If I had to pick one thing that me and other Instagram girls I know get asked a lot that would be:
"Hey wanna be my penpal?"
Yes, we get that a lot, specially when posting pictures of incoming/outgoing mail. So since I notice quite a few girls out there are really desperate to get into the penpal thing I have something for you.
The audreyyxxo's guide to aspiring penpals
Please, but pleaseeee, don't go asking on peoples profiles if they want to be your penpal. Most letter writers already have enough penpals and most of them can't afford to pick more, not to mention that it takes time to write, pack and post.
There are two things you can do that I know from my personal experience that will work much better:
1st: you let people know yourself that you want a penpal and by that I mean post on your Instagram, Tumblr or wathever "Looking for penpals" or "Penpal wanted" add the relevant tags (#penpal #snailmail #penpalwanted #letterwritting) and a brief explanation for example:
"Looking for a penpal.
Girls only, age 21 to 30,
From Asia or Europe.
I'm 23 and I live in Belgium"
Then wait for the interested people reply you and pick the ones you identify the most or are more curious about. There's a girl from Canada who also loves cats and sewing? Go for her. Or an Irish girl who lives in Singapore and has blue hair? Why not her? Pick the ones you find interesting.
Important note: start with a few penpals to see how it goes, I suggest picking 1 to 3 penpals to begin with.
2nd: you can also search the #penpalwanted tag and volunteer to exchange letters with someone who's also looking for a snail mail partner!
Important note 2: if even taking step 1 or 2 you don't find a penpal be patient and don't give up, some people get a lot of requests and sometimes is hard to compete with so many options but if you keep trying you will find the right penpal for you!
2. Once I get my penpal(s) what do I do?
Exchange e-mails or add yourselves on Facebook, don't be afraid and volunteer to send the first letter, specially if you already have snail mail experience, get the persons address and start your letter!
I think it's important to make things kindly and neatly, a beautiful envelope full of cuteness and small gifts and details can brighten anyone's day. Receiving a piece of paper written by someone from a far away country it's a wonderful feeling, it makes you wonder how amazing is the possibility that a envelope has to travel such long distances.
- Write a letter about your life and hobbies, talk about your plans for the future if you like and mainly, talk about your country and culture, at least to me, that's a huge part of what snail mail is about: getting to know different cultures and points of view.
Also don't forget to ask questions about the person your sending your letter to, what they like to do on their free time, what they do for a living, how is the city they live. Tell them what you know about their country even if it's just one thing for example if the person is from Singapore you can say "Oh I heard it's sunny all year round over there" or if she or he is from Peru you can say "I went to this Peruvian restaurant the other day with my family" no matter how silly the only fact you know about their country is it's always nice to hear that someone from a different continent knows something about your culture!
- Add an small present, it can be a polaroid picture that you took, or a couple of tea bags from your country if you know that the person likes tea, be creative, it doesn't matter if the little memento is simple because something from another country is always pretty awesome.
Once you get more experience you'll start having more creative ideas. When I sent my first letters they were very simple and now they are a bit like this:
After I write the letter, put everything together and seal the envelope it should look like this:
You decide how you'll do it, be creative, use different materials, sometimes I buy stuff and sometimes I craft but my letters and envelopes contents always end up looking very audreyish!
I personally love when people craft envelopes and their contents, that is if the person has talent, if that is not your case you can always keep it cute by finding cute letter sets, and stickers, and stamps and everything else to decorate your parcels! Some examples of stuff I use are: wooden stamps and different inkpads, stickers, color gel pens, washi tape, small gift bags, etc.
Be creative and committed to what you are about to get in, someone is gonna spend time and money to send you letters so be respectful to that someone and try making something simple yet beautiful and well made. That said I think this post might help you further.
And to finish some pictures I took from the amazing letters my awesome penpals sent me:
|Letter from @pastel_unicorn_ (Australia)|
|Letter from @princessskiwi (From Canada and also a lolita!)|
Thank You for reading