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Did you have pen pals when you were a kid? I had several over the years and had so much fun saving my allowance for pretty stationery, sending them stickers, and perfecting my handwriting. As an adult I still keep in touch with a couple of those pen pals, but in this digital age the letter part has fallen by the wayside.
I got into bullet journals last year which is also a culture that loves pretty stationery, stickers, and nice handwriting. It seemed like a natural progression that several people within the Facebook group started exchanging letters, and it grew from there to hundreds of people looking for pen pals and swapping letters.
I was a bit skeptical of having a penal at my age. Who has that kind of time? And did I really want to start swapping addresses with total strangers? I dipped my toe in the water and started with one, and have worked my way up to about 7 pen pals, which is a pretty full roster for me. Several times a week I get a letter in the mail, and I can hardly wait to sit down and reply. Getting back into having pen pals has been a great hobby and I think everyone should get back into writing real letters.
How To Find Pen Pals
How does one go about finding other grown women to write to? There are several different places. Start out by sending a letter to your grandma! My grandma lives about 40 minutes away and I see her almost every week, but on a whim I wrote her a note and popped it in the mail one day. She loved it! And even wrote me back. We don’t correspond on an extremely regular basis, but I love communicating with her in that way.
There are several pen pal groups on Facebook, like the one I mentioned for those interested in bullet journals. Long-distance friends, or even mutual friends might also be interested in swapping letters with you. If you have kids who are old enough to write, don’t forget them either! My daughter loves when I leave her a letter.
Now swapping your address with near strangers may or may not sound like a bad idea to you. A PO Box is a fairly cheap way to stay a little more anonymous with your exact location. If you are a blogger or active online a PO Box is a good idea, anyway. As with anything, use your better judgement.
What Do You Write About?
I have accumulated pen pals of all different ages and backgrounds. Some are similar to me and some the polar opposite. Some get pretty personal in their letters, and some keep it more of a “this is what I did today” letter. You can literally write about anything! Tell them your deepest darkest secrets, tell them about giving your dog a bath – whatever floats your boat!
What Supplies Do I Need?
You can write a letter on a piece of notebook paper if you want. But odds are, you like stationery supplies as much as I do. I love cards to write letters on because they are just fun to get in the mail.
For wordier letters I love using my Erin Condren Dot Grid Journal. The paper is buttery smooth, and the page size is nice for a letter. The pages are perforated to cleanly tear out of the journal, so it’s perfect!
I find pens to be personal preference. When writing a letter you are generally writing and holding the pen for a longer period of time than you are used to, so finding one that is comfortable in your hand is the most important. I have an odd grip on pens, so I find the slightly fatter barrel of the Papermate Inkjoy Gel Pens to be the most comfortable. You may also want to stock up on some small stickers to send with your letters. I might know someone who makes stickers. *wink*
Lastly, don’t forget to stock up on stamps! Because I promise once you start getting happy mail, you’ll want to write back as soon as you can!