Do your handmade cards also get more often lost on the way?

Hey there,
I’m new in the postcrossing community, but I already find my watercolor painted postcards get more often lost on the way and never arrive. Do you made this experience with selfmade cards too?


Hello and welcome to the Postcrossing Forum! :slight_smile:

I have sent quite a few handmade postcards in the last few months and I don’t find that they get lost more easily than store-bought cards. I mostly make collages and they survive their trips amazingly well, even long-distance.
I mostly use cereal boxes as cardstock or blank postcards and they seem sturdy enough to make it through the sorting machines.

There are a few cards where I’m not sure if I may have to resend, but so far the loss hasn’t been significantly higher.


I’ve sent 4 cards without envelopes & they all arrived - one had a bit of damage from the sorting machines, but nothing serious.

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I would say handmade postcards (and handmade envelopes) travel waaaay slower, than just postcards

In all my 10 years of sending very weird handmade stuff through direct swaps, I count lost only 1 beermat which I sent, and two lost on the way to me (a sole of a shoe and a hand of a mannequin - objects more than cards xD)



[Adds mannequin hands to profile wishlist]

To answer @Tull’s question: So far, I have not had any lost handmade cards–although I have put the more fragile ones in envelopes. I do try to make sure that I use adequate postage; sometimes non-standard sizes or shapes require a different rate. Good luck. :blush:


I think sometimes they take longer if they need to be hand-sorted. but no, I don’t think my loss/expire rate is different.

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My handmade cards seem to have the same fate as the commercially-made variety I’ve sent… Most make it, eventually! But one kind isn’t slower than the other.

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I think my lost cards have actually all been purchased ones, with my handmade ones having a success rate of 100%!

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I paint my handmade cards and to avoid serious damage I put them in envelopes. However some kinds of cardboard will bend and crack a little that is all that happens

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I send them mostly every day. And I found out that my handmade cards take longer to the USA … Like sometimes a month longer. But they arrive :slight_smile:
Especially if I send cards made out of wood.

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Hello everyone,

In France, I did the test with and without an envelope. I must admit that my cards take longer without an envelope and some never arrived at their destination.
If you put a rare or personalized stamp on your envelope, your mail may also take longer than expected to arrive at its destination.
For example, I had made a pop-up card for my godmother’s 40th wedding anniversary, put in an envelope with a personalized stamp… Sent 2 weeks in advance, arrived 2 months late and therefore for Christmas. Distance traveled 25km… In the meantime, I had redone one that I had given in person.

A postman told me that the time may depend on the people who work at the sorting center and the checks to be made on the conformity of the stamps (sometimes).

Are you making sure the card is appropriate thickness and regulation size?

I have sent plenty of watercolor cards without envelopes and they have arrived safely. I can’t think of any that have ended up lost.

If the cards get lost, I can only assume the paper was too thin and/or soft - cards like that sometimes get damaged in the sorting machine. But, when I send watercolor cards without an envelope, I use spray varnish on them first. It’s an extra step of work (okay, two steps, because the first varnish layer has to be thin in order to not dissolve the colors) but it protects the painting from getting wet and makes the paper more resistant to bending. Cards like that behave just like printed ones in the postal system and usually arrive within a normal timeframe.

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Maybe totally irrelevant but here goes. Having worked in distribution I can tell you the floor and the bottoms of the hampers start collecting bits of waste paper. We’re supposed to clean it out and look for stray letters. But like any job, some people just can’t be bothered and I have found things that were laying there for months (based on postmark). But pick it up and turn it over and it’s an actual letter. Found an EMS letter that way once!
My point: make sure it looks like mail, back and front. Commercial cards and envelopes generally stand out as such because of their uniformity. Custom and homemade, not so much. The EMS piece was in a homemade wrapper rather than the oversized envelopes most countries’ posts supply for free. There is a reason they are big and unwieldy and not so we can charge more postage😀