Today is the beginning of National Stationery Week! Which means that it gives me, stationery geek that I am, the opportunity to tell you all about one of my hobbies; penpalling! I’ve been wanting to blog about it for a while so this seemed like the perfect chance to do so.
I will be walking you through the penpalling process all week, beginning with today’s post about the supplies you will need to write to a penpal.
The good news is, it doesn’t have to be an expensive hobby. There is no need to go into Paperchase and spend a fortune on supplies (although you can if you want and can afford to!).
The essentials are:
Pens: writing can be a very personal experience and everyone has different tastes in writing tools. If Bic biros are for you, go for it. Maybe you like a fountain pen. Personally I like coloured felt tip kind of pens, as long as they don’t bleed through the page. But I also use ‘plain’ pens or even charity ones, depending on how I feel. I would suggest buying a reasonably priced set of pens that you think you’ll stick with (I’m talking no more than £10), or else just use biros you already have at home until you know what you think you’d like to use.
Paper: what paper you use might affect the pens you choose. You can use a plain lined A4 or A5 pad if you like. Or you might want to use blank cards (you can get some lovely buy one get one free sets in The Works). Also I’ve picked up some pretty writing sets for £3 or £4 in the Paperchase sale. It’s possible too to print writing paper off the internet if you search for ‘free writing paper printables’ (just check copyright rules). Chances are you have an unused notebook at home already which you can use.
Envelopes: if you buy a writing paper set or card set, the likelihood is you will have some envelopes in that. Fab! Otherwise, I’ve bought some envelopes of various sizes (usually A6) on Ebay, 50 or so for a couple of pounds. Having a mix of A5 and A6 is handy.
Postage: I will be honest and say that postage can be the most expensive part of penpalling. For this reason, most of my penpals live in the UK. Also, if you have a flat letter which is under 100g in weight, which includes two sheets of writing paper and maybe a thin sticker sheet, it will be fine to go with a second class stamp. If in doubt, go to the post office. Also, I would buy a book of 12 second class stamps, just to get you started.
Decorations: For fun, you might like to decorate your mail. If you’re using plain white paper, adding a few stickers or washi tape strips makes your letter unique. Or maybe you’d like to seal and decorate your envelope with washi tape. I tend to pick up £1 sticker sheets in Paperchase or washi tape from The Works.
Goodies for your penpal: I like to put a couple of things inside my letter as a gift to my penpal. It is by no means compulsory. I might cut a few stickers off a sheet, something that won’t add much weight to the letter, or maybe a couple of sheets of notepaper.
Some of my fave places to buy supplies are The Works, The Range, Paperchase, Hobbycraft and Etsy.
Is this a helpful guide? Let me know if you’d like to know anything else about penpalling.