snail mail tips: storing washi tape

Advice, Snail Mail Tips

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Most of my great ideas come to me right as I am falling asleep. I sit in bed and think of all the things I would rather be doing instead of sleeping. Half of the time I can’t remember most of these thoughts or ideas when I wake in the morning because I can’t be bothered to actually write them down.

This is one idea I remembered! I was in bed thinking of all the washi tape I have and how I needed to come up with a new way of storing them. I thought of those washi tape holders you can buy and realized they were basically just a rectangular box. I started thinking about the items I had in my house that I could convert into storage for washi tape and, ding!, what better than the boxes that rolls of wax paper or aluminum foil come in?

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Although it’s not the best option out there, this is an incredibly easy and cheap way to store your washi. Let’s get started!

To convert your box, you really just need a few simple supplies:
► The box (duh)
► Washi tape (duh duh)
► Scissors
► (optional) Pretty paper to cover the ugly box
► (optional) Double-sided tape or glue

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First things first, cut off the little flaps on the side of the box and the cover flap. I considered leaving the top flap on but it’s likely your washi tape are going to stick out a bit so the top flap just becomes pointless. That’s basically all you have to do to make this into a washi tape holder. It’s really that simple. Cut off the flaps and stick your washi inside! Done.

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I recommended covering the box with something pretty or color-coded. I decided to cover my boxes with scrapbooking paper that matched the colors of washi tape I was going to put inside. It’s super simple to cover the box! I just stuck on a bunch of double-side tape on each side and basically wrapped it like a present. I didn’t cover the bottom, just the front back and sides. You can also cover the inside if you’re feelin’ fancy. I think it might be kind of annoying to use glue to complete this step but, if that’s all you have, I’m sure you’ll find a way to make it work!

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With this storage, you do have to take out the washi tape each time you want to use it. That can be kind of annoying! I’m trying to think of something I can put in, like a empty paper towel roll, to have the washi tape on. I feel like the washi tape holes vary in size though that could just be my imagination. I’ll have to give it a go the next time I run out of paper towels.

Another thing you can do is put a piece of tape that you are storing on the outside of the box. You can easily see what tape you have and, once you take it out, you know where it should go when you have to put it back!

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Snail Mail Tips: How To Find Pen Pals

Advice, Snail Mail Tips

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I recently received a comment that asked, “How do you find pen pals?” so I thought I would address that here!

The internet is kind of a funny tool for people who love to write letters. Some like to blame it for the decline in letter writing, and I would argue that it is probably the easiest thing to use to find people to write to. All of my pen pal relationships have started because of the internet. My first pals were people that I would talk to on a daily basis online! I don’t know how we found things to write about in letters but we sure did; we would send each other 5+ page letters. Then I found mail friends through various websites. Here are a few that I have used or still use!


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Sendsomething

→ This website is my go-to for finding strangers to send mail to. Sendsomething has a great search feature, which I use whenever I have something random to mail out (like, a postcard for the band Aqua). I love searching for people’s interests to better find a way to make their day through the mail! Plus, they have a “random address” button that takes the thought out of who you should mail to. The majority of my pen pals have started through Sendsomething.

 

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Swap-bot

→ I’ve been a member on Swap-bot since 2007 although I’m not too active there anymore. They have great swaps specifically for finding pen pals but they are also a bit hit or miss. I really enjoy swaps that are more art-focused, zines, mail art, ATCs, etc. Those types of swaps seem to be in decline these days. This is a really great website for starting out in the snail mail world, I think! You see a variety of styles when participating in swaps, which is awesome.

 

postcrossing

Postcrossing

→ Although I really wouldn’t suggest this website for finding pen pals, it is a great resource for sending, and receiving, postcards. I’ve heard tales of people finding great pen pals through Postcrossing but, in the 6 years that I’ve been using it, I’ve only found 1 person that I exchanged mail with on a semi-regular basis. This is a great website to get your toes wet in the snail mail world.


Of course, there are so many places on the internet to find like-minded folks. There are so many blogs that offer mail swaps, little organizations specifically for people who write letters, and plenty of people on Instagram, Twitter, or Tumblr that are interested in finding new pen pals.

I think the most important advice I can give to anyone looking for new mail friends is, don’t get discouraged! Try not to expect a reply from every letter your send out. There will be plenty of occasions where you will send a letter to someone and never get a response, or it will take, what feels like, ages for them to get back to you. The most important part of being a letter writer is sending mail, but the best thing about sending mail is receiving it!