Such a beautiful piece of mail from my pen pal, Andrea. We first connected on Instagram but have mainly gotten to know each other over the years through letters! In a world filled with technology and a demand for instant results, it is always such a treat to see an envelope waiting in the mailbox for me to open up and read.
I signed up for Postcrossing back in April during National Letter Writing Month and I just got my first postcard through it!
The premise of Postcrossing is: you send a postcard and receive one back from someone in the Postcrossing community. The recipients are all randomly assigned and I love connecting with a stranger in this way, not knowing when you will get a postcard, who has sent you one, or where it’s coming from!
Each postcard is given a unique ID that you write on it so that the recipients can log it in and Postcrossing can keep track of all the postcards that have been a part of this project. It also allows you to send a note to the sender to thank them and view their profile to learn a little bit more about them.
It’s easy to join and so much fun to participate–especially if you love receiving snail mail! I hope you will join in on it!
Here’s a look at my first postcard from Aya in Japan:
I love the beautiful postcard Aya sent me! The meaning behind it is so lovely, her handwriting is so nice, and I love the stamps and stickers she added to it.
I can’t wait to send another postcard and see what ends up in my mailbox! :)
April is National Card and Lettering Writing Month! This is the perfect time to connect with friends and family and share the simple yet impactful joy of snail mail. It’s such a fun and easy way to brighten up someone’s day–I don’t know about you but I totally appreciate mail that isn’t a bill or junk :) Here is a list I put together of 30 snail mail ideas for you to try out (and a few tips)–they range from topic ideas to a global postcard project and more! I hope they inspire you to send a card or letter (or lots of cards and letters!) this month. Happy snail mailing!
30 SNAIL MAIL IDEAS TO TRY
1. Get to know someone better by asking them 10 questions.
I think there’s something extra special about reading answers to questions vs a spoken conversation–you can really pay attention to them, re-read them, and think about them. It’s also a special piece of someone you get to keep in letter form. Not sure what to ask? Find some ideas here: Fun Questions To Ask, 200 (Not Boring) Questions To Ask To Get To Know Someone, 36 Questions To Fall In Love (I don’t think these questions have to be just for falling in love!), We’re Not Really Strangers Instagram.
2. Share a word and its definition.
It could be a word from another language you speak (I think it’s really interesting to learn words that don’t exist in your native language!), a word you love the sound of, a word you love the meaning of, a new one you recently learned.
3. Let someone know you are rooting for them and cheering them on!
4. Share a smile.
Send a postcard and fill it with things that have made you smile recently–ask your recipient to send you the same! I have been doing this with my friend and pen pal Andrea and it’s something I always look forward to reading–everything she shares and imagining her reaction makes me smile too!
5. Don’t forget the envelope.
Get creative and decorate the envelope to make it stand out and even more fun to receive! Add washi tape, stickers, use rubber stamps, get creative with your lettering. And don’t forget the back of the envelope! For ideas check out my friend Andrea’s Instagram and look for snail mail and envelope decorating hashtags too.
You can also make your own envelope as well, using magazine or catalog pages, brown paper grocery bags, scrapbook paper, and more! I am including a template for A1 and A2 envelopes in an email to my newsletter subscribers!
One last envelope idea is to pick a food, color, movie, animal, or theme your recipient would really enjoy–use that to make the envelope special!
6. Send a sweet treat.
I recommend Maya’s Cookies (they are delicious and all vegan plus gluten free options are available!), Karma Baker (another yummy vegan bakery), and Old Time Candy for some retro and nostalgic treats!
7. Write for good:
Folks in the service, a nursing home, a children’s hospital. There are also organizations who coordinate mail for people who would like them such as More Love Letters.
8. Make someone laugh.
Share the last thing you found hilarious, a meme, a joke, a situation you were in, describe in detail a video you just watched or include the link.
9. Tell someone you are proud of them–
10. Participate in Postcrossing.
Send a postcard and receive a postcard through Postcrossing –it’s such a great idea!
11. Write to yourself.
Seal it up and open it a year from now (I send out a letter to self template at the end of every month–just sign up for my newsletter to receive it!)
12. Send your favorite piece of stationery or greeting card for your recipient to use.
Leave it blank/in its original packaging. This is a good one for us stationery hoarders :)
13. Share a list of your 10 favorite songs.
Extra points for making and adding a link to a playlist at the end of your list! (Does anyone remember mix CDs or better yet mix cassette tapes!?)
14. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Send a letter there!
15. Send a note just to say hello!
16. Make it a game.
Turn your letter into a puzzle by cutting it up into pieces, send a quiz or word search, create a crossword puzzle or trivia questions, etc.
17. Send a photograph.
18. Write to a stranger.
Write your favorite uplifting quote and leave it in a public place for a stranger to find.
19. Send mail to the person who lives the furthest away from you.
20. Write to someone under the age of 10.
And don’t forget to ask them to write back–it’ll be one of the best letters you ever receive!
21. Say thank you.
22. List 5 things you love about your recipient.
Here’s a postcard I made that can help you do that :)
23. Encourage snail mailing.
Include an envelope and postage so that your recipient can send a letter of their own.
24. Fold it up.
Incorporate paper folding into your snail mail: here are some ideas from Pinterest, easy origami to try, or see if you remember the ways you used to fold notes back in high school (if you are old enough to have had to write notes then because texting, DMs, and emails didn’t exist yet lol :))
25. Send a secret.
Send a secret (anonymously) to Post Secret. It’s an amazing project, blog, and book series. These are real secrets from real people–some are serious, some are funny, some have truly touched me, some made me cry, and some have made me smile.
26. Write a letter that you will never mail.
It can be to yourself or to someone. Never sending it may seem counter productive but it can be cathartic to get your thoughts on paper, identify your feelings, help you process it, and maybe bring you some closure.
