mailable gifts


Tell me, did you ever play with these growing up?

Light Brites was definitely one of those things I was very excited to introduce to my kids.

Recently, while keeping my 3-year-old entertained, we discovered we could use our Light Brigtes to make this

I was surprised to discover how simple this was.

We took our recent booty from the pumpkin patch and hollowed it out like usual. Then we just had to scrape out a little extra to make the pumpkin walls a tad thinner than usual.

When we wanted to carve out some holes for our Light Brights, all it took was one of those handy safety carvers, and we were set.

The results were fantastic.
I did find I had to illuminate our jack-o-lantern with a night light instead of only a candle.

We decided the idea was too good not to share, so we piled some Light Brites in a tube, taped them up, and added some postage.


Now that I’ve mailed them off, there is is just one thing I’m trying to decide. I have several readers who have mailed coconuts. Do you see where I’m going with this? And I have a reader (hi, Angi!) who knows of someone near her who sticks postage on mini-pumpkins every year and mails them off as surprises.

So…do I mail the pumpkin too?
and incase you’d like to see a little more, here is my favorite fun mail inspiration from the archives (or follow my 13 oz or less Pinterest board, or see it all right here):

A Disposable Camera | A Sponge | A Tube of Bert’s Bees | A Wreath and Twinkly Lights | A Disguise | School Supplies | A Pair of Flip Flops | A Big Ball | Plastic Eggs 1 and 2 | Silly Putty |Shovel & a Bucket | Ribbon Sticks | Bubblewrap Hopscotch | Fan Mail | Waterbottle Care Package | Bouncy Balls | Sticky Notes | Jr Mints | Frisbee | Mini Banner and Mini m&ms

find postage rates for happy mail right here along with other mailing details

 

{ 17 comments }

Is it hot where you are? It is good and hot here. Summer does not seem to be on its way out any time soon, though last week while I was at Hobby Lobby I did see an employee merrily putting up a Christmas tree display. But I am in no rush. I say bring on more watermelon and popsicles!

We have been thinking of new ways to cool down. And one of my kids’ new favorites is playing a classic game of duck duck goose, but with a car-wash-sized sponge. Usually this ends up in a big water fight. I am okay with that.

This is my newly-turned 3-year old. He is a good sport. And yes, after having him pose for that picture I had to let him unload a sponge over my head.

We thought we’d send a little heat relief to some friends in other hot places in the form of a giant car wash sponge. What could be more instantly refreshing?
We just wrapped a piece of sturdy mailing paper very snugly around the sponge, added some postage,

and it was ready to go. Really, if you found this in the mailbox, how long would it be until you soaked someone?

and incase you’d like to see a little more, here is my favorite fun mail inspiration from the archives (or follow my 13 oz or less Pinterest board, or see it all right here):

A Disposable Camera | A Sponge | A Tube of Bert’s Bees | A Wreath and Twinkly Lights | A Disguise | School Supplies | A Pair of Flip Flops | A Big Ball | Plastic Eggs 1 and 2 | Silly Putty |Shovel & a Bucket | Ribbon Sticks | Bubblewrap Hopscotch | Fan Mail | Waterbottle Care Package | Bouncy Balls | Sticky Notes | Jr Mints | Frisbee | Mini Banner and Mini m&ms

find postage rates for happy mail right here along with other mailing details

 

{ 11 comments }

send off some school supplies in a bottle, get the full details here

Hello everyone! How has your summer been? I hope it has been exciting and slow and wonderful all at once.

I have been meaning to get back to blogging for some time, I have missed everyone! I thought maybe the beginning of a fresh school year would be just the time. I snapped a few pics last week of some new happy mail we sent, so I will put those together and share here tomorrow.

But before I share something new, I’ve had several questions (and several reactions!) about the things I’ve mailed, and I thought it might help to go over a few basics of sending happy mail that I’ve learned along the way.

