UK Postage costs: How much can you get in a large letter?

Photo by Bich Tran on

We all like value for money don’t we? One of the things which makes me slightly annoyed is that my handmade cards often have to be sent as a large letter because they can be thicker than 5mm. It would be better if the Royal Mail could have a price for a “medium” letter, which could be between 5mm and 10mm – maybe I should tweet them!

Until then, a large letter is between 5mm and 25mm, so maybe I should be making the most of it and cramming more things in the envelope?

A large letter is split into different weights and therefore the heavier the letter, the more it costs.

I’m going to challenge myself to see how much I can send for the least amount of money.

The cheapest first class large letter is £1.01 for 100g and the most expensive is £2.60 for 750g. Second class post (which is fine for most pen pal snail mail) is £0.79 for 100g up to £2.22 for 750g [November 2018 prices].

assorted colored vietnam postage stamps

Photo by Bich Tran on

My plan is to weigh various items and then put a package together, making sure I don’t go over the 25mm thickness limit.

I have some ideas of what I would like to send, and Pinterest just has so much inspiration. There are people on there who only blog about snail mail, and that is such good news for snail mail fans.

The Weigh-in

I selected some very random items which may or may not find their way into a pen pal packet soon. Each one was weighed on my digital kitchen scales. It is just a rough idea and I would still get a package double checked at the Post Office.


  • Small pad of sticky notes … 4g
  • 1 sheet A4 computer paper … 5g
  • 10 paper clips … 2g
  • Lip balm tin … 33g
  • Packet of stickers … 27g
  • Scented sachet … 21g
  • Biro … 8g
  • Packet of small buttons … 15g
  • Handmade envelope (heavy cardstock) … 13g
  • Tea bag … 3g
  • Artist Trading Card/Collector Card/Playing Card … 2g

My tip would be to always aim to be slightly under rather than slightly over the limits because you do not want to go into the next charging bracket for the sake of 1 or 2 grams. Likewise with the size, I wouldn’t make the package any thicker than 20mm because you want to make sure it clears the scale rather than has to be forced through the measure.

I would also recommend that you get the package weighed at the Post Office before you seal it, so that you can make the necessary adjustments there and then.

What snail mail ideas do you have? Drop me a comment below!




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  1. Emm says:

    I’ve never had a pen pal before! I’d love one though!

  2. Lavrax says:

    I love this! I always get so confused when I’m trying to post stuff at the post office, and this will definitely come in handy when I start getting extra good at being your pen pal and I can send more stuff! x

  3. Geraldine says:

    I love this! Those are such great items to put in a pen pal mail! I haven’t done letter writing and put anything in like that cause I’m not creative LOL

  4. abbyheird says:

    Wish I lived near you, I’d LOVE to penpal!! This is a really smart piece to share. Of course, from the U.S. I don’t know what the 💲monies💲 meaaaan lol but super helpful indeed!!

    • mariexceline says:

      Yes this is UK specific, so I need to look at what it costs to send abroad as well. I thought this might give people some ideas of what to send as well though. Maybe we could be penpals anyway? Mx

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