The Sky Mall catalog is always one of the most interesting ways I find to occupy my time during long plane rides. I have this game I play with myself where I choose what item I would give to what friend. You know, if I was the kind of person who wanted to spend money on totally useful products like a cell phone wrist carrier instead of traveling. If you’ve never heard of Sky Mall check out this blog to familiarize yourself with the kitschy, overpriced and largely useless items it is famous for.

Today on my 18-hour journey (Los Angeles, California to Houston, Texas to San Jose, Costa Rica) I had a brilliant idea…

Quick question: Among other things, I am notorious for:

A) buying postcards B) writing them C) addressing and stamping them D) mailing them

Answer: All but D

Examples: Just this week while packing for my trip, I discovered in my outdated Costa Rica Lonely Planet four written and addressed cards from 2009. In my travel journal I discovered another four unsent postcards from Bali dated 2010. Oops.

I decided to play catchup. I had already snagged a few tacky postcards in Venice, and while on my first flight had the brilliant idea to collage items that reminded me of my friends onto the back of the postcards. I had four hours to kill in the Houston terminal, so after buying another few ugly Texas postcards: art project time!

First challenge: With the TSA going psycho-Nazi style on anything a little pointy, (I’m still pissed they took my favorite tweezers last year) I had no scissors. Luckily for a bargain airport price I found a basic sewing kit in a newsstand shop. The scissors were ridiculously midget sized and dull, but better than nothing.

Second challenge: Easier than expected. Tape and postage stamps were easily acquired at the money exchange. Score!

I made myself a makeshift art workshop sprawled on the floor between some abandoned chairs. I guess I should mention that it was about 6am I hadn’t slept, unless you call a half hour nap in between episodes of Real Housewives of Orange County sleep. I was taking up about four square feet of space with cut up pieces of Sky Mall everywhere, and I had my big camera out to record all of my mad creations for the sole purpose of illustrating this article.

In the meantime I was actually wondering if it was legal to take pictures inside of airports. I must not have looked too threatening in my yoga pants and American Apparel v-neck wielding two inch scissors, because no one said anything that would indicate they believed I was there for ulterior motives. Or maybe I just looked like a crazy person and everyone avoided me.

The postcards turned out adorable. For Erin, the pastry chef with the cupcake tattoo, a giant cupcake pillow to match. For my roommate who always loses his car when he leaves the clubs, a car finder keyring. For my ex-raver friends who share a communal party house, a shower head with color changing LED lights.

Last challenge: The nearest mailbox was two terminals and a ride on the sky-tram away, and my flight was boarding in 15 minutes. Luckily an angel in uniform driving a people moving machine volunteered to help.

Mission: Accomplished!

I’m not even to Costa Rica yet and already I’ve crossed mailing postcards off my list. I think the only thing that is better than that is the fact that I, in a way, was finally able to give the Sky Mall gifts I always wanted to, and without having to pay for them. Oh, and all the postcards from 2009 and 2010 that were addressed I mailed as well.

Postcard: $.50-$1.00

Stamp: $.50

Sewing kit: $2.50

Sky Mall: Free

Mailing deliciously tacky postcards home to make my friends smile and miss me: Priceless

Let me know if anyone else has cute DIY postcard ideas. Or has anyone actually bought anything from Sky Mall???

I always love and appreciate your comments.