New Year Pen Pal Boxes

About a year ago I signed up to #Postcircle. As many of you know, I am an avid snail-mailer and love writing and receiving letters. When I first signed up to #Postcircle, the group I was in wasn’t very active and I only ever received one letter. Over time I forgot about it, but a newsletter popped up in my inbox last year and it inspired me to get started again. As my first group hadn’t really taken off, I requested to join a new group instead. This time round I was lucky enough to be placed in a group with 5 lovely ladies who are all as snail-mail mad as I am! I have received mail from everyone in the group, and with some participants we exchange letters/parcels almost every month! I’m absolutely thrilled to be involved in such an active group this time round and I am loving getting to know the fellow members of my group.

Last year was such a chaotic year for me though, and although I always replied to my letters quickly, I felt that I didn’t have enough time to make the parcels as special as I would like. I really wanted to have the time to choose the perfect little gifts in my parcels for each recipient, or, even better, I wanted to be able to make things to exchange. At the close of 2014 I felt a little guilty that I was receiving such wonderful things in the mail that the ladies had put so much time and effort into, so I wanted to do something special to mark the new year, and a year that would give me more time to dedicate to my hobbies such as snail-mail.

I decided to send each of the participants in my group, and my US penpal from another blog, a box of wishes for the new year. After my chaotic and stressful year last year, I realised that it would be really useful Β to have a box of necessities to go to if I was ever in need. But the things that I needed weren’t necessarily physical things, they were things like friendship, health and happiness. While I knew that I couldn’t send these things in the post, I decided to do the best that I could by sending something to symbolize what it was that might be needed. I picked 6 things to send; love, friendship, memories, prosperity, health and happiness, and packed them up in a box like this:

Box outside

And when you open the box, you see this little card:

Box inside

I wanted to create a vintage look for the box, so I chose the cover image and the tag template from Pinterest. I added the text to the card that read ‘Dear ***, Wishing you a Happy New Year and sending you best wishes for 2015. I hope your year is everything that you want it to be, but if you ever find that you are having a bad day. I hope you will find what you need in this box. Remember, sometimes it only takes a little thing to make the big problems better. Love, Hannah xx’

And inside the box?Β I chose the following items to represent the wishes I had picked.

Prosperity: Chocolate coins. Great for representing prosperity, but also great for eating when you haven’t got any pennies to buy chocolate. Because chocolate makes everything better in my world…



Memories: I picked a little notebook so that my penpals can write down the highlights of their year on its pages. To the front cover I stuck an image my colleague sent me on New Year’s Day, it says, ‘Today is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one!’ I thought it was really cute and the perfect philosophy to starting a new year. Now my penpals can write their own book for 2015 in their notepad.



Friendship: For friendship, I sent a little notecard and envelope with a cute pencil. Everyone in the #Postcircle group has become great friends since we started writing to each other, so what better way to remind yourself of all of your friends that surround you than by writing to them and saving their letters to you.



Health: In 2014 my health really suffered with the stress of everything that I had going on, and I am only just beginning to recover from it. I decided that health was definitely something that 2015 could do with, so I sent a little packet of Forever Friends tissues and some plasters with butterflies on them – two supplies that I would definitely put to use!



Love: What else could I really send for ‘love’ but a packet of Lovehearts? They’re sweet and they complement you as you eat them!



Happiness: Happiness was the trickiest wish to buy; everyone’s idea of happiness is different so I had to think of something that would make everyone happy. In the end I opted for a bath bomb because surely a relaxing bath is everyone’s idea of happiness! It smells of cherries and I even found some pink organza bags to pop them into so they look extra cute! (Pink is my idea of happiness, hence the colour choice…)



The day the boxes dropped through the doors of their recipients my Instagram went crazy with photos and comments! Everyone seemed pleased with their boxes which was really nice. I hope that they all liked their surprise and if they are in need of anything in 2015, they will be able to find it in there!

