I would like to write love letters to my queerfam. Supply suggestions?
March 10, 2023 12:13 PM   Subscribe

I want to write loving, beautiful letters to my loved ones. I know exactly what I will write to them content-wise -- the major issue is that I'm not sure what to actually buy, and could use stationary recommendations. I want to make the best letter opening experience for them, for a sensory, tactile letter reading experience. Specific likes under the fold:

I haven't really written a document in like...15 years. I also am autistic/neurodivergent and experience significant cramping while writing.

What I do have:

1) A really nice fountain pen I love
2) unused notebook paper
3) My fragrances that I can spray onto them for those who aren't scent-sensitive, so they know its from me

What I lack:
1) How do I make letters cute? I love Asian stationary, growing up as Asian American myself, but I don't live near an Asian stationery shop and would probably prefer to order online.
2) Any recommended paper and envelopes that sounds great?
I would like to get them soon, so maybe 1-2 week shipping for supplies is best.
3) My handwriting is abysmal. I do like a print and mild cursive combination, but wow it hurts to write for long. But I want to write!
4) What are other cute things I can add? I know some people like to make origami or paper stars, but I'm open to other fun ideas.

Help me affirm my friends, thank you!
posted by yueliang to Human Relations (17 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Jet Pens has lots of neat stuff. Some ideas:
stickers and washi tape
more washi tape info with articles/suggestions
fancy wax sealing supplies
gel pens in lots of colors
stationery paper, many kinds

I often use stickers (lately, butterflies), and also add doodles. Even a couple little heart shapes colored in add a nice personal touch. I often put stickers on the envelopes in addition to the actual letters (or cards).

Don't worry too much about your handwriting. Just the fact they will be handwritten is terrific!
posted by Glinn at 12:28 PM on March 10, 2023 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Mochithings has some very cute letter sets. I'm also a big fan of the Pigeon line of letters that fold up into their own envelope.
posted by Jeanne at 12:53 PM on March 10, 2023 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Assuming you do not have much cause for handwriting- start to write a bit every day so your hand gets used to it again.
posted by koahiatamadl at 1:16 PM on March 10, 2023 [3 favorites]

Best answer: What a lovely question! A friend once sent me a gorgeous hand-drawn paper doll as a letter accompaniment. Other small flat items such as magnets, postcards, pressed flowers, or bookmarks could work. Just remember to check at the post office if the letter may need extra postage. Speaking of which, this is a good occasion for cool stamps. If you have access to a printer, photos of you and the recipient would be a sweet addition.
posted by prewar lemonade at 1:22 PM on March 10, 2023 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I love Papier Tigre; for letters just like this I have delighted readers with their Le Pli Postal foldable letter-envelopes. With a little tape they’ve made it all over the world.
posted by mdonley at 1:37 PM on March 10, 2023

Best answer: For an unusual look, consider filling your fountain pen with white ink and then writing on thick, dark paper; think royal purple, tomato red, teal, or navy. Craft shops (if you're in the US, even places like Michael's and JoAnn's) have really nice paper in their scrap book sections and sometimes offer by-the-sheet stationery and envelopes you can mix and match.
posted by carmicha at 1:38 PM on March 10, 2023

Best answer: What was the first paper you wrote on as a child? What was the first thing you wrote with? For most of us, our handwriting looks best when we use those early tools. So factor that into your paper buying choices. You might also explore Kinokuniya's Maido-in-a-box sets. I like this one.
posted by OrangeDisk at 2:29 PM on March 10, 2023

Best answer: The best piece of advice I ever read about love letters is this: It's not a good love letter unless it's embarrassing when it falls in the wrong hands.
posted by MiraK at 2:31 PM on March 10, 2023 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Niconeco Zakkaya also has some very nice stationery supplies, including elegant lettersets and playful stamps, and I don't even think of myself as a stationery person. Yoseka Stationery has a broader selection. I would also look at JetPens and MochiThings, already mentioned, because they also have wide selections and what's "just right" is so individual, but I think the former two select for more refined items (cutesy is widely available).
posted by praemunire at 2:49 PM on March 10, 2023 [2 favorites]

Best answer: If writing makes your hand cramp up, check out some of the silicone grips that are available for making the barrel thicker so you don't have to grip hard. Another thing that can make writing easier is to experiment with paper and nibs--sometimes trying a couple of nibs with different width and levels of flexibility can make it easier to write.

