The Art of the Written Letter


A glossy envelope. Scrolled handwriting. A sparkling sticker. Nothing can rival the excitement when a handwritten letter arrives.

Writing and receiving handwritten notes are something of a passion. I keep all cards and letters that I receive, and I'll often sort through the box and revisit special notes or messages when looking back or seeking inspiration!

I'd like to think of myself as a letter writer on par with Jackie Kennedy. She famously declared that she would pen a thank you note as soon as she had received a gift, met with a friend or returned home from a party. It is individuals like Kennedy that keep the mystique of a handwritten letter alive, and I get as much joy from writing a note as I do receiving one.

So what do you need for a properly written letter?

Proper equipment

Start with the basics. Paper or notecards? Ink or biro? Lined envelopes or something plainer? Choose your essentials wisely.

Signature style

Choose something personal for your stash. Perhaps you'll go for a monogrammed set of cards with matching envelopes, or send out headed paper engraved with your address? You could go one step further and have cards printed with your own photographs or a favourite quote.

I have a set of cards from the JFK Library that I send out on special occasions as well as monogrammed notecards and special Air Mail stationery for friends overseas.

Keep your supplies stocked

I make sure my favourite coloured pens, stickers and stamps are always in supply and are safely secured in my special letter box. (Organised much?!)

I also have different cards and papers for various occasions- this saves any last minute stress when I need to reply to someone or send a card at the last minute.

Choose your words carefully

When replying to a letter, I always re-read it two to three times to ensure any questions or topics are properly covered. There's nothing worse than receiving a reply to a letter that doesn't answer what you've asked! I always draft out my reply before committing the final words to paper, enabling me to change things around and review what I've written.

Include all the details

It may sound simple, but it can be easy to overlook important details like the date, contact details and even a return address! Double check before you send!

Check the postage

I send many letters, cards and parcels overseas. I keep a handy postage guide in my desk drawer to ensure that my recipient doesn't have to pay any added postage cost!

How do you make your letters special? I'd love to hear your tips for great stationery and accessories!

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