Tag Archives: washi tape

A Spring-Themed Pocket Letter

I think this was one of my very favorite pocket letters to create. I wanted to make a spring-themed letter with lots of pinks and blues and florals. I made it as a birthday present (way more fun than a card, if I do say so myself!) and I absolutely LOVE how it turned out! What do you think?

I kept the top row minimal so all the focus would be on this adorable SPRING banner.

In case you’re curious, the supplies came from –
Dollar Tree – paper clips, baker’s twine, polka dot washi, mini clothes pin, silver alpha stickers
Target – scrapbook paper, craft paper alpha stickers, gold stickers
Cocoa Daisy – floral washi, stickers
Oui Fresh – green alpha stickers, banner die-cut
and goodies from pocket letters I receive – striped page flags

And those are pretty much my mainstays for ALL my pocket letter/paper crafting supplies.

Most of those places are super affordable, especially because I keep an eye out for sales. But I also try to find ways to incorporate free elements, too! The circles above were cut out of paint chip samples and “Take Note” was stamped on a piece of cardboard packaging.

Here’s a peek at  what I included in the back! If you’re stuck for ideas about goodies to include with your outgoing pocket letters, consider —
die-cuts
icon stickers
sticky notes
page flags
stickers
tea
journal cards
tags
folder tabs
sequins
washi samples
gift cards

And most importantly — don’t forget the actual letter! 

I also threw in a couple of note cards, another journal card, a magnet, fun paper clip, stencil, a couple book plates, and a bookmark I made with some leftover materials.

All ready to get tucked in an envelope! Bon Voyage, my little lovely! Time to brighten someone’s day. xoxo

What pocket letter theme should I tackle next? Leave your ideas below and I’ll be sure to post about any that I end up making! Wanna swap??? Let’s set it up! 

P.S. Looking for more PL inspiration? Check out A Pocket Letter How-To and How To Make a Pocket Letter with Cocoa Daisy!

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Balancing Minimalism and Joy: What Do You Collect?

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Little kids always seem to be working on some collection or another. When I was young I had all sorts–everything from rocks to beanie babies to dolls that lived on a shelf and weren’t meant for play. And kids these days are keeping up the habit. (Recently, I had a lovely chat with a little one about all her Tsum Tsums.)

But I’d love to know, what do you collect as an adult? Dishes in a specific pattern? Harry Potter paraphernalia? Miniature buildings to add to an ever-expanding Christmas village?

The nice thing about having a loud-and-proud collection is that it makes gift giving much easier. There’s always that one friend in a group who LOVES a certain Disney Princess or anything with roses on it. So you always think of them when you’re in a store and stumble upon an item that’s “on theme.” Convenient for the gift giver…and also kind of nice for the collector. Wouldn’t you feel sorta special knowing that people are thinking of you each time they spot an item with stars on it? Or used a fountain pen? Or interacted with whatever it is you squirrel away?

Yet, with the quest for minimalism being such a popular feature as of late (shout out to Marie Kondo and all those capsule wardrobe YouTubers) I wonder if some have let their little stockpiles wither away. Even when that little stockpile brought them joy. How do we balance that fad-driven need to cull our belongings with our own happiness?

Whatever your answer might be, I’m curious about what it means for adult collections. Personally, I’m loving my ever-growing collection of washi tape. (See photos for some of my favorite rolls.) This collection feels like the perfect marriage of minimalism dreams and hoarding realities. Haha! Washi is so, so cute with so many patterns to choose from. But it’s also cheap, technically a consumable (because I use it to make pocket letters and for other paper crafting and planning), and doesn’t take up much space. For now, washi collecting feels right. (And who knows! Maybe someday I’ll lift my embargo on rock purchases…but probably not on Ty products.) Bottom line: I don’t want to resist something that I know makes me happy. And washi tape makes me happy!

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What did you collect as a child? What about now? Does your collection bring you joy or does it make you feel guilty? I’d love to hear! 

P.S. Other questions for you to weigh in on — What were your favorite childhood TV shows? and What’s your favorite mug? 

How to Make a Pocket Letter with Cocoa Daisy!

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I reached out to Cocoa Daisy a few months ago in the height of my planning/pocket letter frenzy and they were generous enough to send me their August 2016 Planner Kit on the house. Once I opened the package I was absolutely blown away. You can see the full unboxing HERE, if you like.

Everything inside the kit was so gorgeous that, once I set up my planner for the month, I couldn’t wait to use extras to whip up a pocket letter for a lucky someone. And I’ve gotta say, I am SO happy with how this little guy turned out. Everything in the Cocoa Daisy kits coordinates so beautifully. This makes putting together a pocket letter super easy. But there’s no shortage of choices. Prints, paper, stickers, die-cuts, washi, clips, and embellishments are all in abundance.