So here we go, a few happy mail tips for anyone wanting to try:

1. Write the mailing address and return address on the same surface. My friends at the post office taught me this one. It’s best to avoid any chance of confusion over who is sending and who is receiving.
2. Mail that weighs 13 ounces or less qualifies for USPS’s wonderful, inexpensive first-class shipping rates. The things I have mailed are, of course, considered first class parcels, not envelopes. You can download the parcel rates here on the USPS shipping sight, but I’ll include the current rates as of 3.15.13 here

Weight Not Over (ounces)
1 2.07
2 2.07
3 2.07
4 2.24
5 2.41
6 2.58
7 2.75
8 2.92
9 3.09
10 3.26
11 3.43
12 3.6
13 3.77

3. You can take your mail to the post office desk to be metered or add stamps yourself and drop it in a mailbox. Both are fun. Stamps are pretty! And it is fun just sticking stamps on a package and dropping it in the big blue mailbox to send it on its journey. But I always enjoy going to the counter and seeing my postal workers either grin or subdue a grin, depending on who is helping me behind the counter.
4. You can mail something without a box!? Yes. So far, I have never had a package returned, and never been turned down at the post office desk. I have, however, heard from readers who have happily walked into the post office with a frisbee to mail, and had the central post office managers of the whole country, I imagine, phoned on their behalf, and then been turned down. But the majority of my friends and readers have had no problems. You can always send something in a box, but there’s something about catching a person off guard. It’s kinda fun.
5. And now, the controversy! I have had some post office workers comment on how it makes their day to see a fun piece of mail come through, that they spend the day chuckling to themselves, and a couple tell me what a pain I am for workers who have to hand meter the mail. I have had one reader suggest that I might be single handedly taking down the struggling USPS post office (and another comment that happy mail might help save it!) To tell you the truth, I have thought quite a bit about this, as an ardent fan of the USPS and a sucker for a hand-written letter. I often have readers make me well up on the spot or laugh outloud telling me about eggs and frisbees and ribbon wands they’ve sent to a husband serving in the armed forces abroad or little kiddos who need an extra dose of support and love. I’ve also sent a few of that type of package myself. So far, I am thinking that happy mail is worth the effort, and am hoping that if the USPS should find that sending bouncey balls and flip flops and other items that need to be hand metered is costing more than is covered in their parcel rates, they inch up their rates a bit, I will pay.

MORE happy MAIL:: more fun mail inspiration from the archives:

(or follow my 13 oz or less Pinterest board, or see it all right here)

A Disposable Camera | A Sponge | A Tube of Bert’s Bees | A Wreath and Twinkly Lights | A Disguise | School Supplies | A Pair of Flip Flops | A Big Ball | Plastic Eggs 1 and 2 | Silly Putty |Shovel & a Bucket | Ribbon Sticks | Bubblewrap Hopscotch | Fan Mail | Waterbottle Care Package | Bouncy Balls | Sticky Notes | Jr Mints | Frisbee | Mini Banner and Mini m&ms

find postage rates for happy mail right here along with other mailing details

{ 37 comments }


This week, we decided we wanted to mail a disguise.

So we put together a few disguise pieces.
It is no good having just one disguise, you have to have options.
I stuffed everything in a clear box, but it was bulging with all those sneaky disguise options, I think I may just try using a ziplock bag next time and drop that in the mail.
We’ll be sending off this complete, master-of-disguise kit in the mail this afternoon. So someone we know can cloak herself in complete mystery.

And while I have you here, I wanted to share a couple extra notes.

I have a little interview over at Power of Moms in which I bear all about motherhood. It’s an honor to be mentioned among a lot of awesome moms on PoMs.

And speaking of amazing moms, a big giant thank you to Gabrielle of Design Mom for her kind mention. (I had a darling friend call me laughing and squealing as I was starting this post to tell me about the link. Thanks for making me look awesome, Design Mom.)

Happy mailing.

and incase you’d like to see a little more, here is my favorite fun mail inspiration from the archives (or follow my 13 oz or less Pinterest board, or see it all right here):

A Disposable Camera | A Sponge | A Tube of Bert’s Bees | A Wreath and Twinkly Lights | A Disguise | School Supplies | A Pair of Flip Flops | A Big Ball | Plastic Eggs 1 and 2 | Silly Putty |Shovel & a Bucket | Ribbon Sticks | Bubblewrap Hopscotch | Fan Mail | Waterbottle Care Package | Bouncy Balls | Sticky Notes | Jr Mints | Frisbee | Mini Banner and Mini m&ms

find postage rates for happy mail right here along with other mailing details

 

 

{ 28 comments }

I have a couple things I’d like to admit.

one. I am in total denial that school is going to be starting. Is anyone else feeling this? Summer, oh summer, where did you go?

two. Despite that, when I walked into Target and and was met by all the school supplies last week, and then saw all of this back to school goodness pop up on my google reader, I couldn’t help but get just a little of that back-to-school buzz.

