A DIY custom craft letter
Credit: Claudia Chan

A DIY custom craft letter

If you pour effort and passion into a creative letter, its worth will be immeasurable

In a world overflowing with emails and text messages, snail mail has become more precious than ever

While email may beat traditional letters in cost and efficiency, conventional mail will always come out on top for its longer shelf life and unparalleled individuality.

In fact, ideal snail mail is exactly the opposite of the average email. By all means, you’ve got to make your letters personal, creative and ultimately, worth keeping around.

Without going over the limit of 30 grams, here are some light and easy snail mail crafts for a one-of-a-kind letter.

Goodbye Generic Fonts

Take the time to master some mad calligraphy skills. Personalize your envelopes and cards in a way that fonts cannot (although you can always use online fonts for inspiration). Even writing naturally with a calligraphy pen can do wonders for your penmanship.

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A customized phone case is
a thoughtful yet light snail mail item
(Image: Claudia Chan)

Enlightening Excerpts

Nothing says, “I think of you often” like sending funny and thought-provoking magazine or newspaper articles to your pen pal. Magazines are also terrific sources for high quality images on glossy smooth paper.

Simple Origami

The simple yet exquisite Japanese art can liven up your static letters. Find easy origami patterns online, such as hearts or cranes, and slip them into your envelopes.

You can fold your masterpiece into its 2D form and your receiver can “revive” it by folding it back to its upright position. What’s more, you can add excitement to your magazine clippings by folding them into decorative shapes.

Crafty Cases

Keep your snail mail items up with the times by sending your pen pal their own personalized phone case. Just buy a basic one-coloured iPhone or Android case at places like the Richmond Night Market and decorate it stylishly with permanent markers.

A Whiff of Perfume

Spray your favourite fragrance all over your letter so that your recipient (perhaps a long distance lover) will instantly think of you when he/she opens the envelope.

Pressed Flowers

Brighten up your letter by placing your pen pal’s favourite blossom into the envelope. You can even add a little Canadian flavour by sending a pressed maple leaf – either to remind them of home or to show off your Canadian roots to non-Canadian friends.

Simply collect your flowers and leaves, place them between two pieces of tissue paper in a thick heavy book, and voilà, you’ll have a gorgeous gift in a couple of weeks.

Mario pop-up card
Liven up your cards with a little pop-up
(Image: Claudia Chan)

DIY Everything

Sure Do-It-Yourself items can take a lot of time, effort and creativity, but the end results are always breathtaking.

You can start small by creating your own postcards with unique photos, putting together custom stickers, or constructing your own envelope with brightly coloured cardstock.

On top of that, surprise your recipient with a homemade pop-up card. (And no, they’re not just for kids!)

More Snail Mail Tips

Do not type out your letters! Yes, handwriting can be tiring and yes, we tend to make mistakes (thank goodness for Wite-Out!), but what separates a traditional letter from an electronic one is thoughtfulness and originality.

So find your inner kindergartener and have fun creating meaningful art!