Wasn’t it Justin Timberlake who said he’s the one bringing snail mail back? Well, I’m all about it and here’s why!
I feel like the world we live in is confused. On the one hand we’re all trying to move at the speed of light, using technology as means of doing so, and on the other hand everyone is trying to be retro and do things the old-fashioned way. Seriously, so much has changed in such a short period of time. There’s an instant response to everything these days, which has made it so that what used to be so normal has somehow been replaced by something faster, easier, and more convenient. A few things off the top of my head: Need a ride? Uber. Want a book and some Swiffer pad refills? Amazon Prime. Need a dinner idea and measured ingredients sent to your door? Blue Apron. If there’s not an app for that (whatever ‘that’ might be), there’s certainly a site for it.
Don’t get me wrong—I love convenience, but WHOA. It’s almost too convenient for our own good. This blunt realization is something I came to a while ago, but it really struck me the other day when I was writing a thank you card. A real-life thank you card! On stationary! With a stamp and sealed envelope! I was way too excited to be writing a letter that wouldn’t even reach the recipient for a few days. Yes, a few days, hence the term snail mail. Can you believe that not that long ago writing letters was the main form of communication? I heard a quote once from Lord Byron that said “letter writing is the only device for combining solitude with good company." Basically, what text messaging is to us today, is what having a pen pal was like back in the day!
Checking the mailbox today consists of collecting a pile of coupons and flyers...heck, bills don’t even come in the mail anymore. Now, sending a letter is special and rare. It signifies TLC and thoughtfulness—both admirable traits! In light of the fact that handwriting notes is practically an art form these days, I’m going to show you how to make the most of your envelope!
Via Design Sponge
First of all, who you spend a stamp on is up to you to decide! For me, there are two groups of people I write to. The first is close loved ones, and for these types of notes I maintain a friendly, personal vibe. The second group is of a more professional nature and tends to be more like thank you cards or follow-ups. My Granny taught me that no matter what kind of gift you give, be it big or small, you should always take pride in the way you wrap it because the wrapping is the first thing that's seen! In my book, that rings true for letters as well.
I’ve broken this post up into four sections to make addressing (and decorating) an envelope a little easier to navigate:
- Address Your Audience
- Push the Envelope
- Seal La Vie
- Go the Distance
Address Your Audience
I have a habit of addressing envelopes before I even write the card. Don’t ask me why...it’s just a quirk of mine, I suppose! Generally, there’s one constant when sending a letter by mail: the return address. Instead of scribbling your info on the envelope, I say you go down a prettier path! My two favorite options for doing so are to either have a stamp made or to buy a custom embosser!
I love anything personalized because it gives me an idea of what a person is all about. Stamps are great for several reasons: tons of styles to choose from, cheaper (than an embosser), and easier to see. Return address stamps are a simple way to adDRESS up an envelope! Adding some classy calligraphy, a modern edge, or vintage flair are just a few of the options available out there. Etsy has some really great ones!
If you’re feeling a bit more fancy, ink isn’t your thing, and/or you aren’t moving for a while, put order embosser on your to-do list! They might be a smidge pricey, but hey, you can’t put a price on class! Another perk is that they’re subtle when they make their bold statement. That’s a talent in and of itself!
Via A Cup of Jo
Push the Envelope
Pretty paper is one of my weaknesses. I would have a closet full of stationery if I had the space! I have a variety of both personalized and plain stacks to choose from depending on the contents of my letter.
This first set of personalized notecards is more of a whimsical look. I like the play on color and use of cursive and modern prints. I would reserve these ones for a note that is less business and more pleasure.
What I love about this second option is that there’s no right or wrong person to send this to! In my opinion, this modern edition is one that everyone should have. It may look simple, but the design is confident, chic, and easy to read, which is important!
On another note, a fun trick to give a go is gold leafing the edges of the notecard or envelope yourself. You will not be able to get over how easy it is and how good it looks...all you need is a tightly stacked bundle and a gold leafing pen! You can find this DIY here.
Seal La Vie
Whoever invented Dab 'n Seal and self-adhesive envelopes is a genius. At a time when everyone would send snail mail, those products would have been a godsend! Since we don’t have to lick envelopes as often, it isn’t such a big deal but if you’ve ever had a paper cut on your tongue—spring for the tools that will help you avoid doing so again!!
My favorite way to close an envelope is with a wax seal. They look way too good not to get yourself one, let alone talk about it! So, that’s exactly what we’re going to do! You can purchase your seal in many shapes, every letter, and tons of colors. All you have to do is choose! I prefer using an “H” for my first name, but anything works.
Via Emmaline Bride
I’ve been assembling some letters this week and yesterday went to look for a new wax seal to use, but then I remembered seeing a DIY that does the same thing. What you’ll need is a hot glue gun, a box of crayons, and an envelope. I’m planning on trying it out later today and hopefully I’ll love the results!
What caught my eye when I first saw it was that this innovative idea yields very different results than the traditional method. The shape is less shapeless, the color is more colorful, and I liked that it only cost me $4 at Hobby Lobby for a glue gun and crayons. Cost effective is always better than any alternative!
Go the Distance
Last on the checklist is to press the send button...in this case, that means put it in the mailbox. Once you address the envelope make sure to stick postage on it and put the red flag up after you put your letter in the mail!
There are so many ways to make a card your own, but these are some of the ones I tend to use often and am fondest of! Customize yours any way you want and let me know what works for you or what you want to try in the comments below! Don’t be sluggish—snail mail is fleeting and it’s our job to keep it current. I hope y’all have enjoyed reading and decide to incorporate some or all of these ideas in your letter-writing life!
**Featured image via Guilia Bertelli