Upping Your Letter-Writing Game

How many letters, real, physical, letters, have you written? Sometimes it can seem like there's no point to old-fashioned letters, when we have much quicker ways to contact our friends and family. But it can be really meaningful to receive a real, paper letter from a friend. Letters can be kept and stored, and it never gets old to get something unexpectedly in the mail.

If you know someone who doesn't get that much mail, or who's having a tough time, or someone you miss, or simply someone you care about, why not send them a letter? And why not use some of these tips and tricks to make your letter extra special?

Paper

Writing on lined paper is easiest, but you might want to challenge yourself to use something a little more special. If you have a printer at home, there are places online where you can print stationery directly onto printer paper, to make your letters a little more special. You can find good printable stationery at Muse Printables and at FreePrintableStationery.net. If you're not inclined towards stationery, you can also try writing on line-free printer paper; you can use a ruler and a pencil to draw temporary lines on the paper, or keep a ruler on the page as you write. I have very big, loopy handwriting, so I decided to pre-print some stationery.

Picture of blank, printed stationery.

Pens

If you have nice pens--use them! Your pen pal will appreciate the thought you put into using those special pens. I decided to use gel pens, and I wrote most of my letter in purple, which is my pen pal's favorite color. You can see that even when I had to cross things out, it looks fancy. I was also able to use the gel pens to draw little doodles in the margins. I followed this cool tutorial online for creating gradients with gel pens!

A letter written with gel pens on printed stationery, with a drawing of flowers on the bottom of the page.

Stickers and other Decorations

Stickers, washi tape, and other decorations can make any letter fancy. Here, you can see the letter I wrote to a different pen pal, on lined paper. I used washi tape to create a border on the paper, and I think it looks really nice!

A blurred-out letter, with a washi tape border, on traditional lined paper.

Envelopes

You can fancy up a normal envelope, but you can also make your own! You can easily fold your own envelope out of normal sized paper, just like this:

a step-by-step image showing how to fold an envelope using standard letter-sized paper.

This is where the library's eSource Creativebug can also really help! Creativebug has lessons on handwriting and calligraphy, and if you search "letter writing," you'll find a special lesson just on addressing envelopes. Creativebug is totally free for our library patrons, and has thousands of hours of crafty tutorials.

Will you be writing letters this year? Who are you writing letters to? Share your letter-writing skills with the library on our social media; we go by @AlachuaLibrary on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Posted by CynthiaM on September 22, 2020