Snail Mail: Tip Mini Series #2

What to send & how to send it...

The first snail mail tip was quite a while ago, but I was so pleased with the feedback I received. Thanks to everyone who shared insights and questions. Today's tip focuses on what to send in your snail mail packages. Those who are well-versed in sending beautiful faraway post, will know that there is a huge variety of goodies that you can include in your packages.

Here are few thoughts:
  • Don't feel nervous or worried to chat to your new pen pal about what you would like to send.
  • Some pen pals focus on letter art which is decorating and writing beautiful letters. In this case they often send a few small papery items with it too. For example, stickers and a postcard or two. Other pen pals send packages with items like lip gloss, sweets and stationery.
  • If you find the right pen pal they shouldn't be focused about how much you send them, but rather the love and care put into the snail mail. (Read more regarding this here.)
Postage Related Tips:
Decide on a budget that can work for you. Postage can be expensive, but sending flat items in an envelope rather than a padded one can be much cheaper. This is a tried and tested method I have used. In South Africa padded envelopes seem to go into different pricing tier than a flat paper envelopes.

Seek out flat items for example stickers, postcards, pretty envelopes and writing paper or twine. Others also create 'washi samplers' which are easy to post. This involves measuring out some of your own washi tape and wrapping it around a piece of cardboard or a thin plastic sheet. This way your pen pal can enjoy some pretty washi tape that they might not have in their own collection. It's also a good idea to stay away from breakables, you never know what journey your package will take.

It's worth paying for a tracking number which does cost a bit more, but it's great for peace of mind. I always pay for a tracking number and so far so good. I haven't had a package go missing as yet (touch wood), but I like the idea of knowing where items are. In most cases you need to ask for a tracking number as it isn't always offered.

Seal your envelopes well and ensure the address is super clear and easy to read. Our post service don't have the best track record, so make their job easy. Be sure to ask your pen pal for clear address details - including their full name.

Decorate items then put in an envelope for postage. A lot of the overseas snail mailers decorate their postage envelope, but I find it's better to decorate your envelope and then to put it in another plain envelope to post off. This ensures that your pretty snail mail stays in tact. I also seal up the envelope really well. I recently found some lovely patterned duct tape to use.

Get creative and have fun. There are loads of free printables online as well as templates for making your own envelopes. Pretty magazine pages make great wrapping or DIY envelopes.

Take a look at these:
1 > Envelopes from scrapbooking paper. / DIY envelopes.
2 > Wrapping on a budget.
3 > Washi sampler example.

Happy mailing!


  1. Elle (

    Thank you for this post! Am starting to have pen pals again and this was very informative!

  2. Love those gorgeous packages! Your mail posts are always a feast for the eyes. :)

  3. Hi! Thank you very much for sharing my washi tape sampler. I really appreciate it! Have a nice day. Desy

  4. Hello - thanks so much for your lovely comment. Happy mailing & creating. x

  5. Hello Sarah. Thanks for your sweet comment! :-) x

  6. Hello - thanks for taking the time to leave a comment & it's only a pleasure! :-) x

  7. Wonderful and informative post Nadia! xxx

  8. I agree Sarah, Nadia's packages always look so beautiful and you can tell a lot of thought goes into each one x

  9. This is a great post with very helpful advice. I also pay the extra fee to register my parcels so I can track them. I think it makes it less likely that they will go missing. In South Africa I've found that Airmail large letters are the most affordable way to send flat parcels. I'd like to add my own tip to check the weight limits so you can make sure your envelope doesn't go over and has to be sent as a more expensive parcel.

  10. Ellen Jonker5/15/2014

    Thanks for the great tips!

  11. Melissa Claasen5/15/2014

    Hi Nadia
    I'd like to get involved in the snail mail 'movement', but I'm not sure how I'd go about finding a penpal. I am not sure if I saw you do a package exchange setup this year where you paired people with each other. If you did one, I missed it this year.
    Would you be able to point me in the right direction?

  12. Thanks so much! I do love chatting about snail mail! x

  13. Thanks for sharing your tip - always help to hear what others do / use. x

  14. Hi Melissa. Thanks for your comment. I hope to do the exchange again soon - just waiting for the right time. I did a post earlier in the year about how to find a penpal - here is the link... It should help :-) x

  15. It's a pleasure. I also found patterned duct tape last week, it's brilliant.

  16. Melissa Claasen5/26/2014

    Hi Nadia

    Thanks so much :) I remember reading that post. Shall take a look at it again now.

    Have a super day



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