Sunday, November 29, 2015

...Pocket Letter Pal WHAT?

"Pocket Letter Pals" have been taking the crafting world by storm this past year - it seems like everybody is making and swapping them. I found out about them quite a while ago and have exchanged 2 - 2.5 dozen of them...some with artists and friends, some with people I didn't know and new friends.

So what are they?

Pocket Letter Pals are the brainchild and inspiration of crafter Janette Lane. They started out as very simple affairs - but like most things in the crafts and art world, have become a bit more evolved and fanciful and elaborate. This video shows Janette explaining how they started:


By this time, it has evolved to being nine ATC's (Artist Trading Cards) in the baseball trading cards protector (ATC's are always 2.5" x 3.5"), usually with some sort of theme, but not always. The back will include a small gift of some sort in each of the pockets - nothing elaborate or expensive - usually some kind of crafty thing that the receiver can use in their own work. And, most importantly, a letter to your 'pal.' If yours is to a friend it can be a special message and if it's to a stranger I usually use the letter as a short introduction to myself, with a bit of my history and the kinds of work I now produce. Then it gets folded, put into a business-sized envelope and mailed off!

Here are two examples I've done using Alpha Stamps products and supplies. One is a bit more involved and time-consuming to make - the other was more expedient to create and used far less products.

My Marie Antoinette themed ATC's are pretty elaborate, and required glue drying time between the various layers. A list of all the supplies used is below. Almost everything came from Alpha Stamps, though there are a few items from my stash of goodies.

Here is a clearer photo of four of the ATC's. Since they are larger you can get a better idea of the detail used to create them.

This is the reverse side - I made tiny little vellum envelopes that are sealed with stickers. Each one holds some kind of charm or piece of vintage ephemera which are my gifts to the recipient. Browsing through the Alpha Stamps Charms and Beads section will give you lots of ideas for little treasures to use as gifts...I love things that come in packs of threes - I can use one in my Pocket Letter Pal, one on a project, and have one to keep for myself! And, finally, the envelope in the center holder contains my letter to the recipient.
My final touch is to tie various pastel shades of seam binding in the notebook holes in the protector sheets to add one final touch of movement, whimsy and extravagance.


This is my simpler "Pocket Letter Pal" example. I used Graphic 45 "A Christmas Carol" paper collection (all 3 sizes) and did a lot of fussy cutting. Only a few embellishments beyond the papers were used.

Here is a photo of four of the ATC's which are larger and you can get a more clear idea of where I did the fussy cutting ... usually using a smaller sized paper for the background and a larger sized paper image for the cutting I was going to use.

I think these simple ATC's are just as effective as the more elaborate ones above!

Ready to try to make a few of your own? To give you an idea of what I used, here is my supply list:

Marie Antoinette Pocket Letter Pal Alpha Supply List
Ornate Brass Teardrops
40x30mm Neoclassical Pendant Setting
25x18mm Oval Victorian Setting
Mesh Rhinestone Ribbon - White (note: I dyed mine with Tim Holtz Alcohol Inks)
Golden Mica Flakes - Pearl
Seam Binding (I used a combination of "Provence" and "On the Boardwalk" Sets)
Teardrop Fused Pearl Strands

 "A Christmas Carol" Pocket Letter Pal Alpha Supply List
Graphic 45 - A Christmas Carol 12" x 12"
Graphic 45 - A Christmas Carol 8" x 8"
Graphic 45 - A Christmas Carol 6" x 6" (Alpha Stamps has sold out of this size - and so has a few other stores I frequent. If you see a pad of the 6" x 6" size, I advise grabbing it! It's going to be very difficult to find!)
Gold Sweeper Fringe
Gold Zig Zag Dresden Borders
Thin Looped Dresden Borders - Gold
Red Zig Zag Dresden Borders

To create all the small bows I made for these ATC's, try this fast, easy method!
...for the really teeny tiny ones, I use a baby fork! The only requirement of your
fork is that it has four tines.

Thanks so much for stopping by - and I hope you'll leave a comment while you're here so I know you visited! now ... go make something beautiful!
¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)(¸.•´ 
(¸.•´♥ Tristan


Cindy R. said...

Oh Tristan - These are amazing ! I have done alot of ATC's in the past. And, never really understood the Pocket Letter Pals until now! You are a master at creating. I always look forward to your Blog Posts!

Nichola said...

So charming!

Unknown said...


DIYDesignStudio said...

Such lovely creations Tristan. They are truly Enchanting!!!

bridenet said...

Tristan these are beautiful.
I love them and this would be a great gift.

Jackie PN said...

Tristan , just amazing and gorgeous! The Marie pocket letter is of course my favorite, but your other Christmas one is just as delightful!
I love that you love glitter and glam- your work is always outstanding!
xo Jackie

Shannon Cooper said...

These are quite beautiful!