Life @ U of T

Introduction

Olive’s Guide to Writing Letters

Olive’s Guide to Writing Letters

Welcome to my blog post on letter writing!

Recently, I’ve been feeling a bit overloaded by the amount of time I spend on technology. Of course texting and video calls are a useful way to stay in touch with friends and family, but at the same time they can be tiring and sometimes it feels like we’re missing the ability to break certain emotional barriers. 

I have found that letters allow me to express myself in a different way. Since there is no immediate reply back I think deeper about what I’m putting onto the page. If you don’t want to write to another person, it’s also fun to write a letter to yourself in the future. Here’s some things that I like to do with my letters: 

1. Paper and Envelope preparation

I am a huge fan of the old-fashioned aesthetic (possibly another reason why letter writing appeals to me so much) so I soak all the paper I use, as well as the envelopes, in coffee. The best way to do this is to pour cold coffee onto a plate (just a little bit) and place the paper in until it is soaked. Then, set in the sun to dry. Sometimes I add extra coffee drips for an ever more weathered effect. Tea can also be used. 

2. Drawing with Coffee

I also like to do little paintings with coffee! It’s an easy alternative to water colours if you don’t have any around. The letter I was making was for my friend’s birthday so I painted her cat (fittingly named Latte), as well as a drawing of her birthday presents because I couldn’t give them in person.

3. Writing the Letter

I use a real pen and ink pot. The ink fits the aesthetic but unfortunately my cursive isn’t legible so I also include a typed out version of my letter just in case. Note: the ink smudged because I did not have the foresight to use thicker paper. 

4. Extra

I love to add a quote that is applicable to the person I’m writing to: “Rivers know this: there is no hurry” – A.A. Milne (Winnie the Pooh).

5. Sealing

Easy way to seal a letter: drip coloured candle wax over the it, wait a few seconds, then press the top of a spoon into the wax.

I added a dry-pressed fern to the outside envelope too. Because this letter was going overseas I ended up putting it inside a bigger envelope to preserve everything.

 

I go a little extra on the whole letter writing process because I enjoy it. I love soaking the paper and how the whole room ends up smelling like coffee. The thing about letter writing and crafting in general is that you can make it suited for your interests. If you like drawing, then that can be the central focus, or scrapbooking, or just a handwritten note; they are all meaningful. Either way, I’m sure the recipient will appreciate the letter. Happy writing!

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