Do you die?! Because I die. Excuse me while I stare at this creation for the next hour or so!

Oh! And of course I couldn’t forget goodies to tuck into the back of each pocket…

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Goodies from L – R 

* Everything is from the kit unless otherwise specified.

  • divider tabs
  • sticky pad sample pages (from Target Dollar Spot) and To-Do banner stickers
  • puffy stickers
  • letter to recipient on a piece of coordinating stationery
  • planner stickers
  • washi samples (middle sample from Dollar Tree, bottom sample is Scotch brand from Office Depot)
  • Equal Exchange tea (Equal Exchange website)
  • 2 gift tags (from Ikea)
  • die-cuts

PL front and back

I wanted to utilize some of the great prints that came with the kit so I cut the two smallest options down to fit a pocket and kept their quotes as the focus. Two other pockets were cut from larger prints (the flower and the triangles) and two more came from a set of planner pages I didn’t end up using/ The black cardstock with diagonal stripes is from my own collection and I think it provides an interesting contrast. Everything else, except the small paperclips at the top, is from the kit!

Here are some details I love…

IMG_2378I love how well the Cocoa Daisy washi works with these other patterns I had in my collection. 

And how cute is this GET IT DONE binder clip? The clips at the top help keep the goodies from falling out!

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The kit made it super easy to layer lots of different elements. This pocket includes stickers and washi and EVERYTHING MATCHES. *heart eye emojis

And Lord, how I love a copper glitter tape…not to mention the sweet quote. Sigh. Cocoa Daisy you’ve really outdone yourself. 

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Do you love this pocket letter as much as I do? I can’t wait to send it off to a special someone. I hope it brightens their day!

Thanks Cocoa Daisy!

April favorites.

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With the turning of the calendar page from April to May, it’s time to bundle together the best products, places, media and everything in between from the last month. Here are 9 things I found myself loving in April…

1. Pocket Letters

If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ll know I’ve been going a little Pocket Letter crazy this month. I just can’t get enough. For those curious, Pocket Letters are a genius way to send someone (pen pal, friend, stranger, etc.) a little mailbox surprise! Essentially, you take a 3×3 baseball card holder, decorate it to your heart’s content, tuck in some stationery goodies for your pal, and mail it off. Here’s a TUTORIAL if you’d like to learn more. I’ve been making these for a little while now, but I only recently hopped on PocketLetterPals.com to start arranging swaps with peeps from across the country. The resulting deliveries have made mail time a giddy experience. (If you’re interested in swapping leave a comment below!) 

2. Ballet

While I’m hopelessly devoted to my yoga practice, the month of April saw me dusting off my ballet shoes for a bit of barre work. I turned to YouTube (of course!) and was able to rustle up a few videos of actual ballet classes. I then got to work and have been trying to incorporate ballet into my workout routine on a weekly basis. For me no other exercise ever seems as effective yet effortless as ballet. I can have sweat dripping down my neck all with a smile on my face. Maybe because it has been a part of my life for so long? *cue that scene in Center Stage where Juliette Simone/Julie Simon talks about the barre being home.*

3. Graze snacks

If you wanna up your snacking game, you GOTTA check out Graze. Graze is a snack subscription service that sends you 4 or 8 individually packaged snacks weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. I’ve gotten two boxes so far and I gotta tell ya…I am HOOKED. Each snack I’ve tried has been delicious and perfectly portioned. And you can’t beat the convenience! My favorite snack so far has gotta go to the Honeycomb Flapjack which Graze describes as a “rustic rolled oat flapjack with honeycomb and chocolate drizzle.” It’s legit better than a candy bar. YUM!

4. Homestead Town Hall Museum

On a recent #AdventureSaturday, Chet and I decided to explore Historic Downtown Homestead. Normally when we spend a Saturday in Homestead it’s at the beach. But this time around we decided to stay on dry land and see what else the city had to offer. Downtown Homestead is definitely a blink and you’ll miss it stretch of road but it does offer some quaint places — an old theater with a retro marquis, a park with an amphitheater, and the Homestead Town Hall Museum. After chowing down on some amazing Cuban food at a little hole-in-the-wall attached to the local bus station, we headed to the museum. Admission is free and was totally time well spent just for the eccentric docent who showed us around. (Although she did try to convince us to sit down in a couple of folding chairs to watch an HOUR long documentary about Homestead on a rinky-dink TV. Not gonna happen, lady.)

5. Free printables

One of the joys of wedding planning on a budget has been scouring the internet for ways to cut corners. My favorite way so far? Free printables. They are so fun to tinker around with. Pictured above is one I found for a Thumbprint Guestbook. It is so simple and fun! I love the idea of having it out at our reception with some ink pads and asking guests to create the leaves. Wouldn’t it be lovely to frame that as a keepsake? What a beautiful reminder of all our “people” and the special family tree we’ve created for ourselves, both with our actual family and the folks who’ve become our family.