So, even though I am going to spend the last days of summer cramming in all the swimming, snow cones, and late night reading I can, I am kind of getting into the back-to-school thing on the side.

I thought you’d like to see something I mailed off yesterday.

Remember when my friend Sherry and I exchanged bottles of goodies via post? Well, when I came home with a bag full of school supplies, I couldn’t help myself.
I started with colored pencils.
I wrapped up a few other back-to-school goodies in tissue paper and stuffed them in too.
And of course, with all those colored pencils, there had to be something to color. So I rolled up a few coloring pages.
In it all went,
and the lid went on.
On went the stamps. (I checked USPS postage rates, and 5 first class stamps were enough to mail my 5 ounces of goodies.)
And the only thing left to do was drop it in the big blue mailbox.

and incase you’d like to see a little more, here is my favorite fun mail inspiration from the archives (or follow my 13 oz or less Pinterest board, or see it all right here):

A Disposable Camera | A Sponge | A Tube of Bert’s Bees | A Wreath and Twinkly Lights | A Disguise | School Supplies | A Pair of Flip Flops | A Big Ball | Plastic Eggs 1 and 2 | Silly Putty |Shovel & a Bucket | Ribbon Sticks | Bubblewrap Hopscotch | Fan Mail | Waterbottle Care Package | Bouncy Balls | Sticky Notes | Jr Mints | Frisbee | Mini Banner and Mini m&ms

find postage rates for happy mail right here along with other mailing details

 

 

{ 61 comments }

Since starting my series about happy mail, I have heard a suggestion from a few of you I’ve been dying to try. And finally this week I did it. I mailed a flip flop.
Just four stamps, and in the big blue box it went.
The other flip flop goes out next week.

and incase you’d like to see a little more, here is my favorite fun mail inspiration from the archives (or follow my 13 oz or less Pinterest board, or see it all right here):

A Disposable Camera | A Sponge | A Tube of Bert’s Bees | A Wreath and Twinkly Lights | A Disguise | School Supplies | A Pair of Flip Flops | A Big Ball | Plastic Eggs 1 and 2 | Silly Putty |Shovel & a Bucket | Ribbon Sticks | Bubblewrap Hopscotch | Fan Mail | Waterbottle Care Package | Bouncy Balls | Sticky Notes | Jr Mints | Frisbee | Mini Banner and Mini m&ms

find postage rates for happy mail right here along with other mailing details

 

{ 53 comments }

I opened my email one day to find a note with these adorable pics in it.
You are looking at two little cousins, one who decided to mail her cousin a ball, and the other who opened her mail box to find it. Thank you, Brenda, for sending these. I do not think these sweet cousins could be any cuter.

Of course that put me over the edge and we had to try this ourselves.

Sharpies were essential so we pulled out our favorite colors. We stamped a couple balls and decided we needed extra decoration.
So we scribbled on foil with our sharpies and cut out a few stars and ran them through the sticker maker for a little extra flash.
This is my daughter and her cute friend who came along with us for icees and then to the post office to get postage.


I asked my post office worker to just give me stamps so I could take a picture for you before I mailed them. He gave me two 98-cent stamps for each. And now we have the balls all set to send out. We are waiting for a couple certain occasions and I am getting near giggly just thinking about it.

and incase you’d like to see a little more, here is my favorite fun mail inspiration from the archives (or follow my 13 oz or less Pinterest board, or see it all right here):

A Disposable Camera | A Sponge | A Tube of Bert’s Bees | A Wreath and Twinkly Lights | A Disguise | School Supplies | A Pair of Flip Flops | A Big Ball | Plastic Eggs 1 and 2 | Silly Putty |Shovel & a Bucket | Ribbon Sticks | Bubblewrap Hopscotch | Fan Mail | Waterbottle Care Package | Bouncy Balls | Sticky Notes | Jr Mints | Frisbee | Mini Banner and Mini m&ms

find postage rates for happy mail right here along with other mailing details

 

{ 46 comments }

This spring I have been a little in denial. I know the time is coming soon when I have to decide if I’m going to start a garden. But I just don’t know if I’m ready to commit! I dropped by a farmer’s market yesterday and was told, here in Cali, I have two weeks left to decide. I’ve been totally inspired by this hydroponic herb garden, and this DIY green house trick, but I just need something to push me over the edge, or pull me back.

