Cards with Character

 Card by Grain & Dot

Card by Grain & Dot

Every day I can hear the local postal worker delivering our mail. I'm usually in the basement plugging away on my computer when I hear those feet making their way up our porch steps. After a squeak of the mail slot opening and a warning "boof" from our doggie Cooper, a pile of mail slaps to the floor announcing its arrival.

Usually, it's the same old collection of catalogs, bills and junk mail, but from time to time a handwritten note stands out from the rest. I've always been one who thoroughly appreciates when someone takes the time to drop a card in the mail, probably because my parents had always taught me the importance of doing so myself (thanks, mom!). 

Until recently, I would just buy whatever card I could find, write a quick message and get it in the mail as soon as possible. Then, I stumbled across a brand on Instagram called Punkpost. They have a collection of cards to choose from, and their artists will calligraph your message and even mail the card for you. Often times they'll also decorate the envelope with fun sketches and doodles. I absolutely loved the idea and it inspired me to start incorporating some fun into my own personal notes.

Since I know nothing of calligraphy, I decided the doodles were the best place to start. To be honest, my drawing skills are....meh. However, I found if I can see an example sketch I can usually do a pretty good job of replicating what I see. The key is to keep it simple, and don't expect perfection. Sometimes I'll just do a quick doodle on the envelope with an ink pen, but what I really love is busting out the colored pencils to add some extra color and character. The best part is, you don't have to have any artistic skills to add some flair to your snail mail. You can jazz up a piece with some simple geometric patterns or lines. If you're like me, you always can start out lightly outlining your drawing by pencil first.

Not into the doodling, or just simply don't have time? Fear not, a little washi tape and using seasonal postage are a great touch. Think of these elements as an extension of your personality. Right now I have the Botanical Art stamps on hand, and as I get ready to work on Christmas cards I'll stock up on the Holiday Windows. Using washi tape to close up the envelope can add a pop of color and an unexpected element.

When one of these envelopes shows up, there's no doubt your recipient will take notice of the personalization and effort you put in. So go on, start doodling, buy some washi tape or just update your stamp collection to get started!