Friday, September 14, 2007

Handmade Cards & USPS

I've mailed a few "lumpy" (embellished) cards recently with the knowledge that the postal service uses machines to cancel postage and sort mail and that most likely, my cards weren't machine friendly. It didn't take a whole lot of research to learn that the USPS has a term for the type of cards I sent - nonmachinable mail - and that these cards required an additional $.17 postage.

The following are USPS characteristics of nonmachinable mail:
  • Square letters (The minimum size for a square envelope is 5x5-inches.)
  • Too rigid - does not bend easily
  • Clasps, strings, buttons or similar closure devices
  • Address parallel to the shorter dimension of the letter
  • Contains items that cause the surface to be uneven (buttons, brads, metal embellishments, chipboard pieces, knots and bows, etc.)
  • Length divided by height is less than 1.3 or more than 2.5

The following are regulations with regard to dimensions for first class letters:

  • Minimum height: 3-1/2 inches; Minimum length: 5 inches
  • Maximum height: 6-1/8 inches; Maximum length: 11-1/2 inches
  • Minimum thickness: .007 inch; Maximum thickness: 1/4 inch
  • First class mail over 1 oz. requires $.58 postage

I guess I will be buying some $.58 stamps. It beats either having my handmade creation ripped to shreds by a machine or worse yet, having the recipient of my card receive a notice for postage due. I thought you might want to know.

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