6. Washi tape

I LOVE washi tape. This month I’ve been using it a ton to decorate pocket letters (see above) and my planner (see below). Last week we stumbled upon an office supply store that was going out of business and I stocked up. My other favorite places to find washi? Target, Dollar Tree, and Ikea. Ikea sells packs of four for FIFTY CENTS. Hello!?! Need I say more.

7. Target Dollar Spot planner

I started using my Target Dollar Spot planner on April 1st and the obsession is still going strong. In case you’re wondering, I call it the Target Dollar Spot planner because it was created from 3 components purchased at Target in the $1-$3 section. A mini binder, dividers/weekly inserts, and folders/monthly inserts. Each of these “kits” was $3. While I utilize this planner for weekly and monthly planning, I’ve also been trying my hand at planner decorating. (Inspired by CheapCraftyGirl on YouTube.) It’s a fun activity to sit down on a Sunday night and decorate the next week’s spread! And it’s also a cool way to use some of the stationery goodies I receive in my pocket letters. Paper crafting for the win!

8. The Brain Candy Podcast

Confession: I’m a LONG time viewer of The Real World, Road Rules, and The Challenge. I have never “out grown” these shows and continue to enjoy, especially The Challenge, to this day. The advent of social media has taken my interest in reality TV in a different direction. I love keeping up with cast members on Twitter and Instagram because seeing what D-List celebs do in their day to day is just as interesting (if not more) to me than watching them on a show. Anyways, that’s all to say, I follow the two ladies responsible for this podcast on social media. So when they started promoting this endeavor I was totally into it. It’s hosted by Susie Meister (RR: Down Under) and Sarah Rice (RW: Brooklyn) and is billed as “candy for your left brain and your right brain.” While some episodes are about The Challenge (both Susie and Sarah have competed multiple times on the show), many are not. They cover everything from cults to travel to DIY. It is super easy listening…kind of like you’re eavesdropping on two intelligent girlfriends having a chat. Oh, and usually wine is involved!

9. Uncovered by Leah Lax

If women and religion, and how the two intersect, is of interest to you, then this memoir is a must-read. I love learning about different religions and recently realized I didn’t know too much about the lives of Hasidic Jews. I picked up this memoir at my local library and couldn’t put it down. It tells the story of Leah Lax who left her liberal, secular home as a teenager for a life as a Hasidic Jew. Lax recounts her experiences with arranged marriage, fundamentalist faith, and motherhood during her time with the Hasidim, and exposes how her creative, sexual, and spiritual longings existed beneath the surface throughout her time there. This book taught me a lot about this particular faith through the eyes of a woman who lived it and then left it.

 

A Pocket Letter How-To

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Confession time. I’m a little bit addicted to going down weird rabbit holes on YouTube. I could watch people tell me about what’s in their handbags, how they prep meals for the week, and what a day in their life looks like FOR HOURS. But recently I followed a rabbit hole on a path that looked a little bit like this…

Christmas craft tutorial —> Dollar Tree Haul —> Pocket Letter “Unpocketing”

Hold the phone. Pocket Letters? Say what?!

Fast forward about an hour (in which I clicked video after video about these little mail goodies) and I was obsessed. Essentially, Pocket Letters are an adorable platform to send mail to your “pals” by way of a 3 x 3 playing card page protector. You decorate each pocket however you like and tuck little stationery goodies on the back. How. cute. is. that?!

Here’s the thing…I’ve always loved the idea of scrap-booking. Even the new trend of glam-planning looks like it would be a really fun crafting outlet. But my problem lies with the commitment. I can’t reconcile the fact that I would have to keep up with something consistently for an entire year in order to come away with an end product. Pocket Letters seemed like a cool alternative. A way to flex the same artistic muscles while also providing an excuse to send some beautiful mailbox love. I also LOVE patterned paper, stickers, washi tape, and all sorts of cute stationery supplies! (Read: I love having an excuse to buy them.)

I’ve made two Pocket Letters so far and can’t wait to make more! If you’re interested, here’s how I do it…

I purchased the page protectors on Amazon. To act as the background for each pocket, I got patterned paper from Target. Most of the videos I watched about PL’s recommended getting paper in a 6″x 6″ size because the patterns are more to scale for the size of your pockets. So I went with that advice. You can also find this sort of paper at Wal-mart, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, etc. I picked out the patterns I wanted and cut them to size for the pockets, 2 1/2″x 3 1/2″.

Next comes the fun part, decorating each pocket! I found the easiest (and quickest) way to affix all the decorative elements on to each page was to use an adhesive runner. Everything I used either came from Dollar Tree, the dollar section at Target or I already had it on hand.

