The Art of Sending Mail: Guest Post by K of Never Turn Down a Cupcake
I've got a nice surprise for you! I've asked a few of my snail mail loving friends to contribute a few posts about why they enjoy sending and receiving letters and cards. In a world full of digital technology and quick, instant gratification messages, we don't see as many handwritten notes anymore. When USPS first announced last month they would be cutting Saturday delivery service this summer, I definitely got upset and am someone who would actually be affected by this. I love sending mail! Sometimes I procrastinate with sending holiday and birthday cards so that extra day definitely counts.
Now I'm part of an unofficial movement to keep snail mail alive!
To kick off the series, my friend K shares her go-to places to gather materials for mailing cards. K is really fantastic about sending mail and I'm constantly impressed with how thoughtful she is to send a quick hello, thank you, or a congratulations.
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For as long as I can remember, I've loved REAL mail - yes, I was one of those people that sent postcards from family vacations and had long-distance pen pals. Somewhat ironically, my love for sending/receiving mail has only grown stronger as emails and texts have become more prevalent in our day to day lives. I feel like there's just something special about sending someone a quick note via snail mail, no matter what the occasion (in many cases, no occasion at all). I love making my own cards most of the time, but there are also so many cute cards for sale that I just can't pass up. Nowadays, there are tons of stores and online shops that have just about everything you'd need for sending out cards to friends and family. Here's a sampling of some of my favorite resources.
For card supplies:
- Michael's and AC Moore are two of my favorite stores for card materials. They have SO many types of cardstock, ribbon, stamps, and stickers (in the Scrapbooking aisle). What makes these stores even better is that there is ALWAYS a coupon for 40% off items, 20% off a purchase, etc., both on their websites and in the Sunday paper.
- Target sells boxes of blank card/envelope sets that allow you to personalize each card with stamps, stickers, and other decorations. They also have started to sell fun washi tape in a variety of patterns and colors.
- Paper Source and Papyrus are two of the more popular "mall card stores". While most people may think of only buying greeting cards here, they often have a great selection of stamps and stickers. Most Paper Source stores that I have been to have huge shelves of blank cardstock in literally a rainbow of colors. After-holiday sales are a great time to stock up on card materials to use the following year.
For pre-made cards:
- TJ Maxx and Marshalls are always worth looking through for super cute boxed notecards. It might take some digging around in the housewares section, but more often than not I come across a pretty set that's priced at around 1/2 of the retail price. These discount stores are also great for craft supplies- I recently got these ribbon packs at TJMaxx.
- I mentioned Paper Source and Papyrus in the previous section, but it's worth mentioning them again for their GORGEOUS greeting cards. They tend to be a little pricier than other cards, but sometimes they capture exactly what type of message you want to send out.
For pre-made cards online:
- Hey Love Designs has to be on this list for sure! I've ordered personalized notecards as well as bridal shower invitations from Michelle, and have been thrilled with the products. I love that I can have quality cards with something as silly as "On Wednesdays we wear pink" on it, haha.
- Tinyprints is a great online source for personalized notecards. The cards that I have ordered from there have been really nice, and I have given several as gifts as well. They often have online promotion codes and sales on notecard sets, which is a good deal for personalized cards.
- Haute Papier is a DC-area stationary company that has lots of amazing looking cards and other paper goods. I recently signed up for their stationery subscription service which is such an awesome idea, and I can't wait to see what I receive!
- Treat is the ultimate in greeting card convenience. They offer a service where you can customize a card and ship it directly to the recipient. No need to worry about going to buy stamps or remembering to mail cards out on time! Also, they offer a wide variety of greeting cards for every occasion - I ordered a few personalized Sesame Street and Hello Kitty-themed Christmas cards for my friends' children last year and they came out really cute.
- The US Postal Service site allows people to buy stamps online, for only an extra $1.75 for shipping. I love being able to order a bunch of stamps online whenever I want, and knowing that I can get any design that's available. It's definitely easier than going to the post office and hoping they have what you're looking for. Two of my recent favorite designs have been the cherry blossom and Pixar stamps.
- Postable is a site that I believe is mostly used for wedding invitations, but it's a great way to file addresses in a way that is easily accessible. Your contacts can fill in their own information, including phone numbers and birthdays.
- Speaking of birthdays, I have had this Birthday Book forever, and I do mean forever. I don't even know if they make "Bad Girls" stuff anymore, haha. This helps me keep track of birthdays and anniversaries easily so I always know when to send out cards. Another good way to keep track is the Facebook birthday calendar - whatever works for you!
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but I think it's a pretty good sample of accessible sources for cards. Hopefully this list will get you motivated to send out some real mail to friends and family :). I think just about anyone would love to come home to something that isn't a catalog or a bill, and it really doesn't take much to send out a simple note!
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K, from the blog Never Turn Down A Cupcake loves cupcakes, couponing, anything Japanese (especially the food), and buying too many shoes and kitchen items to fit into her apartment. When K is not making cards or pinning craft ideas on Pinterest, you can find her obsessing over Bravo shows and reality TV "stars" over on Twitter at @kay819.