“Open When Letters” are a pretty common thing on Pinterest these days. Everyone has their own take on them. If you haven’t heard of them, “Open When Letters” are letters written in bulk and given to someone all at one time so they can open them later. Each envelope is labeled with a different situation in which it should be opened. For example, an envelope could be labeled “Open When It’s Raining” or “Open When You’re Angry”.
People have been making “Open When Letters” for a wide range of reasons. I have seen them given as graduation gifts to high schoolers, as a going away presents from one friend to another, and something a couple holds onto in a long distance relationship. For as often as they pop up on Pinterest, I never thought I would ever actually want to make them.
Until my husband went to Ranger School.
I found a group of wives and girl friends whose significant other was also in Ranger School with Zac. Writing “Open When letters” was recommended to us. We were told that students would cling to them during their second phase so sending them back after their Darby Pass with letters in had would be helpful.
So I decided to give it a try. Here’s what I came up with.
- Colorful Envelopes
- Paper or Stationary
- Markers or Colored Pencils/Pens
- Access to Printing Pictures
- Laminate sheets (optional)
**I bought a blank stationary kit so everything would match. The paper was small, which worked for my situation because Zac wouldn’t always have a lot of time to read these when he needed them. I printed all of the pictures I needed at home from my printer. I also bought laminate sheets from target that didn’t require a machine. If your intended recipient isn’t going to be drudging through swamps, you probably don’t need to laminate your pictures.
The possibilities for this are virtually endless, so don’t limit yourself to what I came up with. You can copy what I did completely or change it to fit your needs.
- First, you will want to come up with your list of “Open When’s”. Depending on what you decide to do, you may need more supplies. So it is good to establish what you are doing before you jump right in. These are the “Open When’s” I ended up with:
- Open When…
- Right Now
- You Need a Good Laugh
- You Can’t Sleep
- You Want to Reminisce
- You Need Some Support
- You’re Missing Music
- You Are Almost Finished
- You Can See The Light At The End Of The Tunnel
- You Miss Your Fur Babies
- You Need A Smile
- You Need to Hear How Much I Love You
- You’re Wondering What I’m Up To
- You Wish You Were Somewhere Else
- You Have A Friend Who Is Struggling
- You Want To Think About Our Future
- You Have Impressed Yourself
- You Had An Awesome Experience
- You’re Missing Your Princess
- You Need A Kiss
- It’s Raining
- You Just Want To Open One
- You Are Angry
- You Are A Happy Ranger
- You Could Use A Pep Talk
- When You Are Missing Your Friends
- Open When…
- Once you have established your list, you should start decorating the outside of your envelopes. I didn’t do anything elaborate, just a few embellishments around the edges.
- One-by-one, start writing the letters. Some of them should include more than just a letter. I included pictures with the letters to make it more personal. For the “Open When You Need A Kiss” envelope, I put on dark lip stick colors and kissed pieces of paper. After cutting each “kiss” out, I sprayed them with hairspray and added them to the envelope so they would fall out when he opened it.
Find your own creative ways to make each envelope special. If you are making your letters for your solider, don’t be afraid to do something cheesy. You’re corny little joke might be the only “funny” thing that happens that day. If you are making these for a friend or girlfriend/boyfriend, make sure to include personal touches where ever and when ever you can. I sprayed a lot of them with his favorite perfume of mine. Any little touch of home I could think of, I tried to use.
I can’t wait to give my stack of letters to my husband on his eight hour pass. I know it is going to brighten his day every time he gets to open one. Just knowing that I spent that much time on them will make him happy. Have fun with yours! There’s no wrong way to do them!
Update: I gave the letters to Zac and he was so excited to take them with him. He refused to pack them because he wanted to hold them. I can’t wait to hear what he thinks of them!