Snail Mail ideas to help new penpals join in with the revival

Photo by Pixabay on

The aim of this post is to provide some inspiration to anyone wanting to become a penpal.

You don’t have to start by writing to strangers – why not start by writing to someone you already know? I am sure they would be very pleased to hear from you!

There are some great reasons to send someone a letter:

  • Just to say hello
  • A nice surprise – better than a bill or junk mail
  • Send a smile – let someone know you’re thinking of them
  • It’s more personal – handwriting is so unique
  • Keep old traditions alive
  • Share good news

Like many hobbies, if you go and buy everything you think you need, it can become very expensive. I would recommend that you start with just a few basics, see how you get on, and then maybe think about what you really need to buy.

Here’s what I suggest as a good starter kit:

  • Plain A4 computer paper: you can use as writing paper and also for envelopes
  • A nice pen: one of those 4 in 1 biros are brilliant (like the one in the picture above)
  • Paper clips or staples: clip or staple things to your letter
  • Sellotape and glue: needed to secure handmade envelopes and for sticking pictures to your letter
  • Scissors: for making envelopes and for cutting up things to stick on
  • Magazine cuttings and paper scraps: make your own embellishments and envelopes
  • Envelopes of different sizes (I am going to be sharing how to make an envelope on my craft blog in a future blog post)
  • Plain white address labels: for the front of the envelope and the return address
  • Postage stamps!!!!

Once you have got your stash together, you may need some ideas of what to write. You don’t need to write anything too personal, especially if you’re writing to a stranger. You don’t have to write much to begin with either. Try these ideas:

  • Start with the date and time and what the weather is like
  • A favourite quote
  • Movies watched
  • Books read
  • Lists of anything
  • Use doodles and magazine cuttings to decorate the page and the envelope

You could draw a template and photocopy it at your local library if you are sending lots of letters.

Here’s an example from Pinterest:

Stay safe! Be sure that you can trust the person you are giving your personal details to!
When sharing photographs of mail you have received or are sending, remember to disguise any personal details (yours and those of the sender/recipient)!

When you have finished your letter, make sure your envelope is addressed correctly, properly sealed and include a return address. Check that you have paid the correct postage as your recipient will be charged the excess otherwise.

I will be sharing some examples of things I have made so please subscribe to my blog if you want to see more. There are always lots of pretty things on Pinterest and Instagram if you need inspiration. I would also suggest you subscribe to my friend Lavrax as she is a newbie penpal, and I just know her ideas are going to be fresh and exciting!

My snail mail pinboard


You may also like...

16 Responses

  1. Scott Laughlin says:

    Years ago my late mother kept several pen pal going – round robins and handkerchief echanges. I’ve thought about it for myself now, in my old age. Thanks for the boost.

  2. Such a great post, full of ideas for letters! my friend and I used to write to each other when we were at school together, even though we saw each other every day! she mailed me a sock once 😂 I’d like to get back into it, thanks for the inspiration ❤️

  3. alisonw30 says:

    I love this! It’s so lovely to get a hand written note or card in this day and age of email and Facebook! X

  4. Freddie says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I used to have pen pals as a pre teen, and have a few now. These tips and tricks are very useful. This will make me a better pen pal I hope. Again thanks ever so much xox

  5. I love snail mail!! I’ve been wanting to find a pen pal, but I like your idea of writing to someone I already know. Writing to my relatives in France is a great way to communicate with my great aunt, as well as practice my French! Thanks for the great inspiration! 💓

  6. Geraldine says:

    This takes me back to when I was in second grade and we wrote letters to children in Africa. I believe I got one back from a girl but I couldn’t quite understand it! I love how deep into DIY you get with this Marie 😄

  7. Lavrax says:

    I love this!! I am so happy that I am now a part of the revival of traditional pen pals. I’m so glad you got me into it. I had no idea how this would be but it’s genuinely such an amazing concept and I love that there are so many templates of things to write about. Amazing post!x

    • mariexceline says:

      I’m so excited that you are going to be a big part of this. Looking forward to sending you some more things and seeing what ideas you have. I love your enthusiasm for this snail mail revival 🐌💕

  1. 10th May 2019

    […] am passionate about keeping old skills alive such as handwriting and crochet. It’s my worry that they will fizzle out eventually in our digital […]

  2. 12th August 2019

    […] love receiving handwritten letters from family and friends, and writing back to them, although I do send lots of text messages […]

If you enjoyed reading this post, please leave me a comment - thank you!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: