99% of the letters and packages I send are one of a kind. I use old magazines and catalogs to create unique, DIY envelopes that travel the world. I get loads of compliments on these easy, handmade parcels, so I decided to share the simple steps you can take to create your own!
Grab a load of old magazines. IKEA catalogs (or something of the like) are recommended since the pages are already square. If you’re using a standard magazine, simply rip out the pages, fold the page over into a triangle and cut across the imaginary line that would fall below the triangle (this makes the square). I recommend using two or three pages of the magazines, depending on the thickness. Letters and parcels go through several hands and machines and you don’t want to risk getting your envelope ripped open. You can always reinforce the edges with a transparent tape, although I’ve never had any trouble or complaint with ripped envelopes.
Place your guide in the center of the square. I use a couple of post cards and reinforce them with tape. Your guide will end up being the size of your envelope at the end. Experiment with different sizes and shapes!
Fold up the bottom, followed by the two sides, taping as you go. You should only use two pieces of tape, about 3-5 inches each, depending on the size of your guide.Use a blunt object to drag across the edges to flatten the envelope. I generally just drag my money clip or the tape across the edges.
Cut out a small plain piece of paper to adhere to the front of your envelope. This will allow you write legibly and apply stamps clearly. I like to stamp a positive, uplifting message to the front of mine. Apply stickers or stamps to give your envelope more personality.
Why should you write more letters?
To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart. / Phyllis Theroux
- It keeps the USPS in business. Read Business Week’s Trying to Keep the Post Office From Going Bust. Not to mention, it keeps me in business. I sell tangible goods and ship through the USPS, which is significantly cheaper than using a service such as Fed-Ex or UPS.
- It’s a more organic way of communicating. It’s extremely personal and generally more heartfelt than sending a text message or commenting on someone’s Facebook wall.
- Sentiment. They are something you can look back on. “What a lot we lost when we stopped writing letters. You can’t reread a phone call.” / Liz Carpenter
- Letters bring joy. Think about how great it is to find a handwritten note in your mailbox, as opposed to, say, a phone bill.
- It’s the perfect lazy day activity. Nothing compares to lying in the park under a cool tree, writing letters and drinking tea out of a mason jar. Don’t believe me? Try it.
- It’s what your grandparents would want. I ran across this lovely article, Why Not Write Your Grandparents A Letter?
Or don’t you like to write letters. I do because it’s such a swell way to keep from working and yet feel you’ve done something. / Ernest Hemingway
Write a letter today and send it off in one of your new, handmade envelopes! This goes without saying, but don’t give your address to strangers. Consider picking up a PO Box so you can solicit your address without having strangers show up on your doorstep. (;
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