You know how wonderful it feels to get a card or letter…and we’re guessing you know it feels pretty great to send one, too. So we’re hoping you’ll play along with us for a National Card and Letter Writing Month challenge. Our goal: Send five pieces of happy mail every week during April. And we’re going to make it so easy. Find our best tips for card and letter writing below.
Getting ready to write
Take a look at the calendar for April and think about when you’ll do most of your writing: Over breakfast, with a cup of tea? While you’re waiting for meetings to start? After the kids have gone to bed? Once you know, you can pull together the things you’ll need—stationery, pens, stamps, and craft supplies—and make them easy to access. Maybe it’s a basket to carry from room to room, a stocked pencil-case to keep in your purse, or a designated drawer in your desk.
If you haven’t already, get some stamps. If there’s not a nearby post office, you can order them online from USPS or Amazon, or pick them up at some grocery, drug or office supply stores.
Writing personal notes
There is zero need to have a big reason or special occasion to write a card or letter. Here are some tips for card and letter writing from our Hallmark writers:
- Open it up. Start with “dear” or even “dearest.” Or try “hi” or “hello” or the old-school charm of “greetings.” Add the recipient’s name and you’re off!
- Say why you’re writing. If you’re sending a greeting card that already explains it, skip this step. Otherwise, let the recipient know what got you thinking of them today.
Pro tip: Be specific, like “I heard [name of song]” or “I baked [type of cookie] with your recipe” or some other true, real-life nugget.
- Go on a bit. Add a line or two more about why you’re writing. Add a specific thought about the story, a detail about the day, a compliment, or a comment.
Pro tip: Focus on the recipient and what they might want or need to hear from you.
- Reaffirm your relationship. Finish with a little reminder of why your recipient matters to you. It can be as simple as “you always make me smile,” as serious as “I care about you very much,” or anywhere in between.
Pro tip: Be you! Your thoughts in your handwriting are what make this special—not big words or flowery sentiments. (Unless that’s you!)
- Say it again. End with a quick reminder of your reason for writing. It’s kind of like a bookend…or the closing of one of those five-paragraph essays from high school.
Pro tip: It’s perfectly fine to repeat “congratulations,” “thank you” or “hope your day is happy.”
- Finish strong. There are so many wonderful ways to close a letter. Try…
…and sign your name. That’s it!
P.S. Your note doesn’t have to be long. Just sincere!
Decorating your envelope
We firmly believe one of the best parts of sending a card or letter is decorating the envelope. Why not let your pen pal know right from the start you think they’re a big deal?
Gather up some supplies:
- Tools: Pencils, pens and markers in a range of colors and styles. Thick and thin. Metallic, white, glitter. Brush tips, wide nibs, calligraphy.
- Embellishments: Stickers, seals, washi tape.
- Extras: Graph or lined paper. Ruler, compass and square. Pencil and eraser.
And try some of Hallmark Artist Lynn G.’s tips (Download her extended tips here!):
- Sketch out your lettering before you start on the envelope to fit your layout to your space. Try “thumbnails”—tiny drawings to play with shapes and sizes.
- Optional: Lightly pencil in your design on the envelope before you bring out the markers.
- Don’t forget the essentials: Name, address, city, state, zip. For both the address and return address. The post office will thank you.
More ideas and inspiration
What about some articles with even more tips for card and letter writing to help you along?
- Ideas from Hallmark about what to write in any greeting card
- How to build a letter writing habit
- Etiquette for addressing envelopes
- Letters to yourself count, too! Here are some ideas to get you started.