Strengthening weak card

October 1st is both World Postcard Day and International Coffee Day, so I had the brainwave of dying some of my plain white postcards with coffee

Visually pleased with the results. Practically…they’ve become as flexible as paper.

Any ideas on how I can use these now? Will they survive the sorting machines?

Sticking them in an envelope seems counter to WPD but is the only thing I can think of right now, aside from sticking on side or another to plain card


If you have PVA glue, or similar glue, would coating one side of it help? I don’t know to be honest, though I am sure someone else here would be able to help :slight_smile:

Some cards I’ve sent were thin (art paper, 150g) . They became thicker and stronger because I put decorations (washi tapes & stickers). They survived their travels

It’s similar with cards from Japan I’ve received. Japanese cards tend to be thin, they managed to reach me better if they’re decorated. Of course there’s factor how the postie handle them as well. Hope that helps (if you’re into decorating the card)


Are they fully dry? Because I always feel dying paper makes it little stronger, but when moist, they are not what they will be.

These do look really thin. Maybe glue two together?
Or, are you planning to decorate the fronts, that will make it stronger.
Also stamps, if you use many, stickers etc will help too.

I have here few thin cards, but I can’t bend these like that.

Also yes, a coating of glue maybe makes it more stiff?

I think they are dry, but I have left them out to dry more just in case

I have gotten some clear sticky back plastic that I plan to cover them with - that way, even if they are still bendy, they shouldn’t get torn or ripped

I was planning on just drawing and writing on them, as I don’t have any stickers or washi tape, but I do have other cards I can cut up to make a collage

I will be using about four stamps on each, hopefully that will help too

I cover fragile handmade cards with clear plastic, and haven’t heard of any problems about damage. That should help siginificantly.

Your experience with coffee dying is interesting. It must somehow degrade the paper. It looks great, though - nice effect! :sunglasses:

I think that’s what I’m going to go for - clear sticky plastic - plus probably a bit of collage for fun

It was pretty easy to dye them! Make coffee in cafetiere, pour over cards (including the grounds) and leave for 10 minutes, heat oven to 90-100’C, pour off coffee but keep some of the grounds and add kosher salt, bake for 10 minutes


If you want I can volunteer as test object just send me one and we will see in which shape it arrives. :slight_smile: Really love them amazing idea

Clear packing tape can make thin papers more robust. Inexpensive and flexible. It’ll also seal the message side after you’ve addressed and written your card.

But some tape and plastic film will ruin the text (and some images/colours). I think it depends what glue is in the tape/film and/or what plastic it is.

I have received cards where message is covered in clear tape, and the text spreads under it and is not readable anymore :frowning:

I use mc glue to harden paper, its methylcellulose glue, what they use for wallpaper. You should use a glass plate, thin layer of glue, lay the card on it, glue on the top side and let dry. You can peel it of like a screen protector on a new phone, very satisfying :grin:

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So right! It also depends on the ink used (e.g. waterproof vs. other; I always use waterproof ink). You might try doing a very light spray with permanent fixative over any writing/drawing, and then ‘laminate’ in some way.

I use clear matte contact paper and it works great. This is the exact stuff I use, but you can use a different brand from a different retailer:

You’ll want to use a bone folder to press it down tightly and prevent air bubbles

I basically ended up using that. Wish I’d thought of using the bone folder though!

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One of the postcards has successfully arrived! GB-1580027

So collage + sticky-back-plastic/clear film is apparently enough to get a card through the UK and USA machines! Although I don’t know what state it’s in (the photo is before I sent it)