Jazz Up Your Snail Mail

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There's nothing like a handwritten letter, whether it's a thank-you note, an invitation or a postcard. For me, the best part is that every piece is a blank canvas, and I love embellishing them for my lovely recipients. Being a calligrapher would actually be really handy here, but it's definitely not necessary; in fact, we bet your friends won't even know the difference after you embrace these tips.

1. Add a banner

Banners are a fun way to make someone’s name stand out on an envelope or placecard. I love the curvier style, but you can also go with a really simple straight rectangular format. Trace it in pencil first if you’re nervous about getting it right, but pretty soon you’ll find that they’re one of the easiest things to doodle.

2. Make it colorful

Whether you choose an alternating pattern or a gradient-style ombré effect like you see here, experiment with different color inks on the front — it's a simple way to make your note stand out. A word of advice: Be sure to decorate your envelope before putting the letter inside, just in case any ink bleeds through.

3. Mix up your fonts

When I'm addressing envelopes, I tend to use my fanciest script for the person’s name, and then make the switch to block lettering or more traditional cursive for their address. There's a few reasons for this: 1) I love the way mixed fonts look on an envelope and 2) I find that long addresses are easier to write (and read!) in a simple block or monoline font.

4. Doodle some flowers

You don’t have to be a pro artist to add florals to your envelope. Remember the simple flower forms you drew on your high school notebook? Channel those and put 'em in a box around the recipient’s address. If you’re really not confident in your blooms, you can also do a simple mix of leaves in a different colors, sizes and styles.

5. Create a bubble effect

This might be the easiest idea yet. By doing concentrated dots around the edges of the envelope and the address, and then having those dots “fan out” as they move across the paper, you get a fun bubble-like effect. Use a gel pen or glitter pen to make this feel more like stars, or multiple colors for celebratory confetti!

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Jazz Up Your Snail Mail