It is not uncommon for me to gasp when I receive an unexpected card or note in the mail. Really. The best way to get my attention at the mail box is a handwritten envelope. I love happy mail! And I enjoy sending it too.
My love for paper crafts began over 15 years ago when I started making cards. I was obsessed with the paper and stickers and all of the stamps! These days my crafting time is dedicated to scrapbooking, so I don’t make a ton of cards anymore. If I do, they are quick + simple, like these.
Over the past couple of years I’ve built up a small collection of everyday cards to keep on hand so I can send one out at any time (and avoid the store). I would much rather purchase from an independent designer than a generic drugstore type card. In most cases, they don’t cost any more, they look a lot nicer, and I know exactly who I’m supporting!
Here are my card sending essentials :
- cards in a variety of themes - birthday, love, sympathy, funny, etc. I usually pick up a couple of new cards when I visit my favorite local stationery / gift shops. If you are in the Metro Detroit area, I love City Bird in Detroit and Rock Paper Scissors in Ann Arbor. Both have a fantastic selection of cards and lots of other fun paper goods. If you’re more of an online shopper, these are my go-to card-makers :
- Worthwhile Paper for any and all themes. I seriously love everything that Kristen makes, and she’s a Michigander.
- Get to Work Book for encouragement and motivation (and also the home of my favorite planner.)
- Emily McDowell always keeps it real and I adore her empathy cards.
- Sapling Press cards make me laugh - hard. I might even have several in my collection that I keep for myself.
- envelopes - I keep a variety of A2 envelopes on hand because they work best with handmade cards made from a half sheet of letter sized cardstock. Paper Source has pretty much any color and size you would ever need.
- pens - this Pilot Precise V5 Extra Fine is my favorite everyday pen and I like to use a brush pen for writing the recipients name so it’s a bit bolder.
- centering ruler - I bought this mini 6" one a couple years ago as a guide for writing out addresses on my envelopes, but I also use it when handwriting or adding alphabet stickers on journaling cards.
- return address stamp(s) or labels
- inkpad for stamping - I stick with black for simplicity sake.
- postage stamps
I store birthdays and addresses in my iPhone contacts, but I love the thought of keeping an address book. I remember using the one my mom had when I was a kid to send thank you cards to relatives after Christmas and my birthday.
After writing a note in the card and sealing it inside the envelope, I like to decorate the flap area with my Hooray for Happy Mail stamp and a strip of washi. I tend to grab my legit washi tape here rather than the inexpensive “decorative tape” because I don’t want the edges to peel or curl up during its travel to the recipient. The more secure, the better, in my opinion.
The space that my card-sending supplies take up is pretty compact so I store everything in one of the drawers of my IKEA Helmer unit. While I could organize the cards by theme and the envelopes by color, it's easy to just pull the entire drawer out when I want to find a card. On a related note, I love how Andrea uses wooden trays to organize her cards and supplies.
April is National Letter Writing Month, so let’s send more snail mail! If you are interested, I have a handful of my Hooray for Happy Mail stamps available in the shop and will not be restocking them. If you want one, get it before it’s gone!
What did I forget? I would love to hear what you like to keep on hand for that spur-of-the-moment desire to send some love through the mail.