I have been wanting to make a pocket letter (using trading card sleeve pages as a unique way to snail mail) for YEARS.
Side note: It wasn’t until googling it for this post that I learned Pocket Letters is apparently trademarked by Janette Lane, and Janette’s website is a great source to start out at.
You can find bajillions of inspirational posts and videos online, and tips and tricks for how to create, send and store your pocket letters.
In general, pocket lettering appeals to the crafty, scrapbooker, and snail mail loving types. You can find templates that spell out precisely what to put in each specific pocket, but as a MAIL ART enthusiast myself, I just love the basic idea as groundwork to then take and be as creative as possible. One dilemma I face while making a pocket letter is that I want most of the pockets to be filled with items that the recipient can take out and use regularly and love, BUT I’ve seen a lot of posts where people store the pocket letters they’ve received in 3 ring binders, to flip through and enjoy later. If you take the elements out of the pocket letter, that leaves empty pockets that aren’t so pretty to look at later. I see a lot of the scrapbookers will even fuse and seal pockets shut so that they are not even meant to ever be opened, but just admired from the outside. Meanwhile, I’ll insert a garland that I hope the recipient takes out and hangs up in their home and brings them joy whenever they see it, rather than sit inside a binder. But, that would leave an empty pocket, if your recipient wants to save your letter. I love that idea of collecting pocket letters, but how do I find a middle ground? I still haven’t gotten there yet.
When I first found out about pocket letters a few years back, I set about creating one for my friend Anna (Alphabet Pizza). I filled a few pockets, and then fell down the overwhelming inspirational rabbit hole and quickly got overwhelmed. The partially started pocket letter floated around my studio for years before I agreed to do a valentine swap with Anna this year. I set my sights on finishing up this Valentine themed pocket letter for her AND I DID IT!
Once I got going, I had SO MUCH FUN and I completely spaced out on taking any pictures before rushing to drop it in the mail. Fortunately, Anna took some pictures and then posted them online so I stole those. It’s safe to say, I’m officially addicted to Pocket Lettering!
I like sending my mailart naked, meaning no envelope. My hope is that it can brighten the day of that many more people along the way, you can read more about that here.
I tried to make it fun, happy and pretty from both sides. Instead of sharing what was in each pocket, I’m going to make a master list below this post that includes a ton of ideas for things to include in pocket letters for future reference.
I will however share my favorite thing, which was one of the very last items I made – a “coloring book” style card. It says You Do You, which is an inside reference for Anna. I colored one in myself and included a couple others that were blank for her to use and/or share.
After I sent the pocket letter off, I found a test sheet of the coloring book image and stuck it up with some colorful washi tape on the wall by my side of the bed. It makes me so happy to see it every day.
Anna was so excited about the pocket letter that she made me one in return.
Mine was a mix of “valentine” and red themed, hers was so stylized and so very Anna and I LOVE IT.
My favorite thing from her letter was the fact that you can fit the fuji instax mini pics inside makes me want to get the mini so bad! I have a fujimax, but the pictures are about twice as big so they wouldn’t fit in one of these pockets. That being said, I do however have a polaroid pogo and those would probably fit fine in a pocket. AND, I know that the “traditional” pocket letters are made from these trading card sized pages, but I also really want to expand and try out the square coin collector pages, and various project life pocket pages, so I may find something that fits the fuji max pics yet.
Ok, so here we go… a list of ideas to put in your pockets. I made it as a graphic so you can pin it to your pocket letter pinterest boards.
If you haven’t tried pocket lettering I hope you do soon and get as excited about it as I am.
Also, I’d love to hear of creative and unique ideas/items that you put or received in pocket letters as well. Leave a comment below!