Pen Pal Packages
Who doesn't love to recieve something in the mail? I know I do! Especially now that my husband and I live so far from friends and family. I started pen pals with several people as a way to stay in touch in a fun and exciting way. The world is so focused on technology that texting is the new way of communicating. This is fantastic, I can send my mom a message any time I want without worrying about minutes or the time difference. I can simply communicate with her at anytime. However, it does become impersonal. Most people I see are burried in their phones so much as it is, that they do not enjoy life and the beautiful world before them. I wanted to get back into writing personal letters and sending fun trinkets and gifts through the mail. I love getting letters or home made gifts in the mail. It is so exciting seeing a package at your door, not knowing what is inside but knowing someone loves you enough to take the time and put this together for you. Now, don't get me wrong, sending packages can get pricey. So I understand when sending a text is a much simplier way of writing to me, but every now and then getting that personal touch is exciting and refreshing.
I only send pen pal packages about 3-4 times a year. Mostly because I now have about 26 people I send to, and the cost can get a little crazy depending on what I want to send. I like to make my packages themed (because its more fun that way). Last year I sent out a Halloween package with skeleton parachute men, bubbles, candy, a fun hand written card, colored slime, and a couple other fun goodies! As a photographer, I also like to send out small 4x4 or 4x6 prints of my photos. For Halloween, I sent pictures of different sea lions (because who doesn't love a great sea lion picture). This last pen pal package that I will talk about in this post was Easter themed. I went out and took some really fun pictures of flowers and the beach and included these in my packages.
So to break down this months pen pal package:
1. A hand written card
2. a print of one of my images
5. a decorative straw
6. personalized name clothes hanger
6. and of course easter grass
Every package I send includes a photo I took, and a personalized note. After that, I typically go to the store to buy themed based elements to add to each package.
My first step is always to make a list of everyone I am sending to, so that I know how many of every item I need. I then will gather all of my supplies. After I have everything I need, including packaging materials (i.e shipping envelopes and boxes, and shipping tape) I start to lay everything out on a table and divvy everything up. If I have specific colors of something, I like to give everyone a color they will like.
One thing I love to add to all my packages is a name plate of some sort. This adds a personal touch but also helps keeping each persons package labeled for myself when I am shipping so no ones get sent to the wrong address. For this package I struggled with trying to get he perfect name plate. I first started with these white cardboard letters I had, but I didn't have enough of them. I then tried to write everyone's name down on a piece of wood and cut it down, that went horrible! So, finally I was able to figure it out. I had these rub on stickers of the alphabet; I had a whole book of the letters. I had plenty of the letters I needed!
I had these little tiny clothespin that I had already started to use with the packages, but they were too small to add names to, so I bought normal size clothes pins and they worked perfect! I cut out each letter to each name and rubbed them on. I filled in any parts that didn't rub on perfect with a black marker. I could not have been more excited with the final product.
For this months Easter themed package, I chose a pack of colorful paper for the handwritten notes. I then added these cute push pins in the corner of each note card. The color was matched to the color of the bottle of bubbles I gave them. I know that is super detail oriented, but I had these push pins that were the exact same colors as the bubbles I bought, so I just had to do incorporate them somehow! I do not know why, but every package I send seems to include bubbles! Bubbles are fun and most people I send to have animals or kids, so I know they will get used!
For each package, I wrapped their bubbles and candy in some cute colorful tissue paper. Another fun element I added was picking out washi tape for each package. I picked out about 6 washi tapes I had that were Easter themed, and then for each person tried to pick one they would like. I used the washi tape to wrap the tissue paper up. I then added some washi tape to each envelope that matched. I realized some of these details may be missed by the recipient, but I just love adding those small details!
Once the note card is written, the photo has been added to the envelope, the envelope has been sealed, and the candy and bubbles are wrapped, I then put everything together. I first laid the envelope down, added my decorative straw, added some Easter grass then laid the wrapped goodies on top. From there I had some tan string I wrapped the entire package in. I then added the personalized clothes pin.
As a final touch, I wrapped each little goodie pack in bubble wrap before putting it in the shipping envelopes or boxes to add extra protection.
Here is the final product:
I cant wait to get letters back! So exciting keeping in touch this way.
I hope you enjoyed this Lifestyle Wednesday, check back from Photo Friday!