This year birthdays have been a little different–we can’t really celebrate in person and gift giving is more complicated too, especially with some friends living overseas and the price of shipping! Recently I’ve been sending letters with a few little “gifts” inside instead. Most of the letters I’ve sent were for birthdays but there’s no reason these ideas can’t be used for just sending things in general.
There are two key components to making homemade crafts/letters: first, everything needs to be flat and fit into an envelope, and second, it needs to be made up of material that is already available to you. Here are things I’ve been sending recently:
Newspaper and magazine cutouts. Any article or image that reminds me of a friend is worth sending. For birthdays the horoscope section of the paper is especially exciting!
Scraps of paper. Okay, hear me out, not everyone wants this, but friends who are into art usually appreciate new materials to work with. It’s also fun to cut the paper into a shape and stick it onto the letter itself.
Pop-up card. Surprisingly easy to make! Here is a tutorial on how to make one.
Chocolate or a stick of gum. Any wrapped food that is lightweight and flat can be sent in the post! I have been sending chocolate coins.
Stickers. Who doesn’t love stickers? I either stick them directly onto the letter, or like the scrap paper, I send a loose one so it can still be used.
Pressed leaves and flowers. Super aesthetic! Flowers aren’t around this time of year in Toronto but the circular green leaves (in the pic below) can still be picked and pressed in the winter.
Quotes. Sometimes I come across a quote that reminds me of a friend so I like to send it to them.
Book pages. Similarly, if you are okay with ripping out book pages, they can be exciting gifts to send.
Postcards. Recently Vic had a sign-up for free postcards so I got some! Usually, I don’t have any blank ones so I reuse old ones I’ve been sent by cutting out parts or covering up the back.
Notebooks. I have never attempted this but my friend hand-makes little books that she sends in the mail. I cherish mine deeply!
It can be hard to come up with the contents of a letter but I don’t think the writing (if any) needs to be super thought out, people will appreciate it either way. Sometimes I just write out a dream I had or share the beginning of a story idea. Other times, a simple message surrounded by a little drawing is enough.
I think any personalised letter is something special to receive this year. (And don’t forget that envelopes can be decorated too!)