10 Stationery Essentials for Snail Mail-Lovers

Science has spoken; people are "ecstatic" to receive thank-you notes. Whether you've been sending decorative letters the old-fashioned way for many years or you're just getting started, these 10 essentials belong in your letter-writing kit.

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September 20, 2018

Writing Paper and Decorative Envelopes

Rifle Paper Co.'s Anna Bond paints beautiful flowers and scenes from all over the world. You can't go wrong with any of their high-quality stationery, but snail mailers who write often (or who just write long letters) will love the Monarch writing pads, which offer pretty serious bang for your buck. Each pad has 60 pages with gold foil embellishments. This set also includes a box of Rifle's matching envelopes, which will brighten any recipient's mailbox. Finish off your letter with the "Love" stamps Bond designed for USPS, which were released earlier this year. You can buy them online if your post office is out.

Buy It: Amazon, $37.94

Fountain Pen

Pilot's Metropolitan fountain pen is a classic. The weight of this pen feels great in your hand, and its various nibs glide across paper. If you're new to fountain pens, be prepared to find a new obsession. You can fill the Metropolitan with Pilot's various cartridges, which are easy, clean and great for travel. Or, you can buy a converter to use the pen with pretty much any ink you'd like. First-timers may like to start with the Pilot Enso Plumix kit, which includes three pens with different nib sizes so you can see what works best for your writing style. The set also comes with enough ink to keep you writing for many months to come.

Buy It: Amazon, $11.50

Fountain Pen Ink

Finding the perfect ink can be quite fun. Start with J. Herbin, which has been in business since 1670. Their 1670 and 1798 special edition lines are particularly beautiful, with silver and gold flecks that will give your letters an extra-special shine. Emerald of Chivor is a deep teal with a gorgeous gold sheen, for example, and Amethyste de L'Oural is a rich purple with a silver sheen. If you're new to fountain pens, rest assured that one bottle will last you a very, very long time.

Buy It: Amazon, $22.40 and up

Handmade Letterpress Cards

It's hard to be letterpress when you're looking for the perfect card. The heavyweight feel of the paper plus the retro-style designs with just a few colors are gorgeous. Wolf & Wren Press prints their cards on a vintage letterpress in Longmont, Colorado, and has a design for every occasion, including funny cards congratulating your friends on breaking up with a lousy girlfriend or boyfriend.

Buy It: Amazon, $7

Fountain Pen-Friendly Notebooks

This set of Rosetta pocket notebooks, created by and for fountain pen enthusiasts, is fantastic for jotting down lists of who you need to write to, or simply recording your thoughts while you're on the road. The set comes with a blank, grid-lined and bulleted notebook.

Buy It: iPenStore, $8

Sealing Wax

There's no better way to finish off a note or letter than with a wax seal. It shows the recipient you really care, and it adds a personal touch as you can easily find stamps with your initials. If you've never made a wax seal before, grab a small candle to light the wick rather than using a match. It's much easier to relight the flame that way if it goes out. Just make sure the candle isn't one of your favorites, as you're likely to end up with a few drops of sealing wax in it. This set from Bememo includes 12 different colors to match all your envelopes.

Buy It: Amazon, $11

Personalized Wax Seal Stamp

You could buy a pre-made wax seal stamp. Or, you could have one customized just for you. This Etsy shop will make a calligraphy stamp of your initials. If you're an artist or otherwise comfortable with graphic design, BacktoZero.co will make a stamp of your own custom design.

Buy It: Etsy, Starting at $13


If you're more inclined to send quick notes rather than long letters, get yourself a big box of postcards, like Pantone's set of 100 color swatch-inspired cards. These heavyweight postards come in pretty much every color you can imagine.

Buy It: Amazon, $16

Pen or Stationery Subscription Box

If you can't get enough pens or stationery, there's definitely a subscription box out there that has your name on it. Fountain pen lovers will enjoy iPenBox by online pen shop iPenStore, which always includes at least one fountain pen and an ink sample, along with several other pens, pencils and paper goodies. The less fountain pen-inclined should check out Cloth & Paper's monthly Penspiration box ($18), which includes a curated set of beautiful pens.

Buy It: iPenStore, $30

Decorative Washi Tape

Decorate envelopes and plain writing paper with washi tape, a decorative masking tape that's as fun to use as it is to receive. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of washi designs on Amazon alone, and your local stationery and craft stores will offer quite a few, as well.

Buy It: Amazon, $16 (48 rolls)