Few things make me giddier than unexpected mail from a friend or an immediate written reply to a personal letter. I went on a letter-writing spree late last month. I expected to hear from no one any time soon. But within a week of my sending her a letter, my penfriend Beth wrote back. She didn’t send “just” a letter, but a pocket letter. Now, in case you haven’t heard, pocket letters are the latest snail mail craze. I’ve done six since I learned about them late winter/early spring. Two of my colleague-friends and I tried them out on each other first (see their first pocket letters near the end of the post).
Traditionally, pocket letters are put together using nine-pocket trading card protectors. I make mine with Project Life pocket pages. I prefer the larger “canvas” and the various shapes and sizes to work with. Besides, I have boxes of PL pages screaming to be used.
Pocket letters have been “popularized” by Janette Lane. On her blog, she provides instructions, tips, templates, and even a video for putting them together. You can insert into the nine little pockets anything that will fit, but the “letter” is a must for one of the pockets. Enough chat. Here’s the pocket letter:
Pink, sparkly, and cheerful! And that’s just the front…
It is typical to stash items in the back of the pocket letter, so Beth tucked lots of fun goodies inside–tiny stickers and embellishments I plan to use in my planners and for making ATCs. Besides the letter, there are really no strict “requirements,” but I don’t think I’ve seen a pocket letter yet that didn’t contain a factory sealed tea bag.
Here’s a closer look at the items tucked into the pockets:
But the best part of the pocket letter is…you guessed it! The letter! Beth wrote a nice long letter and used stationery recycled from leftover journal pages–something I also do with my leftover journal pages! I loved all the quotes and insights printed on the pages.
Interesting side note about the “do not follow” quote: It is usually attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson, not T.S. Eliot. Investigation time!
The cool thing about pocket letters is that they fold neatly into a business envelope–or in the case of the ones I make, an A7 envelope–and placed in the mail. I reinforce the edges with strong washi tape or clear packing tape. They usually cost between $1.50-2.00 to mail (USA domestic).
Here are pics of the first pocket letters I received [click an image for a closer look]:
We’ve all improved tremendously since our first pocket letters!
Pocket letters are a fun way to share more than a letter with a friend or relative. Instead of dropping photos, tips, inspirational material, etc. into an envelope with a letter, you can incorporate all of those things into a unique and personalized pocket page. They take a little more planning than letter-in-envelope, but they make attractive and unexpected gifts.
Try one out today!