Postcards 101

If there’s something my friends and family know about me, it’s that I love snail mail. I’ve sent many correspondences throughout the years, whether it’s for a holiday, a birthday, or just a random hello. In 2020, sending mail has been one way to keep in touch with loved ones across the country; while I can’t visit physically, at least I can send something physical to let people know I’m thinking of them.

One of my favorite ways to keep in touch through snail mail is by writing postcards. I don’t have to write much on a postcard to convey my feelings, since there isn’t much space to write! While I know I could just text someone a random hello, I like sending postcards because it lets me be more creative in my message sending. I can write hello with fancy hand lettering, or stick washi tape on the lower border of the postcard. Every postcard is like a custom made art piece, sent to someone I care about.

Not sure how to get started writing postcards? No problem, I’ve written out my tips below. Happy postcard writing!

Image source: chibird.com [Image description: A cartoon ghost dressed up as a mail carrier sends a letter. At the top of the image it says “sending love!” and on the bottom, “I hope you feel it soon!”

What supplies do I need to send a postcard?

To send a postcard, you will need a postcard, a pen, a stamp, and the address of your recipient.

Postcards

Postcards can be found everywhere. I’ve picked up postcards at restaurants, pharmacies, national park gift shops, and even at GeekGirlCon! Constellation and Co., Life of the Kind, and Pike St. Press are some of my go-to local shops that create their own postcards. Check the online shops of your favorite artists as well.

Some postcards from my collection. From left to right: A to Z Signal Flag Postcards, vintage postcard from a restaurant on the North Cascades Highway, Mount Rainier National Park postcard, You Matter postcard, Women in Science postcard, Seattle postcard from a pharmacy. Image source: me.

You can also make your own postcards! Find the size requirements for postcards on the USPS website. While you can’t stick 3D things onto a postcard, there’s many other ways to decorate a postcard. Stickers, washi tape, and stamps (of the non postage kind) are my favorite way to decorate a postcard.

Pens

I like using ballpoint pens or permanent markers on postcards. They are less likely to smudge or fade through shipping.

Stamps

Postcard stamps, or regular forever stamps, can be used to send a postcard within the United States. Postcards with an international destination require international postage. You can buy stamps at your local post office, many grocery stores, or online at store.usps.com. I like buying stamps through the official USPS store because it has the greatest variety of stamps, and it directly supports the USPS.

Address of your recipient

Asking for someone’s physical address seems awkward, but it’s not as bad as you think it will be. If anything, the recipient might start anticipating your postcard and will check their mailbox more often.

Who wants a postcard?

Everyone wants a postcard. It’s a bold claim, but I have yet to find a person who hates receiving non-junk mail. Here’s a list of people and organizations that would probably enjoy receiving a postcard:

  • Family and friends that you haven’t seen in a while because of the pandemic. They could live across the street or across the continent, but they will love receiving a postcard from you!
  • You county, state, and federal legislators, to let them know what’s important to you
  • A small business that you want to support.
  • Find a new pen pal through the Geek Girl Pen Pals 
  • The Puget Sound Correspondence Society always enjoys receiving mail
  • Join Postcrossing-an international postcard exchange project

What should I write on the postcard?

There’s not a lot of space on a postcard, so keep your message brief. Here are some examples of what you can write on a postcard:

  • I miss you
  • Thinking of you
  • Can’t wait to see you again
  • You are loved
  • I ❤️ U
  • Remember that time when [write about a memory or an inside joke]? Ah, good times.
  • An account of your day
  • A meaningful quote 
  • Book or movie recommendation 

Can’t find the words to express your thoughts? You can always draw a heart, flowers, butterflies, stars, or anything else that comes to mind. Remember to sign your name, or the recipient will not know who it came from!

How do I send a postcard?

Once you’ve addressed and finished your postcard, drop it in a blue collection box or at the Post Office lobby drop. From there, USPS carriers will ensure your postcard gets to the right location.

Good luck writing!

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Kalyna Durbak
“Rock On!”

Kalyna Durbak

Kalyna is a copywriter at GeekGirlCon, and a professional Jill-of-all-trades.

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