(btw, if you’re thinking of starting an herb garden, don’t miss my 13 tips for starting an herb garden I picked up last year)

While I’m putting off the garden commitment, we did manage to pick out a few strands of seeds to plant a small caterpillar and butterfly garden. We stopped by our nursery and asked what plants might be good to attract local critters. We decided to make seed tape (see my seed tape tutorial here), because it is my kids’ favorite.
Seed tape is great for my kids, they love putting globs of paste on the strips of newspaper. And seed tape is also a great way to store seeds so they’re ready to plant in seconds.

Of course we had to make an extra to give away and add a few embellishments. Butterfly garden seeds on top, caterpillar seeds on bottom. All that’s left to do is lay the strips on soil, sprinkle with a little extra soil, water, and watch!

{ 7 comments }

Eggs in the Mail

04.07.11

It worked.
If you missed it, you can get postage details right here.

I am now sending more little eggs on their way.

and incase you’d like to see a little more, here is my favorite fun mail inspiration from the archives (or follow my 13 oz or less Pinterest board, or see it all right here):

A Disposable Camera | A Sponge | A Tube of Bert’s Bees | A Wreath and Twinkly Lights | A Disguise | School Supplies | A Pair of Flip Flops | A Big Ball | Plastic Eggs 1 and 2 | Silly Putty |Shovel & a Bucket | Ribbon Sticks | Bubblewrap Hopscotch | Fan Mail | Waterbottle Care Package | Bouncy Balls | Sticky Notes | Jr Mints | Frisbee | Mini Banner and Mini m&ms

find postage rates for happy mail right here along with other mailing details

 

{ 46 comments }

There is something I love about bright plastic Easter eggs. I picked up a row of jumbos at the grocery store last weekend.

I got thinking about the fun of discovering eggs during an egg hunt, and thought it might be fun to discover one or two in a mail box.
So I packed a few up with goodies,
stuck on a label and a few stamps,
and am dropping them in a big blue mailbox today. For all the happy mail I’ve sent up to now, I’ve had postage added at the counter. Mostly because I like to walk up and nonchalantly drop a shovel or something else on the counter, like mailing plastic shovels is just something I do. Also because I love the workers at my post office and because I always meet the nicest people in line. But today I’m trying stamps. We’ll see if they go.

If they do, I will be filling a few eggs for grown ups too. Because when else do you get to be surprised by a plastic egg after the age of 12? I’m just needing a few good things to tuck inside? Sudoku? Hmmm. Any ideas?

<<UPDATE >>
It worked!! I ended up having to change postage, here’s what I used:
I mailed 1-ounce eggs using a 98-cent teton stamp + a postcard stamp
I mailed 2-ounce eggs using a 98-cent teton stamp + a forever stamp
You can see US postage rates for first-class mail right here (scroll down to “packages”).

and incase you’d like to see a little more, here is my favorite fun mail inspiration from the archives (or follow my 13 oz or less Pinterest board, or see it all right here):

A Disposable Camera | A Sponge | A Tube of Bert’s Bees | A Wreath and Twinkly Lights | A Disguise | School Supplies | A Pair of Flip Flops | A Big Ball | Plastic Eggs 1 and 2 | Silly Putty |Shovel & a Bucket | Ribbon Sticks | Bubblewrap Hopscotch | Fan Mail | Waterbottle Care Package | Bouncy Balls | Sticky Notes | Jr Mints | Frisbee | Mini Banner and Mini m&ms

find postage rates for happy mail right here along with other mailing details

 

{ 100 comments }

It has been a while since I’ve done a post about happy mail. I am brimming with all kinds of new ideas, so I think you’ll be seeing more happy mail around here. (If you’re new here, you can see more happy mail ideas at the end of this post.)

Did you ever do this with silly putty as a kid? It was my favorite. I also liked to make bubbles in the putty and pop em.
This week I put together a package to mail that was nice and simple. I used an empty plastic spice canister, tucked in a roll of newspaper and couple eggs of silly putty, and mailed it off.

One little canister, hours of fun.

