Our kids especially, are very blessed with very thoughtful and loving aunties, who often send them all kinds of wonderful mail, all throughout the year. Both through the postal service, as well as e-mails. They always love it, and you can always see the expression on their face of how loved and ‘thought of’ it makes them feel. They treasure and keep mail like that.
Well after receiving some very fun and thoughtful mail in our street mailbox a few times, from a reader of our blog, who has since become a friend, I had the idea of inviting her to do a guest post on some tips and ideas of how you can be creative with ‘snail-mail’, as we call it these days. I’m so glad I did! She’s so good at this, she was excited to accept the invitation to be a guest-poster here on the blog, and we are excited to have her! We think you’ll really enjoy her post, and we hope you’ll find yourself inspired in your own creative way, to make someone smile when they get their mail from you in their good old fashioned mailbox. (Not to mention all of the postal workers along the way. ; )
Thanks for joining us today. Julie!
~ The Richard Family
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Hi, I’m Julie! I have gotten to know the Richard family over the past year through their blog, and more recently through mail correspondence. First, Laura inspired me with her glass tile jewelry and I used an old Shakespeare book to make pendants following her tutorial. Then I borrowed her idea to decoupage notebooks and I loved the results. Laura is such a creative inspiration and I love reading about the kids and what’s going on in the Richard household. I am so glad that they have become such special friends. Laura and the kids love mail, and the more creative, the more they appreciate it. I’ve become an enthusiastic advocate of good old-fashioned snail mail and I love sitting down and writing thoughtful letters. But it doesn’t really matter what it is that I send — most of the recipients just adore getting something personal in their mailboxes that isn’t bills or junk, whether it’s a simple greeting card or something handcrafted. Of course, I love getting artistic, so here are some ideas for creative correspondence… Basic supplies:
- Blank cards and envelopes
- Gel pens, fine tip Sharpies
- Decorative/scrapbook paper
- Rubber stamps
- Puffy paint
Beyond Envelopes Why use a plain old white envelope? You can use anything to decorate a boring envelope (crayons, markers, stickers etc.) Here I used watercolor markers and stickers to create themes:
Or take it a step further to make your own out of a variety of materials. I was initially daunted by this idea until I realized how easy it is to do. Simply dissemble an envelope the size you want to use. I went with a standard card size, took it apart at the adhesive seams, and traced the shape onto a heavier cardstock to make a reusable template. Then I taped my template to the paper I wanted to use, cut around it, folded it at the seams, and glued the edges together. I used maps from old National Geographic’s to make these:
But I like using scrapbook paper better because it so much thicker and it comes in a variety of beautiful patterns and colors:
Catchy Cards There are no rules to follow when making your own cards. Stickers are the easiest way to embellish. There are about a million stickers available in the scrapbooking section of craft stores and found these to make thank you and birthday cards:
I also made some best friend and sister cards for some very special recipients:
I really like layering colors and textures and here I used the leftover scraps from cutting envelopes out of scrapbook paper:
Sometimes I like to draw my own designs or use my embosser to imprint words (embossers are a bit of an investment, though, and I don’t know very many people who actually have one):
In reality, you just need to use your imagination! Do you have some old magazines lying around? Make a collage card! Have your little one doodle on a blank card with crayons for an out-of-town relative. If you’re exceptionally talented at drawing freehand like Laura, create a mini-masterpiece. The possibilities are endless. Most importantly, you will make someone smile when they open their mailbox. The simple thought is all that really matters, so take some time to send a card to let someone special know that you’re thinking of them.
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Julie Merilatt reviews books for Amazon and on her blog JulzReads . She also enjoys crafting and correspondence. She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and a house full of books. You can follow her on Twitter @julzreads.