5 Pretty Ways to Dress Up Your Snail Mail

Celebrate National Card and Letter Writing Month with these oh-so-pretty envelope decorating ideas.

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DIY

Aside from face-to-face interaction, good old fashioned snail mail is the most personal form of communication out there. Not only do you have to take valuable time out of your day to compose a meaningful letter, but the finished product is something tangible and special the recipient can keep forever. Plus, letter writing is accompanied by a goody bag of intrinsic benefits such as improved social skills, penmanship and even stress relief!

Photo by: ohhappyday.com

ohhappyday.com

So, in honor of National Card and Letter Writing Month, we're making a point to send more cards and letters to our loved ones. And where better to start than with the first thing people see: the envelope. Break out your gel pens and craft paper, and get inspired by these super easy envelope decorating ideas that are sure to make your friends feel extra special.

Quick Tip: Remember those letter writing rules you learned in elementary school? Yeah, they're still important. Brush up on USPS envelope addressing guidelines before sending your next letter.

DIY Envelope Liners

Photo by: The Budget Savvy Bride

The Budget Savvy Bride

Store-bought or custom-lined envelopes will normally run you about $1 a piece. While this doesn't seem like a huge cost at first, it definitely adds up if you plan on sending more than a few letters. Make your own at a fraction of the cost with this easy DIY from The Budget Savvy Bride. All you need is craft or wrapping paper, glue and some plain envelopes. You can even choose liner paper to match the season, the theme of your event or the recipient's favorite color for an extra-special touch.

Make This: DIY Envelope Liners

Try Your Hand at Hand Lettering

Photo by: Chelsea Faulkner

Chelsea Faulkner

You don't need to be a professional calligrapher to get professional-looking results. My motto? Fake it 'til you make it. Faux calligraphy is the easiest way to amp up your envelope game. Here are a few tricks to get you started:

Use the entire envelope when writing names. Start your pen stroke at one edge and end at the other with letters condensed to the middle portion of the envelope.

Switch up fonts for a graphic punch. Write names in lowercase faux calligraphy and addresses in uppercase block characters.

Line it up. Visually, straight lines are the most appealing. But if you don't trust yourself to write in a straight line, invest in an addressing guide like The Lettermate (above), or simply use another envelope or sheet of thick paper to guide your pen strokes.

Use good pens. This one is a game changer. A less-than-quality pen will make or break your stroke consistency and the overall look of the envelope. My go-to pens are high-quality gel varieties like the Pilot G2 07 Gel Ink Pen or, for writing in white, Sakura's Gelly Roll Classic White 08.

Break Out Your Doodling Skills

Photo by: Chelsea Faulkner

Chelsea Faulkner

Remember the days when every note you passed in class was covered in colorful gel pen doodles? Who knew they'd come in handy later on? Add a little pizzazz to a white envelope with fun designs like vines, flowers, starbursts or whatever your creative mind comes up with! Just make sure the address is still legible when you're done. 

Go Stamp Crazy

A boring stamp can affect the entire aesthetic of your carefully-decorated envelope. Next time you go to buy postage, choose interesting, colorful designs or find stamps that fit your theme. I'm currently obsessed with the USPS "Me to You" Forever Stamps that come with adorable stickers to decorate your envelope with.

Don't Forget the Return Address

Photo by: Callie Beth Sercey, Courtesy of Three Designing Women

Callie Beth Sercey, Courtesy of Three Designing Women

I know, I know. Handwritten return addresses can look messy and crowd the front of your beautiful envelope. You might even be tempted to put it on the back of the envelope. DON'T. Not only is this bad practice, but it could result in the letter never reaching the recipient. Opt instead for a pretty, easy-to-use custom address stamp like this one from Three Designing Women. They come in a slew of really cute designs and you can even customize the color!

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