27. Send a poem, your favorite passage from a book, a line from an article, or another form of the written word.
Send something that really resonated with you that you feel the recipient may enjoy or relate to as well.
28. Share your favorite memory of your recipient.
It can be an experience you shared together, the first time you met, something that always reminds them of you.
29. Tell someone you appreciate them–
and why. You can never say it enough.
30. Send a book.
Instruct the recipient to send it to someone else after they finish reading it.
A FEW SNAIL MAILING TIPS
- Gather all your supplies and put them in a basket! It’ll make it easier to access the entire month and easy to clean up.
- Need cards, postcards, or stationery? I got you covered! :) I also love searching on Etsy for local artists, illustrators, and card makers to support and buy snail mail supplies from.
- Remember to leave room on your envelope for stamps. If I am lettering on an envelope, I always pencil in the box where the stamp(s) will go.
- If mailing anything thick, heavy, or non-bendable, be sure to include the correct amount of postage.
- You can purchase stamps at usps.com, they have some really beautiful designs.
- Double check the recipient’s address!
- If using fancy fonts, I recommend lettering in pencil first to avoid any errors. Be sure to let the ink COMPLETELY dry before erasing to avoid smearing!
- To make sure addresses are clear and legible, I like to write the recipients name in calligraphy/cursive but print the address.
- If you are posting envelopes on social media, be sure that the address is not visible! Take a photo before adding the address or use something to cover it up, blur it out, or remove it.
Wow, April seemed to fly right by and it’s already the last day of National Letter Writing Month and Write On! It was so fun to participate in both and I loved sitting down to create snail mail this past month. It was just the inspiration that I needed and it was fun to think of what to send to each person and how I’d decorate their envelopes.
My goal was to send 15 letters out and I had a stretch goal of 30–my final total was…22 pieces of mail! Not too bad considering I sent about 5 last year lol. I hit my original goal and next year I hope to get to 30! I think the trick is planning ahead which helped me get organized. But since I enjoy making snail mail, I can work on something for quite a long time which can hold me back a little! But I also feel like if I am enjoying it, why stop? Keep going and keep on enjoying it :)
I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite snail mail photos from this past month! And although it’s not April anymore, I will continue to send out mail throughout the year!
It was my favorite bunny Lou Lou’s birthday last Sunday! Lou Lou’s mom is my card bestie and fellow animal lover, Jenna of The Paper Wilderness, and I just had to help celebrate Lou Lou’s 7th birthday! As I started thinking about this snail mail, I got more and more excited with all the ideas that I had!
Lou Lou’s birthday snail mail included a mini bunny pinata (that pom pom tail!), a postcard of lettuce (one of her favorite foods), bunny paperclips, and a card I created from hand carved stamps that included candles, carrots, and hearts :)
Jenna and Lou Lou actually live not too far away so I decided to do a secret-covert-social-distancing-contactless-birthday-delivery! I strung the card and pinata through ribbon so I could tie it on their door. I felt like a ninja when I was leaving it at the front door without making too much sound lol. It was a success!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LOU LOU!
PS: I also share more snail mail ideas, tutorials, and more on Instagram as well! If it’s easier for you to check out the info there, you can find me at @atiliay.
Easter is just around the corner and I wanted to share this easy tutorial for a fun and creative DIY Easter Card with you! It features an egg with a fun surprise when you open the flap–a cute chick! :) You can also switch up the text and turn it into a “Happy Spring!” card or add a chick/chicken pun–whatever you think your recipient would enjoy most! :) This is a card I created years ago and used to sell and it still gets a lot of Pinterest love so I thought I would show you how you can make this at home! This is a fun project to do with the kids as well!
SUPPLIES YOU’LL NEED:
White Cardstock (will be cut down to 5 1/2″ wide and 6″ tall)
Colored Cardstock of your choice (this is for the egg–I like pastel colors!)
Scissors (and paper cutter if you have one)
Markers (yellow, orange, and pink for your chick)
Pen (ball point, gel, or brush pen–this is for your text and your chick’s eyes)
Bone Folder and Score Board (optional)
1) Prep your white cardstock. Cut your card stock into a rectangle that is 5 1/2″ wide and 6″ long. You can use scissors or I prefer a paper cutter if you have one.
2. Make a tiny pencil mark 2″ down on both sides of your rectangle and fold the paper at this 2″ mark. Make sure you are marking on the long side where it measures 6″. If you have a bone folder and a score board available, you can use those tools for this step.
3. Make your egg. Using a pencil, trace an oval egg shape on colored paper. Cut it out. Then draw a line at the enter of the egg (dividing it in half horizontally) and cut your egg in half. My egg is 3″ tall and 2 1/4″ wide at the widest point.
4. Glue the top half of your egg at the center of the folded flap.
5. Glue the bottom half of your egg at the center of the cardstock to match the top half of the egg. You can place the bottom half of the egg so that the flap covers it a little bit, about 1/16″–this helps to ensure when the card is folded all you see is the egg and not what is underneath the flap.
6. Add a chick to the inside of your card. You can draw in your chick or use a stamp (which is what I did). I gave my chick an orange triangle beak, 2 black dots for the eyes, and 2 light pink circles for the cheeks.
7. Add your message to the card on the inside flap above the chick. Make sure the pen/marker you are using doesn’t bleed through the cardstock. Test on a scrap piece of cardstock if needed.
I hope you liked this idea and will try this DIY Easter Card Tutorial this spring! This is also a fun project to do with little one! If you try it, please send me a pic of it–I would love to see your cards!
PS: I also share all my tutorials and more on Instagram as well! If it’s easier for you to check out the info there, you can find me at @atiliay.