Upcycle Your Ebb Filter Packaging The Way The Postcard Machine Would

Earlier this year, some of you were awesome enough to share some feedback with me about our products–what’s working for you, what isn’t, and we can make improvements. One thing I heard several of you say was that you’d love to learn more ways to reuse and upcycle coffee, Ebb filters, and our packaging.

Michelle Ott of The Postcard Machine came to mind almost immediately. I will never forget the day I met Michelle, or should I say, the day I met the Postcard Machine. It was about 10+ years ago during one of Oakland’s Art Murmurs before it became the multi-block Telegraph Avenue event it is today–or at least was before the pandemic. As I remember the day we met, a handmade, cloth vending machine said something to me in a robotic voice, processed my payment with machine processing noises, and spat out a postcard. The postcard was made from thread sandwiched together between layers of materials, machine-stitched together with a blank paper side. It was made to be used, to be mailed to someone. It was a completely utilitarian object. And the experience, well, it was an immersive one.

I loved and love the strangeness of these slow postcard acts in a time of very fast electronic communication. Just writing “electronic” makes me feel like I’m from a very different time. That’s because I am. I remember a world pre-internet, pre-cell phone, pre-i-pod, and pre-pager. For a very brief window of life, I was a human with none of these technologies. The Postcard Machine reminds me that connection can be fun, slow, and creative in the deepest sense of the word.

But that’s enough introduction. Let’s get to our tutorial brought to you by the one and only Postcard Machine.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

PDF print out
Ebb package
scissors
sewing machine or glue
pencil and ruler optional

GOAL

2 postcards ready to write and send

Let's get started!

STEP 1

Print this PDF and cut the two postcard backs.

 

STEP 2

Trim your Ebb Filter package into two 4 x 6 inch postcards. I traced the cutouts from the PDF for this step but you may prefer using a ruler.

STEP 3

Stitch (or glue!) your postcard backs to the printed side of the two Ebb postcards. Try test sewing a “scrap” piece of the Ebb package before you sew. My sewing machine tension was way off on my first postcard.
Note: If you want something special peeking out of the circle window, you can add a layer in between the front and back pieces before sewing (or gluing).

STEP 4

Add imagery to the front of your cards then write, stamp, and mail.

 

That's it! Remember to send us pictures of your cards and tag us on IG @thepostcardmachine and @gdsclothgoods. Can’t wait to see what you all come up with.

ABOUT MICHELLE

Michelle Ott makes illustrations and hand-cut photographs focusing on observations of our physical and social world. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally most recently at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Berkeley Art Museum, and the Cranbrook Academy of Art. Her illustrations have appeared in the New York Times T Magazine online and are featured throughout The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee (2012) and Candy Is Magic (2017) both published by Ten Speed Press. Read Michelle Ott’s full bio.

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