Summer Fun for Kids

Summer is in full swing – more than halfway over for some kids – and parents are always looking for things to keep their kids entertained during these long, summer days.

If you are one of those parents – good news! I’ve got some novel ideas for you.

Check out the ideas below that you can do with your kids, or even let them do on their own. I’ve also added some new summer products to my Etsy shop, and they are so much fun for kids (and adults, too). Got friends whose kids are just as bored as yours? Have your kids send them some mail.

1. 3D popsicle postcards

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I made some of these last year and shared a tutorial by Sandra Denneler on how to make them. They’re pretty easy to make, but if you’d rather buy them instead, you can find them here.

2. beach ball

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You can mail a beach ball directly in the package like I’m doing, or you can blow it up and write the address right on the ball. Either way, the USPS will ship it, and it’s a fun addition to the mail. These balls are available at Walmart.

3. 3D ice cream sandwich postcards

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Summer just begs for ice cream, and these are such a fun way to let people know you’re thinking about them over the summer. While I’d rather have a real one, I’ve put some here in the Etsy shop for your convenience.

4. flag postcards

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Bright, sturdy postcards will grab their attention immediately. Whether it’s the 4th of July or not, these flags are a sure way to make that someone smile. Send them to men and women who have served their country. A thank you card is always appreciated.

5. fun envelopes

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If a colored envelope is better than a white envelope, then envelopes like these  (and these also) beat them all! Baseball, grass, pool water, sand, clouds, a picnic blanket . . . They’re cheap, and they’re just waiting for you to send them to friends, cousins, and everyone else!

Give your kids something fun to do this summer and maybe pick out some things for yourself. This is a great time to spread some summer cheer!

 

SummerFunKids

A Challenge For You

Today starts InCoWriMo.

Inco-what?

International Correspondence Writing Month

We who write – and even some who usually don’t – know February as InCoWriMo. We pledge to write something to someone every day of February. (Read more about InCoWriMo here.)

I like to write, but I honestly don’t write something to someone every day.

2016 will be my first year to do this. It’s a challenge for me. And now, it’s a challenge for you, too.

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Use fun envelopes to grab someone’s attention as soon as they check the mail.

Even if you don’t write much, I want you to try to write now.

Write one something to one someone during February. And if that is really doable, then write two somethings. Or five. Or 29.

Don’t worry. I’ve got some helps for you below. And I’d love to hear from you if you choose to do this. Email me at lesliesleigh@gmail.com.

First, choose a recipient:

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Second, find something fun to send.

You could totally just write a note on plain paper and send it off in a plain envelope.

Or you could buy a greeting card. Try some stationery. Target always has great options. If you’re feeling really crafty, you can even make some.

If you’re feeling ambitious, attach your note to some 3D mail like a pack of gum, or a bag of tissues, or jumbo straws.

Now, write.

It doesn’t really matter what you write. Chances are that the recipient will just be glad to hear from you. Tell them how you’re doing. About family, the weather, your job. Ask them questions. Give them a compliment.

I’ll be updating my Instagram with all the outgoing mail this month. Keep up with me there (follow thelittleredflag), or come back here to see special things going out. I have some pretty cool things lined up.

So, tell me. Are you up for the challenge?

Friday Favorites – food box flair

How to add flair using food boxes

To be honest, today’s favorite is fairly new. As in, I only started it last week.

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But once the idea hit me, I couldn’t quit thinking of things to do with it. Because of the versatility and the potential for fun, I see it being a favorite, so I’m going to go ahead and share it with you.

I bought this box of cereal for my kids to eat the day that my husband and I went to see the new Star Wars movie. We made a big deal of them staying home with a sitter, so they got special SW-themed cereal and snacks.

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I love the Yoda on this box. You may not be able to tell, but the detail is actually really good for a cereal box. Once the cereal had all been eaten, we put the box beside the trash can, too large to fit inside. I was staring at it when it hit me.

“I’ll cut him out!”

