Saturday, 22 June 2013

Do you want a Friendship book?

So if you saw my last post you'll know I have made a lot of friendship books for people recently and not sent them out yet! So if you are into snail mail and would like me to send you a friendship book so you can add your own address and then pass it on to one of your pen pals then send me a message either at:

http://messagesfrombottles.tumblr.com/

or

messagesfrombottles@gmail.com

It's totally free and whatever, I just have a lot of friendship books that really need to move on so feel free to contact me.

Creative Snail Mail Idea of the Week - Week 2

Friendship books!

Recently an amazing pen pal of mine Rachel (Check out her blog here: http://snailmai.blogspot.co.uk/) introduced me to the wonderful world of friendship books which are a really great way to make new pen pals.

(Not my photo)

Basically the idea of friendship books is to meet new pen pals who are already part of the snail mail community. They can either be made for you or you can make one yourself so in this post I am going to show you some that I have made for other people.

But first here's how to make one!
1. If you are making one for yourself then you obviously already have permission to use your own details however, if you are making one for someone else you need their permission first before passing on their address. Sometimes label bags are sent around, this is where people put their address in a bag to be sent around in order to make new pen pals. If you come across one of these bags, the addresses inside are generally expected to be made into Friendship books so you don't generally need permission for that. The people I have made these books for are addresses I got sent to me in a Label bag which said "Make friendship books out of these labels".

2. Get some paper or card or something for the cover, this can really be anything. It doesn't matter if the friendship book is simply made of one folded sheet of plain paper but in my opinion, the more creative the friendship book, the more exciting. For this I chose some craft paper I bought from IKEA. Tack IKEA haha.


3. I then folded it and cut it to size how I wanted it. In this instance I cut the paper into 4 equal size pieces. 

4. I then folded them into a booklet shape (in half).


5. Next I created the front of the Friendship book making sure it stated 4 important things: what it is, who made it, who it is for and who to send it to when it is full.


6. I haven't yet but the next step will be to send it on to one of my pen pals so they can add their address to the inside and then send on to another of their pen pals.

And that's it! The book is then out of my hands to complete itself. It's quite fun and nice to do if you like making things because trust me, if you receive a label bag then you will have plenty of friendship books to make haha!

I found a page about them on wikipedia which had a lot of really interesting ideas for alternative Friendship books so if you're interested you can check that out here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friendship_book

Messages From Bottles joins Instagram!



Friday, 21 June 2013

Keeping track of your letters

A common problem I have with Snail Mail and I assume that other have is the fact that sometimes letters get lost and then its hard to get back in contact with them again, especially if you don't hoard all your old letters.

When I first started Snail Mail I had a spreadsheet with all the dates I sent and received letters. This very quickly became very complicated looking and meant that I was hardly ever fill it in. I also had a word document with all my pen pals addresses on, but that was was just as hard to use.

I came up with the idea of making small contact cards. I made two, one with my details and one blank for my pen pals to fill in and return to me. I also asked them to fill in details like what name they want to be called by so we didn't have to go through the whole awkward phase of me using the wrong name and then them getting upset haha.

Its also useful to have some way of contacting your pen pals like via facebook, twitter and tumblr just in case you need to contact your pen pals quickly for any reason.

I found on Tumblr a similar post to what I have been doing and thought I'd share it with you because the person who wrote this has a nice story behind it and has kinda taken it to the next level.

From http://notquitedyingart.tumblr.com/ :


PROJECTS
I once admired a woman I never saw face to face. She loved easily, opened her heart to many, and was a friend to all she met. She did not introduce me to snail mail, but she did open my eyes to the world of possibilities. This friend recently gave up snail mail because she had so many pen friends, she could not keep up with all of them. She sent a gift to each and every person with whom she corresponded right before she left the community.
She inspired me to do many things, one of which was to create these pen pal information cards. They are glossy postcards with my information on each side. I send them sometime in the beginning correspondence with a new pen pal, along with a blank matte version of the card for my pen pal to fill out and return to me in a provided envelope.
I keep a box with one file for each pen pal I have. On my laptop, I have a spreadsheet which contains the first and last name, birthday, and dates of my sent and received letters of each pen pal.
If you’re wondering where I get these cards, I have them designed and printed by Emily of PixelsPrinted. She is a sweetheart and very easy to work with. I am beyond satisfied with my order every time!



Thursday, 13 June 2013

Snail Mail Inspired Fathers Day Card!


I love this card I got for my dad for fathers day, It would be so easy to make your own too! 

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Creative Snail Mail Idea of the Week - Week 1


What you will need:

♥ Magazine/Wrapping paper/Newspaper/IKEA manual(:P)
♥ Smaller piece of paper for an address label (or an address label)
♥A letter or old envelope
♥Scissors
♥ Sellotape
♥ Thick Pen preferable (normal pen are fine too)
♥ EU Eraser (not necessary, highly recommended)


1. Rip a page out of your magazine or make whatever other paper you are using into an appropriate size.


2. Place your letter or envelope onto the paper you prepared


3. Rap your envelope or letter in the same way you would wrap a gift.


4. Make sure to tape it down securely so its safe for transport! 


5. This is what the envelope will look like from the front.


6. Get your address label or paper to make write the address of the person receiving the letter. (Sorry the photo would not rotate -.-)


7. Stick your address label onto your envelope. (Please note this is not a real address)


8. Stick your stamp and address label on as you would any other envelope.

Et voila! You are finished with your custom envelope! I hope you've found this useful and if you have any other creative ideas please email them to Messagesfrombottles@gmail.com.

I'd also like to see what you make from this or any other creative snail mail tutorial and I might even put your envelope on this website so please Email me them.

Jessica




Sunday, 9 June 2013

Happy Birthday Messages from Bottles!


Messages from Bottles is a year old this month, so to celebrate I'm doing a giveaway and who doesn't want free stuff right?

So I haven't actually decided what will be in the giveaway yet so keep your eyes peeled and it will be revealed soon along with all the details on how to enter.

Jessica