What do you think of the boxes? Are there any wishes you would have sent that I have missed?


35 thoughts on “New Year Pen Pal Boxes

  1. loobyloucreations says:

    I love all your wishes! I do not think i would of had any different wishes, well maybe just a giant box of health wishes! I love receiving post, there is just something about it! It is just so much more personal! Have fun with all your exchanges x

    • Hannah Ackroyd says:

      Haha yes that’s how I feel right now! Got my hospital referral letter yesterday so I am feeling in need of a big box of health too! I do love receiving snail-mail from my penpals…it never fails to cheer me up! x

      • loobyloucreations says:

        I hope all goes well at your hospital appointment, i am lucky i have a great consultant. Take care x x

      • Hannah Ackroyd says:

        Thanks πŸ™‚ Aww that’s good! Yes my doctor has been great! I’ve never had to go to hospital before so I’m pretty nervous! I know it’s likely to be a lot of worry over nothing but it still seems to be getting to me! You take care too πŸ™‚ xx

  2. Jen says:

    What a truly lovely idea! I so wish I had time to write letters. I love sending goodies in the post as well as receiving. Maybe once I am more organised I will write more! xx

    • Hannah Ackroyd says:

      I’m glad you like it πŸ™‚ everyone really seemed to appreciate them! I love receiving goodies from you in the post! It makes my day πŸ™‚ Nothing like a letter or parcel to cheer you up πŸ™‚ Haha I should have included ‘organisation’ as one of the presents! xx

  3. scoobyclue says:

    I joined Postcrossing for postcards, I have always loved them, and now I am creating cards using them. I think PostCircle sounds great – and how lovely to get such a nice thinking of you gift from a friend you never met!

    • Hannah Ackroyd says:

      I love Postcrossing too, I’ve just got back into it and received two lovely postcards from Germany this morning. It always makes me smile that someone has taken the time to write to a complete stranger!

  4. Lisa says:

    I love all you’re wishes! This looks amazing! Like you I love getting mail in the mailbox. It’s ashame that not a lot of people are doing it anymore.

    • Hannah Ackroyd says:

      I’m glad you like them! I do think it is a dying art but there seem to be a lot of groups working hard to keep it alive! As well as #Postcircle I also exchange postcards through Postcrossing, there are some wonderful projects out there that I’m confident will retain the art of letter writing!

  5. Mooses & Meeces says:

    Hi Hannah! I felt so lucky to receive this gift from you. I had been having a really stressful week, and grabbed my mail on the way to work. Opening this marvelous box just made my day and gave me a few tears of joy! I took it and showed it to all my friends at work and they all loved it. So creative! Thank you! Love, Anne

    • Hannah Ackroyd says:

      Hi Anne! I’m so glad that you liked it! It seems like they arrived with everyone when they were most in need of them πŸ™‚ I’m glad it reached you safely! I’m so pleased that it brightened your day a little bit πŸ™‚ Take care and I look forward to writing to you soon! x

  6. claire ogden says:

    Such an excellent idea and I am really glad you are so passionate about #postcircle. Thank you for sharing your very thoughtful post and it is wonderful to see how much interest you have generated. Your recipients are very lucky indeed. Xx

  7. Emily Lo Gibson says:

    This is such a lovely idea! I’ve been #postcircle-ing for about 6 months now and while some penpals are a bit more active than others, I agree that getting something in the post is a great joy even if the outgoing post takes some time to get moving. And glad that the happy post can provide some cheer amidst the health challenges. I know it has for me!

    • Hannah Ackroyd says:

      Oh definitely! I think I had been rushing out replies so that I wasn’t keeping people working but I think the better method is to put a little more time and effort into the letters/parcels so that they receive something special, even if it holds up posting it for a while. It is a wonderful project and definitely brightens up my day when some #Postcircle happy mail comes through the door! I’m glad to hear you are enjoying it too!

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