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And from there, I just kept finding things to cut out.

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I was also really excited to find the Hungry Jack box since I know someone named Jackson. Then I started thinking about all the things that use that name… Cracker Jack, Apple Jacks, Jack Daniel’s.

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I don’t know why I never thought to use food boxes before. They’re thick and sturdy cardboard, and as long as I use the proper adhesive, there shouldn’t be a problem going through the mail machines.

So what do you think? Is this something you’d try?

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Share a Coke Across the Miles

I recently found my name on a Coke bottle!

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(Side note: this has got to be one of the best marketing campaigns ever! Kudos to the brain behind that one.)

I searched all last summer with no luck. None of my friends even saw it. Then twice in one week I found both my name and my nickname on bottles. What are the odds?!

Strangely, it wasn’t as exciting as I had expected it to be. It was like an open-ended friendship with nobody on the other side. “Share a Coke with … Leslie.” But I was drinking it all alone.

And I felt very lonely.

But then I had an idea. As fun as it is to find Coke bottles with friends’ names on it and send them pics of me while drinking said Coke, I figured it would be even more fun to send them some mail. I mean, that’s what I DO, right?

And so I give you …

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I also used this opportunity to try out some new washi tape I found. Added some labels and stamps, and the fun outgoing mail was done. I think it’s quite a fun way to use the Coke labels. (Can this count as upcycling?) I sure would’ve loved it IF someone would have found my name and used it as a label. But I’ll probably never see my name again now that I’ve seen it twice in one week. Haha!

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So, will you do it?

Who do you know that would love to get some mail and see their name on a Coke label, too?

Friday Favorites

Spruce up your Father’s Day mail!

Even if you don’t mail your Father’s Day cards and gifts, you can still decorate the envelopes to add an extra smile to Dad’s face.

It’s somewhat of a bittersweet holiday for me. Father’s Day 2011 was the last time I talked to my granddad. He lived a good, long life and passed away shortly thereafter.

Father’s Day 2013 was the last time I talked to my dad. While it was difficult for us to have a meaningful relationship in his latter years, I remember our conversation that day being so sweet. He was in the hospital and allowed himself to be vulnerable to me. He passed away a couple months after our conversation.

Father’s Day is a great reason to celebrate the men in your life – whether it’s your father and father-in-law or the father of your children or other father figures in your life. Men appreciate being appreciated. And what a great “excuse” to stroke a man’s ego.

Here are some ideas to get you started, but there are sooo many things you could do, depending on your man’s personality.

Sports

Whether Dad is an avid fan that attends events or a home spectator or a local team participant, show him you know what he loves.

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Give him the chance to see his name on a superhero envelope! If you’re not comfortable drawing a hero logo, try printing one out or cut one out from an ad or comic book. (Just make sure it’s not one of Dad’s!)

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Dapper Dad

Does Dad love to dress in his best? Is he a sleek business man? Then look no further than to draw a tie. This is probably one of the easiest things you could do.

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Hobbies

Is Dad the gaming guy? Or the grill master? Or the puzzle whiz? Incorporate his hobby right onto your card or gift box.

Father-chess

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Kids’ Art

Let your kids do the art! My son isn’t old enough to draw, but my daughter loved coloring this and picking out the stickers for her Daddy.

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I used a variety of mediums for the envelopes including Sharpies, chalks, and of course crayons.

You can also try these:

  • stickers
  • paint (watercolors are in!)
  • magazine pictures cut out and glued on
  • stamps
See something you want to try?
How are you going to decorate Father’s Day cards?

 

 

 

 

Fun with Sharpies – giveaway!

Do you know what you can do with a Sharpie? Check out my Sharpie art.

This is a box I’m mailing to a friend. All sides got Sharpied. I used a combination of fine point, ultra fine point, and dual tip Sharpies as well as Sharpie pens.

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And an envelope got it, too:

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Sharpie art is limitless with their huge variety of colors and mediums. Check out this post for more on Sharpies.

