Tuesday, 28 March 2017

It's post, Jim, but not as we know it

I have nearly four decades clocked up on my personal speedometer but that doesn't stop me from discovering new things all the time. My recent 'new thing'? Fold & mail. A letter sheet that can be folded into an envelope and popped in the mail. Genius.

This kind of thing has apparenty been round for decades but I have not consciously taken it in before.

Nancy Drew!

Did you go through a phase in your childhood/teens where you wanted penpals? I remember getting an animal magazine when I was a child and there was a penpals section at the back. Ah, the people I wrote to! Those were the days when you could be pretty sure owing to the handwriting and content of the letter that it WAS actually a child you were writing to and not some adult male with unpleasant intent. 

Money was tight when I was growing up and while I yearned for beautiful writing paper I more often than not made do with notepad paper as the pretty stuff I got at christmas and birthdays was too precious to use up all in one go. 

Fold & Mail is pretty cute but I don't know if I would have used it much as a child/ teen because at that age I wanted mileage out of my meagre pennies. If I was buying a stamp, I wanted to make the most of it, so my letters were about 3 pages long, sometimes longer.

Fold & Mail, Cath Kidston stylee

So, cute as fold & mail is, I have picked up a fold and send pack from Paperchase for thank yous and left it at that. 

My imagination has been sparked by the discovery though - how to adapt it to get more letter space but keep the same compact idea?

I went to the stack of books I keep for collage projects and tore out some nice big pics from them, folded and cut them into envelopes, and got to work. I made inserts out of squared paper, used my sewing machine to sew down the middle and through one of the folds of the envelope but wasn't sure I liked being able to see the stitching on the outside of the envelope. Also, when I wrote a letter on my fold and mail prototype, I realised that the squared paper was a bit restrictive.

I changed from squared to unlined, coloured paper, kept the stitching, stuck the booklets into the envelopes and voila! A design I was happy with. Today I discovered that other people have had the same idea - Moleskine do something similar, branded as 'postal notebooks'.

Over the weekend, I've made a batch of my own fold & mail envelopes and will keep some to send and put others on my Etsy shop. It's been a really fun project to do and enabled me to play with use bits and pieces from my collage shelf.

The next step will be to combine the letter idea with a cover on the front of the internal notebook to give these missives that little bit of extra appeal. Kind of like a letter within a card. I do so love a hobby that keeps on giving 😄

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