Prev Next
close-up pohoto of four doodle art postcards with pen and stamps

Doodle Art Postcards: the beauty of white gel ink on painted recycled cardboard

By Brenda Ponnay

I don’t know about you but I’ve been spending a LOT of time indoors missing my friends. I’ve also been spending a lot of time indoors crafting which is perfectly normal for me but probably not for everyone else. If we’ve learned anything as we navigate the new normal of pandemic-living, we’ve learned that we each cope in our own ways.

One of my favorite ways to stay close with the ones I miss is to send good old fashioned snail mail. You can see where this is going: sending mail plus crafting equals my latest coping mechanism: Doodle Art Postcards!

Making these Doodle Art Postcards is incredibly soothing. It doesn’t take a lot of skill but it looks like it does and that is the trick!

three pictures of painted cards with doodles in white gel pen

It’s almost like those adult coloring books but with a little more freedom. You’ll be surprised what kind of art your doodling can unlock with the right medium.

overhead photo of paint supplies and cardboard for crafting

Let’s talk about the medium.

Supplies you’ll need to make your Doodle Art Postcards:

  • chip board (aka thin cardboard recycled from cereal boxes, pasta boxes, granola boxes…you’ve got them.)
  • acrylic paint in dark colors
  • a paint brush
  • white gel pens

overhead photo of dark blue paint being brushed onto cardboard box paper

1. Break down your thin cardboard boxes and cut them into mailable rectangles. I recommend something between 4×6 and 5×7 as that is the post-office-approved postcard size. However, if you are worried your cards are a little big or little small just stick a letter stamp (instead of a postcard stamp) on them and the few extra cents will guarantee they make it to their recipient.

2. Once your postcards are cut to size paint (in a very well-ventilated location) them black, or dark blue or green or whatever dark color suits your mood. I like to mix a few colors to make them even more interesting.

overhead photo of white gel pens on midnight blue painted cardboard

3. Let your cards dry completely and you are ready to start decorating with your white gel pen.

4. It’s time to dust off your doodling skills! Remember the days when you doodled in class while your teacher droned on or if you’re even older you might remember decorating a junk mail envelope when you were stuck on the phone. I know, this dates me but back in the olden days before we had phones to scroll on endlessly, doodling used to be a great way to pass the time.

three photos of doodle art in white gel pen drawn onto painted cardboard paper

Personally, I love to draw organic shapes. I love flowers and leaves and little squiggly stems with blips growing off them. But you don’t need to be an illustrator to make beautiful doodles. Really anything goes! You could write your name over and over or hatch marks or numbers! Break out a ruler and draw even lines if you like things orderly. Just let your mind drift and let your pen scrawl across the painted cardstock. Put on some music you enjoy and sip a cup of tea or coffee.

There will be a point where the process of doodling becomes more enjoyable than the actual art you create. It’s a meditative state that can be difficult to get to but once you do, you will start to feel the troubles of the day melt away as you get more and more in the zone. I swear, art can be therapy!

overhead photo of finished doodle art postcards with roll of stamps and cup of tea to the side

When you fill up a card you’ll have something personal and unique that no one else has! So pretty, right? There is something about reverse artwork on a dark background that makes it seem more intentional and contained. It’s not just doodles on a piece of paper. It’s art!

close-up photo of postcard being written with four more doodle art postcards and stamps on the side

Even better, it’s art that you can share.

5. Lastly, stick a stamp on the back, draw a line down the middle, scrawl a little note and mail them off to your friends! I guarantee your postcard will be treasured.

More Upcycled Crafts:

1. Upcycle your T-shirt into a Cute Potholder
2. Recycled Art Postcards!
3. Cherry Blossom Art from a Recycled Soda Bottle


About the Author

Brenda Ponnay

Brenda Ponnay is an author and illustrator who loves to craft and make big messes when she’s not working on her books. Whether it’s painting, baking, drawing, making castles out of card...

Brenda Ponnay is an author and illustrator who loves to craft and make big messes when she’s not working on her books. Whether it’s painting, baking, drawing, making castles out of cardboard boxes or just doing the laundry with flair, Brenda Ponnay has learned that what really makes her happy is being creative every single day.

You can read about all her crazy adventures on her personal blog: Secret Agent Josephine.

icon icon