How to Ditch the Phone & Write Some Snail Mail

Today’s post is written by the incredibly talented illustrator and designer Tara Joy Andrews. Tara is the creator of the BlogJam Atlantic logo, as well as numerous other whimsical and wonderful designs. Read on to hear her thoughts on the return of hand written letters and to enter a very special giveaway!

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I fell in love with mail in elementary school when I was about seven years old. Our class did a letter-writing project and all of my classmates were randomly given each other’s addresses. We were given some writing prompts to write a letter and the teacher gathered the letters in their sealed and addressed envelopes, put stamps on them and mailed them for us. I lived outside of town so was disappointed that my letter took an extra day to arrive but I remember the feeling of getting something in the mailbox addressed to me from someone that a stranger had taken the time to deliver right to my house. At such a young age it seemed like magic.

Why Mail When We Have Texts, Tweets, and Email?

We have more ways than ever to connect with people. We can text, tweet, email, Skype, or FaceTime with our smartphones but there is nothing quite like getting a handwritten letter in the mail. You can’t touch a tweet like you can hold a letter from someone. Snail mail connects people more, feels extraordinary and because it takes time and effort to get pen and paper together to write a letter, the sentiment feels genuine and somehow more meaningful than a text or email.

The added benefit of mail is that you can also include extras like photos, artwork, postcards, craft supplies, washi tape (a favourite of mine), stickers, recipes, tea, flower seeds and a million other small flat items that fit in an envelope. Googling what to send to a pen pal will give you many ideas!

Snail mail is also a great way to meet new people, learn about different cultures and reconnect with friends and family. There are many snail mail swaps that happen hosted online or through email by snail mail enthusiasts. Some of my favourite mail swap sites are Pretty Postal in Toronto and Reading Residence’s Bring Back Paper in the UK. In June, I will host my first mail swap, you’ll find out how to be involved later in this post.

Snail-Mail-Post-Tara-Joy-Andrews

Time for You to Send a Letter!

Inspired yet? I was hoping you would be.

Decide whose address is going on that envelope. Think of someone that you haven’t connected with in a while or someone you see often but would appreciate a surprise from you in the mail.

Ask them for their address or you can be a secret detective and use canada411.ca to look up their street address and if you know their civic address, canadapost.ca can get you their postal code.

There are many local artists (like me) that create adorable cards and stationery items that can further inspire you to get started. Your local bookstore or gift shop will be full of them, or just pull out a piece of printer paper, it doesn’t have to be fancy.

Not sure what to write? Here are a few prompts for you:

  • Write about something you have recently accomplished
  • Discuss the crazy weather we’ve been having or not having
  • Share what you love about the current season
  • Tell them about recent goals you have set for yourself
  • Recommend a book, magazine, podcast or Netflix show you are enjoying
  • Talk about a mutual friend you ran into and how much you liked catching up with them
  • Talk about the best meal you’ve had and where was it, even better if you made it yourself

Once you start writing it feels like you are having a visit with the person you are writing to and the words flow easier.

Join My June Mail Swap

How do mail swaps work? You’ll send me your mailing address and it will be shared with one other person who also wants to send some mail. You’ll have a deadline to send your mail by and I will provide some prompts if you run into writers block or are not sure what to send. Also, if you both agree you can continue to be pen pals.

You’ll also get a coupon code to save 10% off anything in my Etsy shop when you join my
mailing list and throughout May I am also offering free shipping throughout Canada.
Happy snail mailing, I hope you get lots of letters in your mailbox!

Click here to join Tara’s mailing list!

Win a Snail Mail Starter Pack

Snail-Mail-Post-Giveaway-Items

To kick start your letter writing and snail mailing adventures, Tara has generously provided this awesome starter pack of 5 notecards and 5 postcards for one lucky reader!

To be entered in this giveaway, leave a comment and let us know who you would send one of these adorable cards to. Is it your sister? Your old roommate? A penpal? Let us know in the comments below!

CONTEST IS CLOSED. CONGRATULATIONS TO LAURIE!

21 thoughts on “How to Ditch the Phone & Write Some Snail Mail

  1. Oh my goodness! This is excellent. I love sending (and receiving) snail mail! I know you know this to be true. 😀

    I would definitely choose to send one of these awesome and beautiful locally made cards/postcards to a faraway friend. That way they’d get a wee piece of Nova Scotia *and* an awesome letter *AND* Tara would get some love from far away, too!

    Fun giveaway! Totally loving this concept to bring back snail mail.

  2. This is such a great idea. I would for sure send one of these lovely pieces of card art to my cousin Trudy. She is the ultimate animal lover and takes in rescues when she can.

  3. I love sending and receiving traditional mail! I mostly send things to my sisters. I would share these awesome cards with them for sure!

  4. Honestly sending and receiving mail is one of my greatest joys. There is just something so lovely about it. These cards are so cute. Five you say? I would say one to my long lost best friend in Toronto, one to my mom in Yarmouth, one to my brother in Luneburg, one to a pal in Taiwan and keep one for me cause I LOVE dogs.

  5. Such a great post! My best friend lives in a different province so I’d send some snail mail love her way!

  6. Beautiful cards ♥️ I’d send them to pen-friends near and far. I also have a number of dog lover friends to send one to as well. Thanks for the great giveaway 👍

  7. These are amazing! I would use them to send to my friends that have moved away – I pet sit and a lot of my furbabies have recently moved away: Seattle, WA; Hollywood, MA; Columbus, OH — these cards would crisscross the States. Hope I win! Thank you for doing the giveaway!

  8. I would send these lovely postcards to my 5th grade students. I have a snail mail club that I do during lunch once a week at school.

  9. I love this contest, Tara Joy’s cards, and all things mail! I would be so happy to send these to my friends and family. One would go to my stepmom who owns 2 Doodles, one to my elementary school best friend who now runs a doggy daycare, and one to my old friends who have a dog that looks just like the Boston Terrier on one of these adorable cards. Oh, I’d send one to my friend in Italy who I regularly swap stationery and other paper goods with by mail. 💌

  10. I really love snail mail and letter writing as you can see on my Instagram @penpaling_paula
    If I would win these cards I would send them to my penpals as I have so many of them, and also sending one cat card to my mother in law who is a real cat lover!

  11. When I was a kid I joined an international penpal organization, and I got tons of mail! I still have some of the letters today. I’d send one of these adorable cards to my friend in Oklahoma, whom I haven’t seen in nearly 20 years but still keep in regular contact with. And I always send snail mail to my aunt, who is nearly 90 but loves to get mail. Love this!

  12. Wonderful!
    I love sending (and receiving) postcards. They are such an easy and quick way to say hello.
    I have several family friends who are in nursing homes, they love to receive a post card or a letter.
    Thanks for sharing! Such lovely artwork too!

  13. I would send a card to my bestie in Boston. I really need to make time to write and send letters to special people in my life – just because I love them!

    I participated in a holiday card exchange a couple years ago with some Twitter friends. It was so fun! Getting a card or letter in the mail is the best.

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