Pen-Paling 101 (envelope art, add-in ideas & more)

Hey guys! One of my favorite hobbies is decorating envelopes and sending letters to my pen-pals. It honestly doesn’t have to be old-fashioned and it can be super fun to write/send letters. I love going with a BUJO aesthetic for my letters, I usually actually use BUJO paper for writing my letters and I’ll usually write with colored fine-point markers. I also love doing themed letters, for example I’ll do a “coffee” theme or a “scrunchie” theme, etc.

This is also a great boredom buster and a fun & creative way to use up some time, since I think we’re all pretty much stuck in our houses. Heh.

Keeping up with your pen-pals and organizing letters. This might be the hardest part. XD Keeping letters organized and sending out quick replies is always tricky. I usually keep a stack of letters that I need to reply to, then once I’ve replied, I’ll add them to a box where I separate letters from each person.

Letter writing essentials. I mean all you really need is a pen, paper and an envelope, but if you want to be a tad more creative with your letter writing, here are some of my favorite snail mail essentials:

  • bujo paper (or your favorite stationary)
  • fine tip markers (these are the ones I use, they’re decent quality and work pretty well)
  • black brush pen
  • white & kraft paper a7 envelopes
  • basic watercolor paints
  • cardstock
  • fine pens
  • washi tape

Creating a theme for you package. Personally, I love doing a theme for each letter. My overall snail-mail aesthetic is kind of BUJO cozy, so I try to go with themes similar to that topic. Some of my favorite themes I’ve done are: tea, coffee, minimalist black/white, fairy lights & I also do many color palettes as themes. I like to theme the add-ins and the envelope to the theme.

The extra add-ins. Of course, it’s always fun to just get a letter, but it’s even more fun when the sender adds a few extra fun things into the envelope. Really, the only requirements for what you send are that it needs to fit into an envelope and it needs to be somewhat flat. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • tea bags.
  • hot cocoa mix packets.
  • Pura Vida Bracelets. (or just basic friendship bracelets)
  • stickers.
  • playlist.
  • washi tape samples.
  • photography prints.
  • paint chips.
  • magazine clippings.
  • ATC’s.
  • face masks.
  • souvenir pennies.
  • polaroid prints.
  • gift cards.
  • seed packets.
  • hand-lettered quotes.
  • playlists.
  • mini washi tape banners.
  • scrapbook paper.
  • makeup samples.
  • fabric swatches.
  • gum/candies.
  • ticket stubs.

Asking questions. If you’re new to letter writing, you may be wondering what on earth you should be actually writing to your pen pal. My favorite letters to receive are usually filled with answers to questions & rambly bits of the senders day/week. To be honest, it may be a little tricky to get to know someone through letter writing, but once you get into it, it can be super fun! Here are some of my favorite questions to ask:

  • when’s your birthday?
  • what school do you go to?
  • do you play any sports?
  • do you enjoy watching sports?
  • do you have any pets?
  • where do you live?
  • do you prefer city or country?
  • introvert or extrovert?
  • favorite Bible verse?
  • favorite holiday?
  • cake or ice cream?
  • do you enjoy doing your nails?
  • favorite color?
  • do you enjoy photography?
  • long hair or short hair?
  • morning person or night owl?
  • favorite song/artist?
  • do you like wearing jewelry?
  • jeans & a tshirt or a dress?
  • favorite desert?
  • favorite season?
  • favorite book of the Bible?
  • favorite class in school?
  • how many siblings do you have?
  • what’s been your favorite year of your life?
  • favorite book?
  • do you enjoy podcasts?
  • most important less you’ve learned?
  • most embarrassing moment?
  • braids or ponytails?
  • where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10?
  • dream job?
  • secret talent?

Envelope art. I’m not the most amazing at envelope art. XD But, I have figured out a few basic techniques that can up your envelope art game! Here they are with some examples:

Also, sorry for the weird colored over sections where the addresses are.

Watercolor & glitter brush marker. This is a super easy and quick way to get a cute envelope! Just paint small watercolor dots on the envelope, let them dry, then cover some of the watercolor with a glitter brush pen.

I was in a rush to get this one out before the mail went, thus the change in backdrop. πŸ˜‰

Watercolor text backgrounds. This is another super easy one that’s easy & quick, but still looks really cute! Just paint a small “box” where you put the address. I like to do oversized text with this method. πŸ™‚

Watercolor ombre. Ahh, I love ombre! Doing watercolor ombre is pretty easy, so I just filled this envelope with it, then I added gold stripes to add a more springy exciting feel to it. I love how this one turned out!

White pen on colored envelopes. Colored envelopes are so fun, but they can be a little tricky to decorate without looking too busy. I love just using a white gel pen or a silver glitter brush pen to write the recipients name and address on the envelope.

Those are all the pen-paling tips I have for now, but I hope you guys will enjoy and if you’d like me to make another pen pal inspiration post soon, just drop me a comment to let me know! πŸ™‚

Also, if you guys enjoyed this post, I’d love if you shared it with your friends on Pinterest and Insta!

πŸ’™ Hannah

59 thoughts on “Pen-Paling 101 (envelope art, add-in ideas & more)

  1. These are such great tips and ideas, Hannah! I love penpal-ing too; in fact I was just thinking I should work on a letter… πŸ™‚ I LOVE doing themes and artsy envelopes too!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aww, thanks! Yay, it is super fun! πŸ˜„ Hmm, well I actually started pen-paling with other bloggers and it’s been a super fun way to get to know each other, so maybe you could start there! Also, any relatives/friends you don’t see often would love a letter I’m sure! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great ideas! I love writing cards to people, so this sounds super fun to me πŸ™‚ I am going to use these tips!

    – Cali Lu

    Liked by 3 people

  3. This is gonna be so helpful because I recently got a pen pal and needed ideas on what to send to them as I was at a complete loss πŸ™Œ I love the idea of doing it all to a theme too ✨ Great post! πŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed! Haha, yeah, I often find myself out of ideas for things to send pen-pals. Pinterest is always a great inspiration too! πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey!! Lovely post!! I just adore writing letters to people… I made a goal to write 200 letters this year to people and so far, I’m over 1/3 of the way there, so yay! You had some awesome ideas. Thanks so much for sharing!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ahhhh!! Those envelopes are so gorgeous! *squeals* And those are all awesome question ideas! πŸ™‚ I love these kinds of posts and the pictures are so pretty! πŸ˜€

    -Laura ❀ πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  6. This post was so fun Hannah! These are some great pen pal tips and the envelopes and photos were cute! I used to have pen pales but it has been awhile since I have done it! πŸ™‚ GREAT POST, SIS! πŸ˜€
    -kaelyn πŸ˜›

    Liked by 1 person

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