I’m including the label, incase you’d like to use it. I originally made this to send out with my Christmas cards this year, but now I use it for everything. Do you like it?
(I like to print on this full-sheet label paper,which is a complete steal, 100 sheets for ten bucks.)

Either Download from DropBox by clicking here: Mailing Label
or download here: Printable Fold-over Labels (4659)

and incase you’d like to see a little more, here is my favorite fun mail inspiration from the archives (or see it all right here):

A Great Big Sponge | A Tube of Bert’s Bees | A Wreath and Twinkly Lights | A Disguise | School Supplies | A Pair of Flip Flops | A Big Ball | Plastic Eggs 1 and 2 | Silly Putty |Shovel & a Bucket | Ribbon Sticks | Bubblewrap Hopscotch | Fan Mail | Waterbottle Care Package | Bouncy Balls | Sticky Notes | Jr Mints | Frisbee | Mini Banner and Mini m&ms

find postage rates for happy mail right here along with other mailing details

{ 17 comments }


I finished up a set of new thank you cards for the year, printed off a few, and tucked them in our family thank-you-binder.

This year’s version has a front and back, to make a proper post card. And they are waiting to be colored and doodled in. Just download, print on both sides, trim, color, and send them off for 28 cents. They’re ready to deliver any message, so you could use them for birthdays too.

Either download from DropBox by clicking here: Printable Thank You Notes

or download here: Printable Thank You Post Cards (3687)

I believe I saw the thank you binder idea first in Family Fun, and I know Anna and probably a few others of you have one of your own (Anna’s even includes thank you note examples, isn’t that handy?) Ours is stocked with stickers, glittery scraps, and the only set of skinny markers in the house. My kids love when we pull it out.

You can see a few of our thank you/birthday cards from last year peeking out of the binder too. You can download those here.

{ 8 comments }

Hello, and welcome to this week’s shoot-along post. I’m featuring one photo tutorial, photo gift idea, or photo challenge every Wednesday from summer through December. Scroll to the bottom of today’s post to see more from the shoot along.

One of our favorite books in the world is I Like Starsby Margaret Wise Brown. It is sweet and dreamy.

So for my one-year-old niece’s birthday, we decided to give her one copy of the original.
And one special edition.

We used pics of all the cousins, and I had my kids sticking stars all over every page.

The result was pretty great. I’m sure there are other books that would work for this. Ideas? What is your favorite children’s book?

I’m thinking it would also be cool to actually stage photos for a book and keep backgrounds. It would have to be the right book. Hmmm.

Join the Shoot-Along right here

Tutorials to date:
Tell the Story | Light pt I | How to Boss Your Camera Around (shoot in manual) | Work Your Light Meter

Challenges to date:
Sour Face | A Trick for Capturing the Ordinary | Then + Now Scavenger Hunt | Feet Portraits

Gift Ideas to date:
Portrait Buttons | Photo Games | Photo Game Markers |Photo Booth Round Up | Special Edition Book

Thank you, Carrie!

{ 6 comments }

My latest guest to join in the gift retreat is the lovely and sweet Calli of Make it Do. Calli’s blog is stock full of great tutorials. I would love to try her cozy bed warmer, and I am in desperate need of practicing this pie crust since I’m lame at pie crusts (I’ve also received a couple great tips from some of you. Maybe there is still hope for me.)

Calli has a fantastic simple idea to share today, so I’ll let her take it away.

+++

Hi, My name is Calli from Make it Do. I’m so happy to be here at The Giver’s Log talking about handmade gifts.

There is no better way to show someone you love them than to spend time creating their gift. One of my favorite handmade gifts I made and gave last year for the Holidays was a Snowman Kit.

This gift is wonderful for so many reasons. It is inexpensive, the kid’s are able to help (by gathering and painting the stones), and it is so FUN to make.

It’s also giving the gift of wonderful memories. A simple snowfall can turn to magic, when the day is spent as a family, making a fat, round snowman.

Be sure to check out my tutorial on how to make a snowman kit. If you don’t want to sew a cap for your snowman, like I did, after-Halloween sales are the perfect place to find a fun and whimsical snowman cap.

And don’t forget to make and give Hot Chocolate on a Stick with your snowman gift… it’ll be the perfect way for your friends to end their snowy adventure.

{ 6 comments }