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!

 

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Friday Favorites

Upcycle Sheet Music

I was recently at a Goodwill looking for books when I came across a folder of sheet music. Remembering the suggestion of my friend Karen who has also been enjoying sending out fun mail, I snatched it up!

I’ve played piano for years. I love it! And I miss it. I haven’t owned a piano in my adult life, and I haven’t played one since my church replaced theirs with a keyboard.

This music was begging to be made into envelopes.

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How fun are these? I’m already thinking of so many people who would like getting musical mail. Friends who play instruments, or sing, or live in Georgia, or are Lady Gaga fans.

If you had sheet music envelopes like these, who would you send them to?

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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

Upcycling Wrapping Paper for Envelopes

I love me some pretty packages.

And brown paper packages tied up with string are cool and all, but I recently received birthday presents in such pretty paper that I just had to repurpose that wrapping paper into envelopes.

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I used both my large and small templates (which you can find here) to create envelopes out of this pretty paper. I avoided holes and tape marks, and I got several nice envelopes out of them.

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WrappingPaperEnvelopesThis is a great way to upcycle wrapping paper that doesn’t get torn to shreds during the gift-opening process.

Being green can actually be pretty and fun!

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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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SuperDad

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.

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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?

 

 

 

 

Friday Favorites – magazines (free printable!)

YES!

I have a freebie for you today!

For all the mail I send out, one of the best things I do is make custom envelopes. While I can use many different things to make envelopes, one of the best resources I have is old magazines.

And one of my favorites is Real Simple.

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Issues have several pages worthy of making an envelope, and the pages are large enough to accommodate a variety of envelope sizes.

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If you want to play around and make some envelopes for yourself, check out this envelope template I use. (I recommend cutting it out onto thick cardstock so that it won’t bend and get misshapen.)

National Geographic is another favorite for envelopes.

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Their long-loved photography makes for amazing mail, and although the pages are smaller than most magazines, they are still usable for a small envelope.

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To get the small envelope template, click here.

Just look at these finished envelopes. Who wouldn’t want one of these? Send a note to someone special in a custom envelope. It’s an easy process with big impact!

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Both envelope templates include step-by-step instructions on how to create custom envelopes. Once you get the hang of it, the possibilities are endless!

Pin it:
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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.

Friday Favorites – all my envelopes

It’s Friday! And I think Fridays should be fun, so on Fridays I’ll be showing you a few of my favorite things. Friday Faves!

By nature, I’m an outdoors lover. If it’s warm outside, I’d much rather be out there than in here sitting at my computer. Or making mail supplies.

Which is why I tend to make lots of envelopes in the cold months and stock them up so I can spend more time outside when the weather is nice.

So today I present to you one of my favorite things – my envelope stash! These definitely aren’t all of them, and I don’t have cards pre-made for all of them yet. But these are a lot of what I’ve been working on over the last few months.

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I have so many more I want to make and have yet to do. Now that it’s warming up outside, I doubt I’ll be spending much time inside making more envelopes unless it’s raining a lot.

Until then, I have these to enjoy!

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