In this post I will be discussing my LOVE of snail mail, and the basics of how to begin.
It all started roughly 2yrs ago. I had been scrolling around online looking at art and craft Instagrams when I had stumbled upon some beautifully decorated envelopes. I had though to myself, “Wow, these are so beautiful. I wonder what they are for?” Upon some further investigation I had realized she was sending them out to her pen pals, across the globe. This was so intriguing to me!
Previously, I had known about pen pals. I even had one very, very briefly in grade 5, where my class would type up letters, and send them to another school, and we would receive them back. Sadly, I only received one or two of the letters, since my “pen pal” was never at school on the days to write, or simply, they didn’t care to.
Upon this discovery, I had “fallen down the rabbit hole” and was following and stalking every pen pal account I had found. I have always had an obsession for stationery. I love the smell of books, I love the feel of a great new pen gliding across the paper, and I love decorating. I would only make sense that writing snail mail letters, would become my new obsession. I had found on account on Instagram called ” find.penpals ” and also searched under the tags #penpalswanted. This had helped me come in contact with many of my pen pals who I still speak with today!
DISCLAIMER: you should always be careful about giving your address out online, and if you are under the age of 18 make sure to ask a parent/ guardian for permission before you begin.
I had a lot of stationery to begin with, for making my first pen pal letter from my failed hobby of scrap booking. But you don’t need crazy things to begin pen palling. ALL YOU NEED IS:
- a pen/pencil
- an envelope
- the appropriate amount of postage stamps
- someone to send to
That’s it! It’s that simple!
In your first letter I would suggest to write about yourself.
- how old are you?
- where are you from?
- your current living situation
- if you are in a relationship
- what the weather is like where you are right now/ what season is it?
- are you in school?
- do you work?
- what do you enjoy doing?
- any hobbies you have
The whole point of this is to establish common ground. It is important to find someone who you are similar to, or have similar interests to. That way you will have plenty so write about, and your letters will interest each other.
Once you have finished your letter, seal it away, apply the postage stamps, and send it off!
The only thing that is a bit tedious about snail mail, is having to wait a few weeks for a response. BUT once you have a letter in your mail box, let me tell you how over joyed you will feel! It is so exciting to receive mail, everything inside is a surprise! In the return letter you pen pal will most likely tell you about their life and ask you questions in a response. And there you go! You have made and sent off your first letter, and made a new friend in the process.
After you have become a bit more experienced you are able to send off little additions/goodies in the letter to your pen pal friend ONLY if you want to. By no means are any of these a requirement, just fun little ideas for the letter:
- washitape samples
- magazine clippings
- fun paperclips
- confetti (not an obnoxious amount)
- decorated paper
- journaling cards
- mail tag
- a little sketch/ art work
- a poem you love
- small candies (make sure to properly wrap so the letter will not become sticky/ damaged)
- a temporary tattoo
- a map of your hometown, country, transit lines, etc.
- a bookmark
- pressed flowers, or leaves (check with your post office about what you can legally send in the mail.)
- a charm
- a handmade necklace/ bracelet
These are just some suggestions, and also things that I have personally sent my pen pals or received as well in the mail.
Hopefully this has helped to inspire you to be creative, and make new friends around the world!
Do you wish to start pen paling? Has this posted helped you learn about snail mail and now you are obsessed? Do you currently send mail and also have an obsession for it? I would love to hear from you!