Finally, a big part of PL’s is including samples of your stationery stash for your pal to enjoy. These little pieces get tucked in, along with the all-important letter, and then the Pocket Letter is ready to ship!

Wanna see more? Keep scrollin’!

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Pocket #1. I used some plain paper with my patterned paper as an accent and included some fabric tape I had on hand and a puffy owl sticker from Dollar Tree. I also stamped the top with alphabet stamps from Target Dollar Spot. On the back is a little bookmark to write down books read in December.

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Pocket #2. Samples of page flags act as the main decoration with a little bit of ribbon accent at the top. On the back is a sample of post-it notes.

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Pocket #3. Adhesive label, pretty ribbon, puffy sticker from the same sheet as the owls. On the back is a sample of a couple of washi tapes. To make sure the recipient can use the washi, make sure to wrap it around something with a glossy finish or some plastic.

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Pocket #4. I have a huge atlas in my craft box that I bought for this project. So I cut a little section out from that and added some paper hearts. On the back are more paper hearts and stars plus a tiny tin star ornament. The top of this pocket is washi taped down so these little pieces won’t fall out.

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Pocket #5. The little square on this one is actually a cut out from a set of gorgeous sticker sheets from Dollar Tree. Topped off with another owl! A lot of PL’s include a tea in one pocket but the recipient of this one has enough tea to last a lifetime so I decided to include the sweetener instead. 😉

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Pocket #6. I used plain purple paper as an accent and slapped a little magazine cut out of a New Orleans style building on top. The top corner is another square of sticker sheet topped off with a heart cut from the atlas. On the back I wound some ribbon around patterned paper and washi taped it in place. I was unsure about including this sample but I ended up loving how it looks.

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Pocket #7. Another magazine cut out, a circle from the atlas, and an autumnal puffy sticker. At the top I folded washi tape through a paper clip and cut out a triangle. On the back are two bookplates (from my stash) and a few fox stickers (Dollar Tree).

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Pocket #8.  I cut some more sticker sheet into the shape of a gift tag to hint at what the goodie was for this one. I also cut out some of the shapes from the floral sticker sheet and made a little cluster for the top of the tag. The birch bark looking tags on the back are from the Target Dollar Spot.

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Pocket #9. For my final pocket I included my letter which I folded up and tied with some ribbon. I also tucked in another owl sticker which I left on the backing so the recipient could use it.

Wanna see another one!? Of course you do…

Front: 

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Back: 

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Pocket #1. A cut out from the purple sticker sheet topped off with a greeting. I included several paper clip flags on this PL because I think they’re adorable. On the back are a couple book plates.

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Pocket #2. I chose a magazine cut out of a compass as the focal point and accented it with fabric tape and a new travel-themed washi I recently procured from Dollar Tree. The orange binder clip holds a few stickers in place on the back and nestled at the bottom is a tiny card which I cut out from a larger card…more on that in a minute.

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Pocket #3. More washi and more OWLS! These chip board babies are also from Dollar Tree just like their puffy counterparts. On the back are a few Christmas gift tags which I cut out from a box of cookies. I like that they’re bilingual.

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Pocket #4. This is the letter pocket! I cut a greeting card in half to create a pocket sized card to write my letter inside. The other half of the card I cut down to make the tiny card in pocket 2. The card is from a set I got at Target Dollar Spot.

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Pocket #5. I cut out some of the wood patterned paper to write a little positive affirmation and included some sticker tape and a chip board flower. On the back is a post-it note sample.

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Pocket #6. This pocket is decorated with some burlap I had on hand and another paper clip flag. On the back are bobby pins because what gal couldn’t use more bobbies?

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Pocket #7. Just a simple “to” and “from” pocket with some plain purple paper and sharpies. On the back is a fabric sticker that I thought matched this PL quite nicely.

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Pocket #8. Look at those owls! (Maybe my next PL will branch away from owls but they’re so darn cute!) I also used sticker tape on the side and attached another paper clip flag. On the back I included a ribbon sample.

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Pocket #9. Last but not least, an adhesive tag decorated with washi tape and a Christmas tree sticker. Since I was gifting this PL in lieu of a Christmas card I wrote “merry christmas” and included the year. On the back I included some band-aids as the last time I saw the recipient she needed one and didn’t have any in her apartment, lol.

To mail my Pocket Letters, I sent them flat in a standard, page size mailer but you could also fold them and send them in an envelope, like so…

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Pocket Letters are super fun to make–calming handiwork that can be completed in one sitting–and they definitely brighten the receivers day! I’m so excited to continue making these in 2016!

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Have you made any Pocket Letters? Or is this the first you’ve heard of the super cute mail goodies? Either way, if you’re interested in whipping one up and would like to swap with yours truly, do let me know in the comments below. Or if you would like to swap a PL from me for some other mail goodie from you, I’m totally open to that too! Let’s spread some postal positivity!!!