Snail mail: sending smiles

It must come as no surprise by now that I love post.  Sending it, receiving it, buying stationery, I love it all.

When I heard about Post Pals I knew this was a charity with which I wanted to get involved.  Set up by a lady poorly herself, and run entirely by volunteers, the idea behind Post Pals is simple - send a card, letter, or gift to a poorly child to bring a smile to their face.  For who doesn't like receiving happy post?!

I soon got involved, sending a few badges to children involved in Guiding, postcards to children who collect postcards, and any crafty bits and pieces I had.  I've written about Post Pals before, and the different ways they can be supported.  I manage their Twitter account (@postpals) so do pop along and say hello!

The idea is not to send great valuable gifts - of course, this is would be very generous and no doubt appreciated, but the emphasis is on little things, a bright postcard, a small gift.  Judging from the photos that have been posted recently on the Facebook group, loom bands are all the rage at the moment!

I like challenging myself to think of things to send to children - I have one Pal who is my fortnightly Pal, and I send her post once a fortnight.  Then there are other Pals I send to as and when I see something they might like, or for a birthday, or if they have recently been hospitalised and so are in need of a bit more TLC.   It's also a challenge to think of things small and light enough to not cost too much in postage - I try to stick to a large letter stamp, or collect a few things together so it's worth paying the price of a small parcel.

From my various crochet projects I have a lot of bits of yarn in my yarn box...little bits of yarn which are really too small to do very much with, but too big to just throw away.  Then I had an idea!  A few months ago at Brownies we worked on our Brownie Traditions badge, one clause of which was to learn to sew on a button.  I crocheted lots of little flowers and the girls then had to sew a button on to the middle (much prettier than just sewing a button on to a shirt!).  

Recently, the friendly people over at Fantastic Ribbons offered me two products to review.  One product I chose for Ben (more on that another time) and the other ribbon I chose thinking I'd find a use for it soon.  

I chose this 10mm organza ribbon in turquoise, as it looked so cheerful.  It was when I was sorting through my yarn box recently that I thought of what I could do with it.  No means original, by any stretch, but it was the small, lightweight item I wanted for Post Pals!

I crocheted a few more flowers, using this tutorial from Lucy at Attic24 (I just did the first round of petals).  The yarn is all Stylecraft Special DK in whatever shades I had.  Each flower took just a matter of minutes to make, the longest amount of time was spent trying to find my darning needle to sew in the ends!  I also cut a strip of ribbon for each flower.  Also in my yarn box was a bag of sticky magnet strips: this stuff is marvellous!  It's a thin strip of magnet you can easily cut with normal scissors, just peel off the back and stick it on to something.  Hey presto, a magnetic object!  I think the last pack I bought had about 3 strips in and was around £1.  Bargain!

Next, I then simply sewed a strip of ribbon on to the back of each flower.  Cute, simple, cheap, pretty, quick, what more can I ask for?!  I didn't stick the magnet on to the back, when I send these to Pals I'll add a note and a little bit of magnet so they can stick it on if they want - I was wondering if the magnet would make them stick out a bit if they were hanging off quite a small hook, if that makes sense.  Anyway, they may want to make something else magnetic instead!

I am so pleased with these - for about half an hour's work I've got four little gifts to send off to four Pals, for basically the cost of a bit of yarn, a bit of ribbon, an envelope and a large letter stamp.   I've been impressed with this ribbon, it's thin but doesn't tear or fray too easily, and it came in a wide choice of colours, for a very reasonable price of £2.50 a roll.  There's 7m on the roll so with the small amount I used for each flower, I could make many, many more.  I would also have added a button to the centre, if someone could tell me where on earth my button box is - it clearly has not been unpacked since we moved!

I just need to package these up now, write a little note, then post them off tomorrow to hopefully send some smiles in the post to brighten up a child's day.


*Fantastic Ribbons sent me this item for the purposes of this review.  All words, photos and opinions are, of course, my own.


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