For those of you that have loved ones or pen pals incarcerated in prison you know it’s hard to come up with creative and new ideas for mail. And I know how much mail means to inmates. I have a friend whom I have been writing for over fifteen years. He is serving life without parole and it’s a struggle to come up with new ideas. However, after much thought and consideration and the use of internet I have some new ideas for creative mail. First of all, I would advise that you familiarize yourself with what your prison system considers contraband. For some facilities glitter is considered a no-no. So you might have to tweak these ideas to fit your own needs. Happy mailing!
ATC cards: These are blank pieces of cardboard, the size of standard trading cards that you can decorate and turn into mini pieces of art. Use colored pencils, glue, magazine cut out, lyrics, paint, anything goes.
Index Cards: If you have a hectic schedule or kids, then you can’t always find time to sit down and write long letters. Instead keep index cards (they come in colors too) handy and jot down questions, thoughts, things you’ve seen or heard. Stuff them in an envelope and mail. If you write a question leave the card blank and your loved one can answer the question on the card and just return it to you.
Pictures: But not just any pictures. Think about your loved one. The miss you and all the little things you take for granted. So the next time you go grocery shopping, take a picture of your purchases. Take a picture of dinner cooking, you folding clothes, the car, the town, the mailbox etc. If you are feeling really motivated, do an entire day in your life with photos. Start from the minute you wake up until you go to bed and think creatively when snapping those photos.
Themes: Once a week consider using a 6 x 9 envelope and decorate it according to a theme and fill it with puzzles, pictures, letters, etc that fit the theme. This is why buying magazines is never a waste. For example, I just implemented this idea at the first of the year with a “New Year, New You” theme. So I decorated my envelope and filled it full of inspirational quotes and stories. Health tips, how to be happy and organized and etc. I also wrote a list of my resolutions and asked him about his. You can do themes on colors, love, romance, spring, fall, water, vacation, food, etc
Cartoons: From the Sunday paper, magazines or printed off the internet. Anything to bring a smile to their face.
Fantasy: Plan a vacation together. Order free vacation brochures and write out what you will do when you go. It might sound cruel if they are in for life, but actually it gives them hope and a chance to escape reality. So plan a cruise and write detailed little stories so that they can picture it in their minds.
Valentines Day: Since Valentine’s day is approaching, why not pull out all the stops. Buy a box or two of valentine’s for kids and write what you love most, miss most and admire most about him on the back and fill the envelope full.
Erotic story: Don’t be afraid to write what you feel. All men love this. If you are shy go to the library and read some naughty parts in romance novels and copy them or get ideas on what to write. You know what your man or woman likes.
Your love: Don’t be afraid to get creative. Write on the back of flyers, doodle along the edges, put silly stickers on your pages, write a poem. Because it’s done with your love, they are sure to love it.
Don’t forget postcards, newspaper clippings, bookmarks, puzzles, menus from a new restaurant, and drawings. Try to send them books, magazine subscriptions and newspaper subscriptions if your budget allows. Also, use stencils, stickers and mounted stamps to liven up those envelopes.
Use your imagination and look outside the box for a change. Turn your ordinary mail into happy mail.