The art and craft of snail mail

handmade letter

Beautiful package from cardmaker Jessica Witty

I have always had an obsession with stationery. The best part of going back to school after the summer holidays was the annual trip to WHSmith or Staples to buy a new set of pens and pencils (which I’d use to doodle all over my maths book!) and notepads and the like. I’m now in my late-twenties and the same things excite me, although now I’m a little more interested in the paper and design, than the multi-coloured pens*.

*who am I kidding, I still love the multi-coloured pens…

illustrated envelopes

Illustrated envelope by Naomi of Messages in Bottles

This week I’ve been assembling our wedding invitations and I’ve loved every minute of it! As an ex-stationery designer, I am totally in my element surrounded by paper, paint, calligraphy, ribbon, labels etc. but it’s so much more special doing my own and personally addressing them to my loved ones, and I’m really enjoying putting all the pieces together. It’s taking me a while, but it’s totally worth it knowing how rare it is that people get anything other than bills and junk through the mail these days. I enjoy putting the time and care into hand crafting each one as it’s become so unusual and there’s not much better than a handwritten envelope coming through the letterbox in my opinion. If it makes just one or two of our guests go ‘ooooh’, I’ll be a happy gal.

hand written letter

Happy mail from Superkitina – Seriously, someone send me mail like this!

Being absorbed by invitation making has really made me miss the personal touch that snail mail has over email. Handwritten letters can really be a piece of art worth treasuring for years.

art mail

Mail envy from Jane Boston

When I was young I would write to friends all the time, and even had one pen-pal in Austria. We would put so much effort and time into each letter, covering it in doodles and cutesy stickers, making little packages of mix-tapes and sweeties and wrapping them in hand decorated paper. Some days I long for those simpler times. I’m pretty sure I’ve kept a lot of these letters as memories from long ago, can’t say the same for emails and Facebook messages.

illustrated mail

Papered Thoughts also has some pretty enviable incoming (and outgoing) mail

So, with Valentine’s day right around the corner, why not take the time to hand make a card, or write a letter to a loved one? Unleash your inner crafty-beast and cover it in doodles and stickers, multi-coloured ink, stamps and washi tape, or just collage the fudge out of it. I can promise you one thing – they’re gonna love it!

Collaged letters from Boheme Circus

Collaged letters from Boheme Circus

Letters are even wonderful in quilt form – check out this gorgeous wall quilt from Hyacinth Quilt Designs. Love it, love it, love it!

Envelope quilt Hyacinth quilts

Tell me you wouldn’t be excited to receive any of the letters above. Anyone fancy being my pen-pal?

L x



Filed under Crafts/DIY, Inspiration, Me

7 responses to “The art and craft of snail mail

  1. Katey

    Wow, I wish I could doodle like that! The owl is incredible!

  2. Hello there! I was nodding my head in agreement while reading your post. And how cool is it that you were a stationery designer – I think that it’s awesome. Nowadays few people understand my apparent obssession with paper and pens and ribbons and stickers. I can go through any mall not buying a single piece of clothing but let me loose in an arts and crafts store or scrapbook store I might as well empty my wallet.

    Letter writing is such a lost art. It’s nice to get a real pretty letter instead of the usual bills.

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