I know that I've mentioned it before, but I seriously LOVE using baking paper to make my pen pal packages look pretty. These glassine bags are so easy and fast to make, plus they look really cool to pop a handwritten letter into! If you feel like adding a little something *extra* for your pen pal, they are the perfect for that too - I'm sharing quite a few ideas on this below, so let's get started....
Materials required: Baking paper (or wax paper), sewing machine, scissors.
How to: This is beyond easy! You will just need to tear off a piece of baking paper (what ever size takes your fancy), fold up the bottom section and machine stitch the sides into place - just make sure you leave enough at the top to create a fold down flap.
If you aren't a sewer, then just staple the edges closed instead.
I like to make up a batch in different sizes, to hold a variety of goodies.
Once you've filled the glassine bags with nice things, they can be closed using all sorts of methods. In the photo above I have used a giant paper clip, tied up the package with string, stapled the flap shut and also stuck the flap down with a glue stick. Sadly, washi and paper tape don't stick to the baking paper, otherwise that would be VERY cute to close with.
Okay, now onto some ideas to go inside the bags...
I love sending my pen pals little treasures in my letters. Since I have a few people that I exchange letters with, I try to keep my costings down so I'm always on the look out for nice things to send that my pen pals might enjoy. Sometimes I just send a letter, but other times I add a few bits and pieces.
Here are some of my favourite goodies to include:
One: Project Life cards are really nice to send (you can buy them in packs at Spotlight, scrapbooking stores, etc..) and I especially love mailing the ones with nice sayings on the front.
Two: I picked up these sweet glitter seals at a $2 shop and they came in a pack with several sheets. I use them to seal and/or embellishment envelopes, but they're nice to share with pen pals too.
Three: Tiny sticky notes. Keep your eyes peeled for these in stationery stores as they make cute gifts. A lovely friend sent me these ones!
Four: Tiny embellishments and accents! They look so sweet done up in a glassine bag and you only need to pop in a few. Once again, your pen pal can use these for letter writing, scrapbooking, in journals or to decorate envelopes with.
Five: Interesting tags are something I always keep my eyes peeled for, as they make lovely little gifts for the stationery lover. I sometimes make my own too, using a shipping tag and some washi tape.
Six: I sometimes send small sheets of stickers to my friends too - they're nice to embellish letters with. These particular stickers came in a box and are the cutest! I bought them off Ebay - just search 'Scandinavia matchbox label stickers' if you need some for your own stationery stash. They were really well priced and come in a box of 70 stickers - the box is darling too. I use them a lot on envelopes (to make them look pretty), but they are also a cute gift for pen pals.
Seven: Something else to keep your eye out for, if you're keen on building a small stash of 'sending' goodies, are tiny cards. These were a gift from my lovely friend Kate and they're just 10cm X 10cm, which is perfect to pop in the post to a friend. Sometimes I send small cards as part of my letter, with a message inside - or sometimes I leave them blank as a gift for my pen pal to enjoy.
Eight: Tiny paper doilies! Oh, these are such a pretty gift to send a pen pal and look damned cute poking through a glassine bag. Most newsagencies and super markets stock them and they're only a couple of dollars for a big packet. Card makers, stationery fans and scrapbookers will adore them!
Nine: I'm always excited to receive tea bags from my pen pals and equally love buying them to send. I am forever keeping my eyes peeled for different brands in individually wrapped packets and then I just break up the packets and send one or two with a letter. It's a lovely thought to envisage your pen pal reading your letter over a nice cup of tea, don't you think? They're flat too, so an inexpensive treat that can be popped in a normal sized envelope.
Ten: Postcards, postcards, postcards. I really enjoy tracking down pretty art style postcards to post and you can often pick them up for free too, in cafes or tiny restaurants. Sometimes I might mail my pen pal a touristy post card, but I usually save the arty ones especially to add in an envelope with my letter. It's a big possibility that your creative pen pal might have an inspiration board in their house some where (or keep such things in a diary/journal), so a cool postcard will be perfect for them to tape up on their board.
There we go, that's all for today's post. Fingers crossed there are one or two things above that tickle your fancy to mail off to your pen pal. Happy mailing!