the input.

Camilla

I know what you mean. Before I started doing ATCs I did jewelry making, scrapbooking, and general crafts. Let's just say that after 9 years of doing the other stuff, I won't run out of any ATC materials any time soon. I actually made and sold jewelry online. Not so much anymore, as I spend way too much time on my ATCs and Swaps!

goatgoddess
11-03-2010, 11:32 AM
another thing OY came up since this post and I use all the time now - is to take cardstock (or cereral box cardboard) and make a set of pockets

I make mine out of old work flolders or cardstock

they are about 8.5 inches wide - make it about 5-6 inches tall - fold over to make a long pocket - then you can staple that to make three atc sized pockets - gives you room for 3-4 bulky cards or 6-7 thin cards

it also give the host sometime to ship your cards back in - need to use the long envies for this and I just note for the host to please reuse for my returns.

KatieV
11-03-2010, 11:59 AM
Those pockets are great! They usually run the postage up the .20 for being stiff or lumpy, but it's worth it!

tlsexton0913
11-03-2010, 01:36 PM
I've also seen people cut an 8 1/2 x 11 9 pocket card sleeve into sections of 3 across and send their cards in that.

maggiebloom
12-08-2010, 11:03 PM
:):spinny: Thanx for the timely advice! I'm ready to mail my 1st swap cards. Happy holidays. Maggie

beeps
03-08-2011, 06:51 PM
as a host, i LOVE when people send in the sleeves as posted above. i know some hosts don't like them but I do.

also, i read for masking tape, if you stick it to your shirt or pants and then use it, the fibers from the cloth help to "dampen" the stickyness.

i'll stress how important it is to spread the cards in the envelope vs. letting them be either free OR stacked together. ALL late cards I receive in my swaps (some up to a month late) were not properly packaged and a) they came in late and b) the envelope and sometimes cards were destroyed by the postal service.

lodiprincess
06-11-2011, 04:22 PM
FYI.....In case anyone reads this far, I have a suggestion.....at least it's one that I do. On the envelope I print the following...Hand Cancel Please.......

thatgeekyartgirl
08-26-2011, 12:05 AM
Thanks for the tips. Im new to all this and want to be prepared for my first swap and postage was a big concern for me

lemurkat
08-26-2011, 01:39 AM
If using cards, put them in upside down so that the crease is at the top. I have had several envelopes come open in the post (ones to me, I always use tape), and although I have been really lucky and nothing has fallen out, it can't fall out if it is a, stuck down or b, underneath a neatly packed notecard.

KaleidescopeI's
01-06-2012, 12:23 AM
Great info...very helpful especially with some visuals. I wasn't quite sure about the information on the back. :D

WeAre138
01-06-2012, 04:27 PM
For people in the UK, here is an ebay seller doing 500 sleeves for 3.75 (free shipping). That's about the cheapest I've seen them :)

trishadeb
01-22-2012, 08:30 PM
Thanks for the tips here! I am a newbie and really appreciate the time spent in writing the guidelines:)

artsylikewhoa
06-28-2012, 01:35 PM
Good information! Thanks!

CynthiaSillitoe
06-29-2012, 09:48 PM
Leah, I will send you a message on atc info. A question foy you, though-- someone was told that the Post Office won't hand cancel things--is that just if they're not doing the extra postage? For instance, if you had something less than an ounce, put a forever stamp on it, and then wrote hand-cancel on it, would it go through the machine anyway?

spunsister
11-15-2012, 10:19 PM
A very helpful thread, thanks!

hippie_vampire
03-23-2013, 03:31 PM
I'd just like to say for tape what ever you do DON'T USE STICKERS. I've had a few personal trades where the other person has used stickers to put them on a note card and I had to just take the cards out of the sleeves and toss the sleeves because not only could I not get the stickers off without ripping the sleeves I almost bent the cards trying! I know they look cute but use for decoration, not adhesive.

Mx5gurl
10-04-2013, 01:01 AM
Where do we send ATC's for trade? I see Halloween and Autumn, would love to participate in both and I am new, Not really sure what I am doing?
Looking for your guidance, and so happy to find more places to trade :)

kentuckydakota
10-04-2013, 02:20 AM
Where do we send ATC's for trade? I see Halloween and Autumn, would love to participate in both and I am new, Not really sure what I am doing?
Looking for your guidance, and so happy to find more places to trade :)

Once you post in the swap and join, you can go to the original post, click on the swap hosts name which opens a drop down menu and click the third one down which says "send a private message to ____" (host's name) Then you request their address and they will send it to you. Hope that helps. :)

Kynara
01-31-2014, 10:43 AM
Thank you all for the info. I am getting charged different prices depending on which post office I go to. My last mailing cost two full stamps for under one ounce in a business sized envelope because I asked for nonmachinable. It was not rigid or unusual in any other way. I didn't want the paper foil on my art to be bent.

Does anyone know if that is part of the new rate change from January?

No, non-machinable for stuff you don't want bent has been around for awhile...

Kynara
01-31-2014, 11:18 AM
my bad. lol

it was 20 cents and just went up to 21 cents. i could see it possibly costing an extra 42 cents if it went over an ounce and non machinable. but not 49 cents... what i did when i had an issue like that was to print out the info from the usps website and then took it in with me and said "could you help me explain what this means" that way they could see the actual rule without me making an accusation that would get them crabby. LOL

Kynara
01-31-2014, 05:39 PM
Good idea. You're very diplomatic!

