Those of you who follow me on Facebook know about the little project I’m working on these days. As we find ourselves more isolated than we’ve been in FOREVER, we have to find ways to keep touching, reaching out, connecting with people. I’m doing that by handwriting a short note of encouragement to about three people each day.
I asked my Facebook friends to send their mailing addresses—and they really came through! Some even asked me to send a note to someone else whom they knew would benefit from some #encouragingwords.
I ordered extra stamps, organized my pens, selected a few rubber stamps, and made a pile of cards. Using my paisley Zentangle(R) notecards, I am doing two things:
I write a personal note, something I hope is unique and encouraging to the recipient.
I offer them the option of coloring the card and sending me a photo of the finished result.
I wanted to make this experience active, interactive, a blessing to the people who receive a card. The few moments it takes to color the little illustration on the front are moments of calm refreshment. The brain gets to take a break from the worries of the day and just make something. Color is a mood-changer. And it’s a personal way to make something that never existed before. We are all creators at heart.
Here are some of the glorious results, from people all over North America:
And more come in every day. I hope you enjoy seeing them, because I want to post them here as a gallery of joy. This kind of connection, for me, is a heartfelt craft. My heart is in it. As you can see, the recipients’ hearts are in it, too.
If you would like to receive a card from me, please use the contact form on this site or email me directly at
When I first heard the term “pocket letter,” I thought it might be something simple like a letter in a pocket.
Or could it be . . . a letter ON a pocket?
I’m not seeing the craft possibilities yet. Oh, I know! It’s a letter that USED to be a pocket! I feel so smart.
Wait. What? That’s not it either? So what in the heck is this newfangled fun craft thing that so many scrapbookers are crazy about—and that has the unofficial endorsement of the United States Postal Service?*
My friend Jennifer sent me a link to a Pinterest folder: Pocket Letters. She suggested we try to make some and send them to each other. I was in Ohio and she was in Florida, so it was kind of a nice way to do a craft together—but apart—you get it.
So we did. And we agreed to photograph our PLs (we quickly created an abbreviation to keep from having to write or type the words over and over again) and to post them on Pinterest for others to share and adore. That was almost a year ago! We have had a blast. Let me show you some and give you some ideas for how to start your own #PLPenPalProject.
A Few of Our PLs
This one has a friendship theme. I made it very personal for Jennifer, the recipient. The middle row, far right pocket has samples of some washi tape I wanted to share with her. I wrapped 3-ft lengths around a piece of mylar I cut from some packaging. Good use for that mylar stuff instead of throwing it in the trash!
Jennifer sent me this one with a birds-of-a-feather theme. She included stickers for me to use (middle row, left) and some adorable feathers!
As you can see, coming up with a theme is half of the idea. Then you can have fun finding all kinds of things to add. Some themes we’ve used or seen others use include:
back to school
our home state (Ohio/Buckeyes for me!)
by the seashore
quotes about pennies, with a penny in each pocket
owls (whoooo doesn’t love owls???)
kitties (see above, but kitties)
patriotism–4th of July
coffee and tea
sweet stuff (cupcakes, candy, etc.)
I could go on all day, but you get the idea. Check out the Pinterest link for tons of ideas!
Now that you can tell what PLs are, I’ll walk you through making one of your own in our next post.
P.S. Go get some baseball card protector sleeves:
*I made that up. But I’m sure they appreciate the increase in actual snail mail that’s hitting their inboxes—I mean, mailboxes—lately. Maybe they don’t like the lumpiness or the fancy, schmancy hand lettering on the envelopes. Hey, for 50¢ (so far, but who knows what with tariffs and such—just kidding!!!), it’s a heck of a deal to send these things. Maybe they’ll even get where they’re supposed to go–and in one piece!
Here’s a little project you can finish in about half an hour. It’s dedicated to Nikki Grimes, author of The Road to Paris (one of many of her award-winning children’s books), because of a wonderful concept she shared in that book. She introduces the idea of carrying God in your pocket, giving you access to him whenever you need to know he’s close by. Just the simple act of reaching into your pocket then becomes a visceral reminder that you are not alone. In homage to that idea, I’ve made this Heart Pocket, a simple project that allows you to place something in your heart’s pocket—something tangible or something symbolic, such as a prayer, a photo, or a reminder of some kind.
Here’s the excerpt, but I hope you’ll go find the book and read it all! (Project directions follow.)
Paris and Malcolm locked eyes. She was relieved to see a bit of the old Malcolm shining through. She reached across the table and took her brother’s hand.
“You’ve got to keep God in your pocket, and everything will be all right,” said Paris.
Paris pursed her lips, trying to figure out how to explain what she meant. “Put your hands in your pockets,” she said.
“Okay. Now what?”
“Pretend that God is there. See? You stick your hand in your pocket, and remind yourself that God’s always close by, and you can talk to him whenever you need to,” said Paris.
Malcolm nodded. “I get it. Keep God in your pocket. Cool,” he said. “I’ll give that a try. Thanks, little sister.”