Many of the sweepstakes require you send in postcards versus paper or index cards inserted into envelopes. If you have not purchased postcards recently, they can be quite costly. When you figure for some contests you may send anywhere from one to 100 entries, you begin to realize this can be a costly venture. There is a way to reduce your costs, and it involves you making your own postcards.
I am called the Queen of Recycling because I look at every piece of cardboard as a potential postcard. Here is another plus to sweepstaking, we rule with our recycling. Suggested materials to use for your postcards are: any cardboard product, cereal boxes, your old pictures, cookie boxes and poster or foam board.
Once you get your material you can begin cutting out your postcards. The only limitations you have in size are, they must be at least 3½ x 5 inches, to go legally through the mail. Now on to designing your envelopes and postcards!
I have seen some of the most beautiful envelopes designed with supplies found around the house. A friend I introduced to sweepstaking discovered she had a hidden artistic talent. She came up with the most amazing ideas for decorating, which led me to believe she had totally missed her calling in life. She was a “closet” artist and never knew it. There are so many perks to this hobby.
One interesting way to add color to your envelopes, is to spray paint them. Now, before you start splattering your kitchen walls, here is a suggestion. Take a medium size cardboard box and turn it on its side. Place several envelopes on the bottom of the box and start spraying. This will prevent your paint from flying everywhere. Don’t spray your whole envelope, just give it a couple of bursts with the paint. This technique makes bright, colorful envelopes that also have some texture.
Children's stickers are great to use and you can get them everywhere for reasonable prices. In a pinch, just plop some stickers on your white or colored envelopes and you’ve got a nice looking product. Even if you have no artistic ability at all, you can use stencils, which are fun to work with. While baking one day ,I had an "ah ha" moment as I was making cookies. Yep, I confiscated my cookie cutters from the kitchen and went to town making envelopes. Just trace the design and color in the lines. It doesn't get any simpler than that.
You don’t have to be Picasso, just make some smiley faces, draw some hearts, stars or plain old stripes. To enhance your designs, use glitter pens or glitter glue. And don't overlook your bathroom drawers. There are new nail polishes out that sparkle, glow and have texture which you can use like paint for your envelopes, and they are very inexpensive. With the application of these mediums you are again, adding texture.
One idea I have had a lot of success with, is using cartoons on my entries and putting funny captions on them. Cut out pictures from magazines, newspapers, clip art and calendars. Another interesting look is to use children’s coloring books. Let’s say the contest is for a well-known toy store and their emblem is a giraffe. Kids coloring books are great sources for these things. I traverse Good Will stores, where you can pick up old books for 10¢, which are great for cutting up. If you are sending an entry to win a Disney World trip, pick up an old book, cut out some characters and glue them on your envelopes.
Find pictures or cartoons that have funny facial expressions and enhance them with some comical lines like; “I neeeeeeeeeeed this win!,” “I want to win sooooooooooo bad,” or “I neeeeeeeeeeeed a vacation.” When that envelope goes across someone’s desk, it’s almost impossible not to read the captions… it’s just human nature.
I hope some of these ideas have inspired you to start pumping out some postal peacock envelopes that will have your postman laughing and your judges chuckling.
I want to hear from you. Do you have some creative ideas for sweeping? Share your thoughts on the Contests and Sweepstakes forum.
Get the inside scoop on how people are winning all of those sweepstakes and contests, and here´s a clue, it´s not all luck! Sweepstakes Your Guide to Winning! will give you step-by-step instructions on how to be a winner. To learn more, go to Sweepstakes Your Guide to Winning!
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Sandy Lovern; and Sweepstakes Success