When it comes to my local post office whom I depend on for EVERYTHING (ebay, etsy and of course swapping) and there's only 3 people in the whole building... I try to keep them ALL happy. hehehe :D

GwennieJo
03-10-2014, 11:33 AM
Love this sticky & thread - very helpful for a newbie!

Virpukka
07-01-2014, 06:41 PM
I need to learn patience to read this kind of topics before doing anything. Learned a bunch from posting my ATCs but I just wish I would have read this through before sending my first cards. I really hope that they make it through to the swap host in one piece since I just figured out that they weren't packed so well. :huh:

debs913
07-27-2015, 12:12 PM
Tape--Washi tape is very good for taping plastic sleeves together. However, it will rip paper ---so don't use it to tape dollar bills to your card sleeves. It also is not good with postal machines...only tape the P.O. likes on envelopes is box tape...no Scotch tape, stickers, or washi there.

On your return envelopes make sure to put the HOSTS address in the return address slot, not yours.

TrinaLD
07-28-2015, 09:57 AM
Tape--Washi tape is very good for taping plastic sleeves together. However, it will rip paper ---so don't use it to tape dollar bills to your card sleeves. It also is not good with postal machines...only tape the P.O. likes on envelopes is box tape...no Scotch tape, stickers, or washi there.

On your return envelopes make sure to put the HOSTS address in the return address slot, not yours.
debs913, Thank you for the additional info about the host's name. I'd not even thought about that to tell the truth.

I've taken to sending single cards lightly taped with scotch magic to a card of some sort (usually something the other person might find useful). I recently received a lovely card in a trade that had been crumpled during mailing. This might still have happened even without the extra support, but the damage wouldn't have been as great. The card, by the way, is still quite lovely.

I also recently received a card from someone who used some sort of really super adhesive double stick tape or something to adhere the cards to a piece of cardboard. I, like someone above in the thread, had to discard the sleeves as I couldn't get the adhesive off of the sleeves and one of them actually ripped.

There's a lot of great advice here. Thanks for adding more.

violet
08-21-2015, 02:55 AM
Just did my first swap and this article was such a great help. Thank you, Original Youth!

violet
08-21-2015, 03:00 AM
I cut the side off of a tissue box to #10 envelope size and taped mine to that for mailing. Hope it works!

Loladog
01-21-2017, 10:45 AM
This is a great summary
Thank you

Lois
03-07-2017, 10:41 AM
Years ago I bought a pack of #11 envelopes. (That's a USA size that is slightly larger that a #10 but still meets the post office standards for the least postage.)

Now I print my return address on a #10, put all the ATCs and stuff in it, and slip everything into the #11 addressed to the host. Works GREAT!

----------
I started trading in 2005, and have always stored ATCs in 3-ring binders -- in either 9-up (for vertical cards) or 8-up (for horizontal cards) clear plastic binder pages. So I have boxes of those pages around. To mail 3 or 6 cards, I would cut a 9-up page in thirds and use one strip per envelope. These keep the cards flat (no overlapping) and make the mail as thin as possible. This way, even if the envelope is ripped one never loses any art. (For mailing more, I'd use a full 9-up sheet and fold it into thirds -- which exactly fits a #10 envelope but take a little extra postage.)

For folks who don't have binder page sheets, you can make a safe and easy holder from a plain sheet of paper -- by folding it up a third and putting one staple a third of the way in from each end then place your ATCs in each pocket and fold the top down. (Since the two staples are cross-wise to the envelope, this does not hinder the postal sorting machine.)

PS: Most hosts here at AfA want cards to be sent in penny sleeves. Those also fit into all of the above just fine.

-- Lois (available for trade -- ATCs or mail art)

Kynara
03-07-2017, 11:37 AM
I LOVE LOVE LOVE my size 11 envelopes! I hoard them and only use them when I need to send an SASE. No one around here sells them so I have to buy them online. But they're definitely worth it! :cute:

the only slight problem I've found with using the cut up binder pages is that the penny sleeve gets crinkled up in them and sometimes bends the cards. The cards you send may fit fine, but the cards you receive in the swap may not. It's just extra hassle for the host trying to get them to fit. lol And it can add to the weight. When hosting, I've had some that have gone over 1 ounce and had to have extra postage because of the plastic holder. (plus the hostess has to deal with keeping track of it) Now that being said, there are alot of hosts who like and prefer sending that way. :wubclub: We all have our different preferences and peculiarities haha

thanks for sharing and sharing pics too!

Seascape131
11-17-2017, 07:31 PM
Thank you

Beauty Hides Pain (BHP)
04-18-2018, 07:58 PM
A HUGE THANK YOU!! This makes it much easier to understand for us slower...TBI people out there. I love this place!
I sorry I didn't read it a week ago. :(

Kynara
04-27-2018, 04:16 PM
I have a question on the postage am I suppose to pay for my postage for my self and there's too?

yes, the postage you send to a host is to cover the cost of her sending the cards back to you. in one on one trades you don’t send postage.

tsallaway
08-28-2019, 01:10 AM
Very informative... thank you :D

KatTaylor
04-19-2020, 06:29 AM
I am in the UK and worry that I will mess up the amounts I send for returning the post.

2 quick questions:

1. Does anyone here post to the USA from the UK and can give me some estimates? :)

2. Does anyone do Paypal in order to send the money over instead of having to get US dollars?

No worries, if not, I think I still have some dollars somewhere (I am from the states originally, so that is handy!)

Thanks,
Kate