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Hello everyone! I hope it’s starting to feel like Spring wherever you are. 🙂
I love writing letters. I write to several different pen pals and have used up dozens, maybe hundreds, of pages of notebook paper over the course of a few years. My first pen pal was my kindergarten teacher who would send me many postcards with sunsets, pandas, or flowers. Then I started blogging and “met” several other bloggers through reading their blogs. In 2016 my sister sold a clay sculpture to one of my blogger friends, K.A., and we decided to start writing letters to each other. When 2017 came around I had several more pen pals and had become well acquainted with letter writing. But it wasn’t until recently that I thought up the wonderful Pen Pal Binder.
Okay, this invention isn’t actually that special, but it’s rather handy. Especially when you don’t want to balance a letter and a notebook in your lap while making sure you don’t lose your pencil and pencil sharpener on a long car ride. It’s also nice to have it handy if you just want to add a little bit more to a letter and don’t feel like rounding up all the supplies. So today I shall explain the simple process of making the pen pal binder.
The first and most obvious step is to find a binder. The size of this depends on how many letters you write and what size they are. Since I write a good many letters that can be pretty lengthy, I got a large binder that could hold many sheets of paper. (Actually I mostly got it because it had poppies and I love poppies. XD)
The next step, once you’ve selected the appropriate binder, is to find some notebook paper and put it in your binder.
Now that you’re done with the simple stuff, you can move on to the more interesting things. I wanted to keep everything I needed to write and send a letter in my envelope, so I needed stamps and envelopes. I also wrote down a quick list of my pen pal’s addresses. I put all these sending items in a pouch I found among some binders. Before I found the pouch I simply used a Ziploc bag stapled to a plastic divider. Maybe not the prettiest thing ever, but it worked, so if you don’t have a pouch that should work!
Here is a pretty good priced 2 pack of binder pouches if you want to get some.
The final things I needed in my binder were pencils, erasers, and the like. For this I grabbed a seam ripper and ripped out a supplies holder that was in my ancient backpack. It had pouches and slots for pencils and it works very nice. However, it’s quite likely that the majority of people making pen pal binders don’t have such a thing available. In that case, you could add the supplies to your envelope and stamp bag or get another bag/pouch. The one annoying thing about this is that the supplies are lumpy and aren’t exactly the greatest writing surface. This isn’t much of a problem though, for I simple switch the pouch around to different sides of my binder or just take it out if I’m sure I won’t lose it.
There’s also this clip-on pen holder that might work if you clip it to the inside of your binder!
When I am writing replies I keep my pen pals’ letters at the back of my binder so I can easily flip to it and read the next topic to reply to. If the letters are on stationary I fold the papers and put them in the envelope pouch or else hole-punch the papers.
To sum up, here is a quick list of the supplies I have in my pen pal binder.
- Notebook paper
- List of addresses
- Various scraps of scrapbook paper (for decorating envelopes with)
- Eraser (these are the erasers I use and I love them)
- Pencil sharpener
- Washi tape (helpful as tape and doubles as decoration for envelopes)
- Small scissors
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! I have another post coming up with some easy envelope art ideas for the not-so-artistic (like me :P) later this week, so stay tuned for more pen pal stuff!
Before you go, you should check out an interview Bekah and I did with each other. It includes answers to questions such as when I’m getting a donkey and whether or not Bekah thinks Star Wars is at least a little bit overrated. Just click THIS LINK to read it!
do you have a pen pal?
what’s your opinion on star wars?
P.S. The featured image photo is from Unsplash.com.