Posted in Snail Mail

UK Postage costs: How much can you get in a large letter?

We all like value for money don’t we? One of the things which makes me slightly annoyed is that my handmade cards often have to be sent as a large letter because they can be thicker than 5mm. It would be better if the Royal Mail could have a price for a “medium” letter, which could be between 5mm and 10mm – maybe I should tweet them!

Until then, a large letter is between 5mm and 25mm, so maybe I should be making the most of it and cramming more things in the envelope?

A large letter is split into different weights and therefore the heavier the letter, the more it costs.

I’m going to challenge myself to see how much I can send for the least amount of money.

The cheapest first class large letter is £1.01 for 100g and the most expensive is £2.60 for 750g. Second class post (which is fine for most pen pal snail mail) is £0.79 for 100g up to £2.22 for 750g [November 2018 prices].

assorted colored vietnam postage stamps
Photo by Bich Tran on

My plan is to weigh various items and then put a package together, making sure I don’t go over the 25mm thickness limit.

I have some ideas of what I would like to send, and Pinterest just has so much inspiration. There are people on there who only blog about snail mail, and that is such good news for snail mail fans.

The Weigh-in

I selected some very random items which may or may not find their way into a pen pal packet soon. Each one was weighed on my digital kitchen scales. It is just a rough idea and I would still get a package double checked at the Post Office.


  • Small pad of sticky notes … 4g
  • 1 sheet A4 computer paper … 5g
  • 10 paper clips … 2g
  • Lip balm tin … 33g
  • Packet of stickers … 27g
  • Scented sachet … 21g
  • Biro … 8g
  • Packet of small buttons … 15g
  • Handmade envelope (heavy cardstock) … 13g
  • Tea bag … 3g
  • Artist Trading Card/Collector Card/Playing Card … 2g

My tip would be to always aim to be slightly under rather than slightly over the limits because you do not want to go into the next charging bracket for the sake of 1 or 2 grams. Likewise with the size, I wouldn’t make the package any thicker than 20mm because you want to make sure it clears the scale rather than has to be forced through the measure.

I would also recommend that you get the package weighed at the Post Office before you seal it, so that you can make the necessary adjustments there and then.

What snail mail ideas do you have? Drop me a comment below!




Posted in craft, papercraft, Snail Mail

Snail Mail ideas to help new penpals join in with the revival

The aim of this post is to provide some inspiration to anyone wanting to become a penpal.

You don’t have to start by writing to strangers – why not start by writing to someone you already know? I am sure they would be very pleased to hear from you!

There are some great reasons to send someone a letter:

  • Just to say hello
  • A nice surprise – better than a bill or junk mail
  • Send a smile – let someone know you’re thinking of them
  • It’s more personal – handwriting is so unique
  • Keep old traditions alive
  • Share good news

Like many hobbies, if you go and buy everything you think you need, it can become very expensive. I would recommend that you start with just a few basics, see how you get on, and then maybe think about what you really need to buy.

Here’s what I suggest as a good starter kit:

  • Plain A4 computer paper: you can use as writing paper and also for envelopes
  • A nice pen: one of those 4 in 1 biros are brilliant (like the one in the picture above)
  • Paper clips or staples: clip or staple things to your letter
  • Sellotape and glue: needed to secure handmade envelopes and for sticking pictures to your letter
  • Scissors: for making envelopes and for cutting up things to stick on
  • Magazine cuttings and paper scraps: make your own embellishments and envelopes
  • Envelopes of different sizes (I am going to be sharing how to make an envelope on my craft blog in a future blog post)
  • Plain white address labels: for the front of the envelope and the return address
  • Postage stamps!!!!

Once you have got your stash together, you may need some ideas of what to write. You don’t need to write anything too personal, especially if you’re writing to a stranger. You don’t have to write much to begin with either. Try these ideas:

  • Start with the date and time and what the weather is like
  • A favourite quote
  • Movies watched
  • Books read
  • Lists of anything
  • Use doodles and magazine cuttings to decorate the page and the envelope

You could draw a template and photocopy it at your local library if you are sending lots of letters.

Here’s an example from Pinterest:

Stay safe! Be sure that you can trust the person you are giving your personal details to!
When sharing photographs of mail you have received or are sending, remember to disguise any personal details (yours and those of the sender/recipient)!

When you have finished your letter, make sure your envelope is addressed correctly, properly sealed and include a return address. Check that you have paid the correct postage as your recipient will be charged the excess otherwise.

I will be sharing some examples of things I have made so please subscribe to my blog if you want to see more. There are always lots of pretty things on Pinterest and Instagram if you need inspiration. I would also suggest you subscribe to my friend Lavrax as she is a newbie penpal, and I just know her ideas are going to be fresh and exciting!

My snail mail pinboard


Posted in musings, papercraft, Snail Mail

Snail Mail Revival

If you’ve seen my posts on Craft Owl Blog then you will know I make my own envelopes and I like sending letters.

I wasn’t sure if Royal Mail had any guidelines regarding patterns on envelopes, so I sent them a tweet.

They responded quickly with this handy link:

How to address your mail

I was pleased to find out that it is perfectly acceptable to send my handmade envelopes in the post! I just have to make sure that the address is written in black ink on a white background (a sticky label would be fine) and in the correct format.

I had been putting my envelopes inside a white envelope before posting them. Seems a shame to hide them if I don’t need to though, right?

Let me know in the comments if you are a fan of old fashioned letters, and especially if you are pen pals with anyone.

Thank you for visiting!


Posted in craft, Snail Mail

Make it Monday

Simple Cards with Envelopes
Simple Cards with Envelopes

“Just To Say” Cards

I am in need of inspiration and where better to start than looking back at some of my own creations?

That’s not me being big headed, that’s me being practical! If it is something I have made before, then it should be easy for me to make again. I will already have the tools and materials plus the skills and knowledge needed.

I have a set of stamps for the faux post mark that include a whole range of sentiments. I can make a batch of these cards and then stamp the sentiment later, depending on the occasion.

The faux postage stamp in the corner is made using a small square die that came free with my old Cuttlebug (my first die cutting machine) and whatever stamped images I feel like using.

It would seem like a good place to start trying to get my crafting mojo back together.

I do like to have a stock of cards available, although I confess I’m not the greatest at getting them into a post box. It didn’t used to be that way – almost the opposite in fact.

It’s a shame that “snail mail” isn’t as popular as it was. It needs a revival. I believe there are some groups on social media that have that aim. Drop me a comment below if you know of any good ones please!

Thank you for visiting today