Thursday, January 15, 2015

DIY Pen Pal Kit

The DIY Pen Pal kit isn't a new idea. (I was originally inspired by this post over at Making Mondays.) In any case, this is a very easy, inexpensive project that I would highly recommend for both children and adults. This is the third time I've put together a kit for someone, but I am always surprised at how different each kit looks from one to the next.  The contents are basically the same (paper, envelopes, pens, stickers) but there's a ton of room for customization.

This kit was specifically designed for my sister-in-law, Lara, so there's a few tweaks I put in especially for her. For instance, since Lara is much younger than  most of my other pen pals, I figured she'd mostly be communicating with her family and friends. I included a dollar store address book, but customized it by filling out a list of her family member's birthdays, as well as the address for my husband and I since we live far away. My hope is that this way we can still keep in touch even though we don't get to see each other often. I also whipped up some brightly colored envelopes using scrapbook paper and a template. I cranked out about 20 over a couple episodes of LOST. The different patterns of paper do a lot to make it unique, but that's not actually my favorite part.

With all these random little pieces, I knew Lara would need a way to keep everything together in one place. I was lucky enough to find a fairly flat-shaped box so it could be easily slid under a bed or stacked up when not in use. Since I acquired the box from work and it was covered in ads for contact lenses, I decided to get crafty and dress it up a bit. Three colors of craft paint, a stencil, some glitter glue, and a couple evenings later, we're done!The paint job isn't perfect, but I think everyone will agree it looks much better than the plain box. flat

All in all the entire kit only cost me about ten bucks, because I had a lot of the supplies (the materials to decorate the box, the patterned paper to make envelopes, and the plain white envelopes) on hand. I actually started assembling it back in June and added to it little by little over time, so it was really easy on the budget! Since this was a Christmas gift I decided to wait to post it until now so that the secret wouldn't get out.

1 comment:

Non-snail mail is welcome too!