This Letter-Writing Kit was truly a joy for me to make for Cooper for Christmas. Having two boys, Ethan is usually the person in charge of buying the boys' gifts because, well, he's been a boy before so he knows what they like! Of course, I know what they like too, but there's only so many times I can buy plastic dinosaurs and cars until my enthusiasm starts to wane. ; )
Cooper has shown interest in writing letters for a while now, which I have LOVED. Writing letters was one of my favorite things to do growing up. Unfortunately, the computer keyboard has ruined my handwriting, since I just don't do much of it anymore!
Cooper has really amazing handwriting (and I'm not just saying that because I'm his Mom, his teachers have always bragged on this neat, tidy, pretty handwriting.. <insert proud Mother grin here>) so what better way to show off his interest in writing, than letters!
This letter-writing kit had several components to it, and I pretty much geeked out over each and every one since they are things that I looove: Stationary, Stickers and Stamps.
I started with the Letterhead design. I have always been super inspired by my friend Pilgrim's illustrations she created for the Modern Kiddo identity, so I asked her if she had time to create some artwork for me. I realized that I should really create the artwork myself since this gift was so personal for me, but Pilgrim was sweet to offer a Modern Kiddo head (haha) to start my illustration off with. It was an indeedy perfect starting point!
I loved the idea of the letterhead saying "From the Desk of..." which seemed so official. ; )
So I browsed Flickr for some photos of Mid-Century looking desks to draw inspiration from. I came up with this, and then I of course had to add the clock, stacks of letters and an image of Perry from Phineas and Ferb on Cooper's shirt, knowing that he would flip over that! (and he did!) (Somehow the word "LETTERS" is missing on his little box of letters on his desk below.. but you can see it in the photos...)
I added the lines that are similar to the lines on his composition book for school, so that he could write his sentences easily. I just printed these on my printer. As you can see, the first letter he wrote was to Santa to thank him for all of his gifts!
(sorry for the blurry addresses, you can't be too careful, right?)
I bought the CUTE kawaii stickers from this shop.
I've had the idea for a "You've received Happy Mail" stamp for AGES now, and have been wanting to design one to sell in my Etsy shop (which I plan on doing soon!) I obviously have a thing for correspondence through the mail, and making it CUTE! So I thought I would personalize this one for Cooper. I also designed a personalized address stamp for him. I had them produced at a local stamp shop. I LOVE the wooden handle style stamp. I wasn't sure if those would be harder to use than the polymer stamp + mount system, but he handled the stamp very easily and the image he got was perfect every time! (phew!)
I bought some washable ink pads at Michaels knowing that he (and Campbell) would for sure get ink on things in the process (and sure enough, they've already stamped our kitchen table. : )
As for the box I put everything in, that required a lot of obsessing on my part. I wanted something PERFECT. I looked for hours online trying to find some sort of stationary box. I found some wooden boxes (I preferred wood), but they didn't have any compartments inside (boo.. compartments are a must!) I looked at the Container Store. I looked in thrift stores hoping to find some cool treasure box.
I ended up finding the PERFECT box the night before Christmas Eve... at JoAnn's. : ) You think I would've looked there first (no.) It's an Artist's Box! With all the perfect compartments, and not too heavy for a little man to carry around.
I painted it white because I thought that reminded me of letter-writing more (a bright white envelope waiting to be popped in the mailbox!). I took the hardware off and spraypainted it. I wanted to add some sort of stencil on the front. Since I was finishing this Christmas Eve (oh yes), I attempted cutting out a stencil of the boy face + letter, but I soon realized it wasn't going to work very well. So I printed it out on some matte paper and spray mounted it on. I really like the look of it still. I might have some vinyl cut in those shapes one day and peel off the paper, but I think it looks nice for now! I might just leave it.
When you open it, a lever type thing pulls out with an artist's palette that you can pull out. I just left that in, and set his stationary behind it.
I found a little vintage child's tool box on Etsy, the perfect place to keep his pencils that I had personalized with his name, from Oriental Trading.
This will go down as one of the funnest and most meaningful gifts I've ever made.. aren't these kind of gifts the best? I sort of loathe buying things just to buy them.. how many times have you done that? I know I have and it feels ick. But sometimes it's unavoidable. It's so nice to give them meaning.
I definitely plan on creating some letter-writing themed polymer stamps for kids soon and I'm also thinking of designing some personalized printable stationary for kids! I think in this age of constant technology use, it's nice to remind our kids to slow down and write a letter for a change, especially when they're not old enough to email yet!