With email, text messages etc, letter writing is often forgotten but it’s so much fun to get a physical letter or card in the mail! Long distance parents need a full tool kit and letter writing is a strong tool for the tool kit. However, letter writing can feel complicated if you have to go hunting for the things you need every time so in this post, I’ll tell you how to make an easy letter writing kit!
The approach I take organizes your supplies in a portable way so that you can write a letter easily wherever you are comfortable.
What you need to hold your letter writing kit
You can absolutely go as simply as a box or a bag. However, I have found that if my stuff isn’t easy to find, it becomes more of a chore to put it together. With paper, stationary, post cards, pens, stickers, stamps and address labels all swimming around in the same box or bag, I’d go nuts. You could go with multiple boxes or letter trays and organizers for small things, but then we are talking lots of space and probably not portable. I need my letter writing kit to be able to go to the sofa or my desk rather than needing a dedicated space to write letters.
Enter folders and pouches. They hold things and organize them into groups. But then you need something to put them in that is equally as portable. So there are two styles I like. One uses a 3 ring binder and the other, an accordion file. I use both but you could use one or the other, if you prefer. The accordion file is good for things like cards and stationary and the 3 ring binder is good for things like stickers and stamps. However, the binder can ALSO do some paper and stationary if you use folders for the binder.
- Accordion File (affiliate link) – there are some giant ones out there. You just need 10-12 slots, probably.
- 3-Ring binder and 3-Ring folder pockets (affiliate links)
- Your binder will hold folders with paper and stationary and pouches with pens and small paper items. I use a 3″ binder, which has plenty of room for whatever. You may only need a 2″ binder if you are light on bling like stickers.
- You will need folders with pockets if you aren’t going the accordion file route but you might also want them in addition to the accordion file route. These will hold paper, stationary, cards and postcards. Alternatively, postcards and small stationary can go into the pouches (below).
- In a pinch, you can cut down the spine of a regular pocket folder and 3-ring punch the left hand side.
- several 3-Ring binder zip lock pouches (affiliate link) – If you put the small stuff into an accordion file, they can get lost and in some accordion files, will fall out the bottom of the folder and just be a jumble at the bottom of the accordion file. In a pinch, you can punch holes in the bottom of a freezer zip lock bag (they are thicker than regular ones) and they will get the job done… but are not as sturdy. You need 4+ pouches :
- one for stamps
- two for address labels Yours and your child’s)
- one for pens and pencils etc
- more for stickers or any other small bling.
What goes into your Letter Writing Kit
- forever stamps – as many as you’d like – they last forever!
- Peel off address labels with your address – You can get these made. I use Avery blank labels with a regular printer and print a couple pages at a time, which also last forever. When I need more, I can print them myself. This is especially useful if you or your child are likely to move.
- Peel off address labels with your child’s address – same as above
- Envelopes – You can start getting creative here. If you buy stationary sets, they might come with cute matching envelopes. It’s nice to have some plain white envelopes around though.
- Consider a pack of blank cards with envelopes or stationary.
- Bling! – Stickers, stick on gems, glitter pens (pro tip : nothing will aggravate your co-parent more than putting actual glitter into a letter. Everyone’s co-parenting relationship is different but I wouldn’t!) and other decorative objects. If you’d like to spend some real cash, your local craft store has a whole paper crafts / scrapbooking section with whole isles of such embellishments.
- Letter sized gifts like stickers and small amount gift cards
- Stuff you found like cartoon strips, magazine clips etc. Any time you see something neat that can be mailed, save it or cut it out and add it to your file for later!
- Pre-shop for cards, and keep a few on hand. My favorites were cards that just said ‘hi’ or ‘I love you’ with some cute pictures on them because I could draw and write a lot in them.
- Post cards are nice because they have pictures of cool stuff on them like a picture of the land around where you live or maybe a picture of their favorite animal. Collect postcards when you find them and stash them for later.
- Pens, pencils, crayons, markers and any other writing implements. Although letter writing has some fun creative elements, do make sure the pens you like to write with are included.
In each section of your accordion file, put a different set of items. Stamps in one, address labels in one, cards in one, etc. This accordion file is for your use. Make sure it has everything in it you need to write a letter.
Send a letter writing kit to your child
Equipping your child with everything they need to send a letter will go a long way towards actually getting letters. I found the 3 ring binder approach to be the best for my son. He used 3 ring binders, pouches and folders in school so he was most familiar with it. It also offered the best ‘all in one place’ option. It could hold paper items as well as small items.
Fill the kit with everything they would need to send a letter or card themselves. The more fun stuff you add to it, the more fun it will be for them to write letters. You can leave off stuff like small gift cards and instead amp up the stickers and fun pens and markers.
Time needed: 1 hour.
How to Create a Letter writing kit
- Decide what to keep it in
In this post, I go through options that are both organized and portable, which I found to be useful. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something that will be easy for you to use.
- Organize your letter writing tools within your container
Nothing says painful like having to sort through a bunch of papers, pens, envelopes etc to find the stamps. Whatever container you use for your kit, make sure your letter writing items are organized within it.
- Fill your letter writing kit with the basics
Stamps, envelopes, address labels, paper and pens are the basics.
- Add to your letter writing kit with some extras
Post cards, cards, stationary, bling and small gifts go a long way towards making letter writing and receiving letters fun!