And check out this link to a Rafflecopter giveaway!!! I’m giving away an incredibly awesome Sharpie pen to TWO readers. It’s as easy as leaving a comment on any post on the blog.

Friday Favorites – All Things Sharpies with giveaway!

Yes, I know it’s Saturday. I had a little bit of trouble getting this ready for yesterday, so we’ll just pretend it’s still Friday for a bit.

Let’s talk about Sharpies for a minute.

And if you read to the end, I have a giveaway for you!

This is my collection.

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I’m sure some people will see that and think I’ve lost my mind. Others might see it and think I need more.

I really enjoy using Sharpies to decorate envelopes and packages. With a variety of colors, tips, and mediums, they’re the perfect all-around writing and drawing utensil.

Although the company was originally founded to manufacturer ink and glue, the iconic Sharpie marker was introduced in 1964 and has been going strong ever since. Over the past five decades, the company has introduced at least 30 colors and over 50 different products including DVD markers, counterfeit detectors, laundry markers, and peel-off china markers.

So these are the fine point markers, what I consider the original.

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And these are the ultra fine ones. They write much like a pen but still have ink like a marker, so I advise not using them on thin papers.

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If unique colors are more your thing, you might like their metallic options. I have both the markers and the paint pens. Love!

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I also like the twin tip because I can get the best of both worlds with just one marker. I usually have one of these in my purse at all times.

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I even have a mini Sharpie. It used to be on a keychain but had to be removed since a certain little toddler kept taking it off and using it as a personal creation tool. 🙂

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But THESE ……

These are my favorites.

The Sharpie pen.

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Behold the pen that I have to keep buying because they mysteriously disappear when people borrow them and discover how great they are.

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You really have to try these for yourself to really understand how awesome they are. Which is why I’m giving one away to two of my readers.

YEP – it’s giveaway time!!!

Two readers will each win one Sharpie pen, courtesy of yours truly. And of course, they will arrive in fun mail containers to boot!

Click the link below to go to the giveaway. If you have trouble loading the giveaway, try opening this page in a different browser.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Weekend Outgoing

If you send out cards, letters, bills, packages, Netflix, or basically anything with a stamp, it is SO easy to make it a little more fun.

Today, I bring you two pieces I mailed out last weekend. One was a birthday card. The other was for an eBay buyer. (Yes, even my eBay buyers will get fun envelopes sometimes.)

Why dress up envelopes? Well, why not do it? It makes any envelope more fun to receive. And let’s be honest, we all get too much plain white mail. We all have enough everyday mundane in our lives. Let’s make somebody smile when they open their mailbox.

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So, they’re plain envelopes, but by adding some fun lines, polka dots and stickers, they look all jazzed up. You can also use unique stamps instead of the traditional bell or flag. I was a little picky about making sure the lines on these were all equally spaced. I measured them out with a ruler. I didn’t want to spend as much time on the one for the eBay buyer, so those lines are farther apart than the ones on the birthday card.

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Mail Tip: Make sure any envelope decorations don’t interfere with the post office’s ability to read your address. On the blue envelope, I was able to write the address directly over the design because the design is thin lines and the address is written in marker. However, on the yellow envelope, because the lines are both thin and thick and are vertical like many letters, I needed to use a label.

 

Envelope Art – bubble stickers

Happy Monday! 

I’m back at mailing things again. Just one outgoing card for today, and I’m working on some envelope art.

Moment of truth here . . . I’m not a gifted artist. There is some absolutely amazing envelope art out there, but I’m never going to be one of those people that creates it because I just can’t think and draw like that.

I can, however, still make envelopes fun. So today I added doodles and stickers. Around Easter, Walmart had these very cool bubble stickers. I love this alligator! You can’t tell in the picture, but I can press down on him, as well as the clouds, sun, words, and water. It’s really neat. I hope it survives the mail trip!

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Mail Tip: Decorate your envelope before inserting your card. I know this but usually forget, and my envelope ends up having crazy lines on it.