Decorative stationery is available from lots of sources--Jet Pen, Kawaii Pen Shop are good ones for Japanese stationery.

Another option would be to use beautiful paper--there are some small makers of handmade paper out there, or you could use a big name like Crane. Try different colors of ink.

Lastly, one of the wonderful things about handwritten letters is that they are so special that they don't necessarily need to be long.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 2:50 PM on March 10, 2023 [2 favorites]

Best answer: If you can get access to a manual typewriter, that can feel as personal as handwriting (especially with mistakes!) and is easier on your hands.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 5:12 PM on March 10, 2023 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Could you also try padding your pen with sugru or by wrapping fabric strips round it?
posted by runincircles at 6:58 PM on March 10, 2023

Best answer: Sunpower's handmade papercut 3D greeting cards are perhaps just the cards you're looking for?

Description from the mefi mall:
Sunpower:handmade papercut 3D greeting cards.All the designs are drawn in the iPad , some are printed and hand cut with Xacto knife and other in the cricut machine. Everyone of them are individually made and assembled using foam strips to give a 3D effect and comes with the same color envelopes.If you like the design or looking for personalized designs or like different color, I can make it for you. Just let me know.

posted by aniola at 2:14 AM on March 11, 2023

Best answer: A warabe ningyo tutorial. You can mount these paper dolls on cardboard for decoration or send them as they are, there are infinite variations on the theme.
posted by sukeban at 5:18 AM on March 11, 2023

Best answer: On handwriting:

1) Handwriting is a skill and requires practice to make your letters come out neatly and uniformly. Choose a style you like (print out a practice sheet if you can) and copy it--you'll probably have to write bigger and slower at first, but your free-hand writing will improve over time.

2) Handwriting is also a physical action that, if you're not used to it, can be hard on your body. If you haven't ridden a bike since you were a kid and you suddenly go out on a five mile ride, you'd expect to be sore after, right? Same with handwriting! You need to ease the muscles of your arm and hand back into shape. Consider the ergonomics: many people like a pen with a padded grip section; I find that uncomfortable and have less hand strain with a pen that is as light and smooth-writing as possible.

3) Embrace whatever makes it fun for you. Don't stress so much about making your writing acceptably beautiful that you lose out on the goal of expressing your love for the people in your life. If a scrawl of rainbow glitter pens or extra-large black sharpie is the thing that is satisfying for you, it will do more to carry your good intentions than the most exquisite, 'gram-ready modern calligraphy.
posted by radiogreentea at 11:30 AM on March 12, 2023

Best answer: Save interesting, beautiful, funny ephemera. Cartoons, giftwrap, flat magnets, pictures from magazines or ads. I saved a label from vegetables because it had someone's name, and how could Robbie not love Robbie's Sweet Potatoes. Paste stuff onto paper, or paste paper onto pretty giftwrap, and write the letter around the additions. Draw things in colored pencil. Use a highlighter to accent your tale of the trip to the dentist. Pick local wildflowers, press them in a heavy book, tuck them in the envelope. Use gold or silver pens. You can take a piece of paper, fold it, glue it in, and put a drawing or surprise under the flap. A bookstore with popup or other interactive books will have ideas. There is a thing called mail art, so much cool design.

Just writing actual postal mail is awesome, you are awesomest!
posted by theora55 at 7:46 PM on March 12, 2023

Best answer: If you buy stamps at a large post office, you can get really pretty stamps that reflect a lot of different interests - historical figures, artists, politicians, animals, cultural phenomena, etc.

A rubbery pen grip can make writing easier because you don't have to squeeze the pen as tightly. I like the triangle ones and the ones that look like chewed gum. You may have to cut a slit through it so it will fit around your fountain pen shaft. Or get an artist's mouldable eraser and fashion your own.

I used to write two letters a week to a friend in high school. I would keep the letter with me and just add a few lines or a little drawing here and there throughout the day.

Set yourself up for comfort by making sure your ergonomics are good- great task lighting without shadows, comfy chair, good posture, neck and shoulder not cranked to the side, etc.

Decorate the envelope! The opening experience starts there.

Make sure to number the pages!
posted by nouvelle-personne at 6:24 PM on March 15, 2023

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