Smithsonian National Postal Museum Hosts Wine & Design: Naked Mail

By Editorial Team on February 22, 2021
Image Credits (left to right): Naked mail letter, Bel Mills of Scrap Paper Circus; Coconut, National Postal Museum; Sweethearts packages, National Postal Museum Naked Mail Zine
Event: Thursday, February 25 from 5:30pm to 6:30pm

Register here.

What is naked mail? Simply put, naked mail is mail without packaging or a cover. Postcards are the most well-known type of naked mail, but the National Postal Museum’s collection holds a range of unusual examples of objects sent through the mail sans boxes or envelopes.

Learn about naked mail’s intriguing history and how it’s easy to send your own unique items through the mail. Artist Bel Mills of Scrap Paper Circus will also demonstrate three creative ways you can fold and design naked mail letters. Bring your beverage of choice and learn and craft with us!

Registration is free, and a Zoom link for the program will be sent to participants 24 hours before the event. Register through Eventbrite here.

Supply List:
  • (3) 8 ½ by 11 sheets of paper
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Your beverage of choice
  • Decorative rubber stamps
  • Ink
  • Colored pencils
  • Washi tape
  • Alphabet stamps
  • Collage elements

Alison Bazylinski is an Assistant Curator at the National Postal Museum. She recently earned her Ph.D in American Studies from William and Mary, where her research examined material culture, identity, and gender in the early twentieth century. She looks forward to a day when she can actually work inside of the museum rather than imagining it from home.

Maggie Sigle is the Volunteer and Intern Program Manager at the National Postal Museum. She has worked in programming at the museum since 2013, when she was first exposed to the concept of naked mail.

Bel Mills is a collage artist and book designer who, under the name of Scrap Paper Circus, upcycles vintage paper and common mail materials such as return business envelopes and cancelled stamps.