I’ve started a new hobby/activity/time-killer/stress reliever. It’s something I’d pinned on Pinterest long ago, but just now have a person to participate in it with.
A good friend of mine moved away several months ago. She has finally settled into her new home. Her girls are the ages of my girls, and they wanted to be pen pals. My friend and I are going to exchange letters too, so I get to try out this new “hobby”.
I went shopping to gather some of the supplies that I need to get started. I’m adapting it to what I’m interested in and how it will work for me. I don’t expect my friend to send pocket letters back to me, but it will be an added bonus if she does.
The basic concept is to use baseball card sheet protectors and to fill each pocket with something fun and different. Items to include may be a letter, a tea bag, a list of questions, a game, fun stickers, fun clips, pictures, quotes, pretty decor, or any other items that the recipient may enjoy (and fits in the pocket). The sheet protector is then folded and mailed. The recipient then has a fun gift to open, as well as the expected letter. (Check out a search of pocket letters, or Pinterest for a better explanation and tons of ideas. Here is a link to the creator’s website, too, in case the video link at the top of the post doesn’t work.)
I’m so excited to be sending letters. I don’t send letters consistently at regular intervals. It’s more when the mood strikes me. I wait for inspiration to help assemble my letters. The more I send, the better I get at working with different themes and how to manage my pockets. The real challenge is to use the supplies I have and to stop going shopping for “fun things” to add.
I usually send the girls’ letters at the same time. They don’t always want to write when I do. Lil Bit has the hardest time, but then she’s only 6 yrs old. The postage adds up quickly when all the letters are sent together. It’s not too bad, especially with the irregularity of the mailings.
I have several things that I usually include in my pockets.
- the letter – it has to be kept short and sweet to keep the pocket semi-flat
- puzzle pieces – it’s a 100 piece puzzle that I send 5-10 pieces at a time
- tea bag – I pick something from my stash that sounds good at the time
- Q+A – this is usually 2 pockets for new questions and answers to previous questions
- tape – either washi tape or fabric tape, depending on what I’ve found recently
- odds and ends – usually cute paper clips, clip art, stickers or other small what-nots
I can usually fill all 9 pockets without too much trouble.
I’ve learned to create a page or picture to decorate both sides of the pocket and tuck the little items inside. I’m using scrapbook paper, coloring pages, wrapping paper, card stock, and whatever else I can find that matches the theme I’m trying to make. Mostly I try to make the pocket letter match the season or an upcoming holiday.
Creating the pocket letters are a fun, creative hobby for me. There’s not so much emphasis on writing the letter. It’s more on how I want to connect the pockets together. I need to stop shopping for tidbits to add and just use what I have on hand. It’s an opportunity for me to put as little or as much effort and creativity into it as I want and feel like doing.
I’m not consistent enough to have a “regular” pen-pal. Sharing with a friend is enough for me, at this time. Maybe someday I’ll expand my network of people. I think my biggest fear isn’t my inconsistency, but in knowing what to put in the letter. I’m actually fairly private about my life, despite my blogging.
~ Maybe, when I grow up….