Saturday, November 2, 2013

'Words of Wisdom' - a letter idea

This month the 'missionary moms' (and whomever else would like to join us) in our ward will hold our first 'get-together'.  Who knows how often we will meet.  We don't want it to be a stress but more of a support group of friends that meet for just an hour to share thoughts and feelings, ideas, maybe pictures and probably tears.  It was my dear friend, Jackie's idea and it is brilliant and I am so excited.
I asked her if I could bring something fun and easy for the mom's to work on while we're chatting.  It's not crafty really but I suppose it could be as elaborate as you wanted to make it.  I'm doing the preliminary preparations and each mother will bring a spiritual thought or a little message, 'words of wisdom' or encouragement, a poem, favorite scripture, faith promoting story or any kind of little thought to send to each of our missionaries.  That means that each mother will bring 16 copies of the same thing - one for each of the 16 missionaries serving from our ward.  Each 'word of wisdom' can simply be on a piece of paper (full sheet or smaller size cut apart).  It shouldn't take more than a few minutes for each mom to put together and just needs to fit inside a small 3.5"x6.5" size envelope.  Those who can't attend can still email or drop off their 'words of wisdom' and we'll put it together for them.  Should be super easy and our missionaries are going to LOVE it. 
This project doesn't have to be done by just moms!  In fact, we did something very similar at a family gathering and sent them to Mason and my parents when they were on their missions.  On the outside of the top envelope we put the family's surname using letter stickers.  We had an envelope for each family member and stacked the envelopes in order according to age (not sure why...probably just because I'm a little anal...or a lot, depending on who you ask).  You could also do this with just your immediate family or from all of your missionary's friends for their birthday or use it for an advent calendar for any holiday by adding numbers to the envelopes.  Just follow the directions below, fold the envelopes up accordion style and then tie the whole stack with a ribbon and send it on it's merry little way.  Your missionary can open the whole stack all at once or just open one envelope each day.  How awesome would that be to be able to open a letter from home each and every day?

Gather your supplies together...
patterned paper
scissors or paper cutter
small envelopes
glue or double sided clear tape

Begin by cutting your decorative paper inserts measuring 6 inches x 2 inches.  It is not necessary to fill the entire inside of the envelope because it's not visible and it will only add bulk and weight to your finished product.  I used a different patterned paper for each envelope set (so 16 different papers).  By using a coupon I was able to purchase a pad of Halloween paper for far less than purchasing individual papers...then again, I had to do a LOT.  You wouldn't have to use a different patterned paper for each envelope. They could all be the same or alternate between two or three patterns or use scraps of what you already have on hand.

Apply glue or use a small piece of double sided clear tape to adhere decorative paper to the inside of the envelope as shown above and below.

Make sure that your decorative paper is attached just BELOW the fold line of your envelope flap for ease in folding the finished product as shown above.  Continue this process until you have finished all of your envelopes.  Don't worry, it goes pretty fast...
Now you're ready to start assembling them all together...

Apply double sided tape to the areas noted in the above photo OR use a glue stick.  If you are using glue I would apply the glue to the entire flap of the envelope. 

Attach another envelope to the envelope that you just applied tape to.  This time attach your envelope just ABOVE the fold line for ease in folding them all together otherwise they won't fold nicely.  Continue in this process until you have the desired amount of envelopes.  Don't add tape to the very top one...there won't be anything to stick it to, silly! 

Fill your envelopes with all kinds of messages from home.  Here's some ideas that the moms in our group included in their messages:
a letter
favorite scripture and why
an inspirational quote
17 Points of the True Church card from Deseret Book
small candy with a scripture reference written on the outside
an uplifting Conference talk printed from the internet
a missionary story

Some moms have to/get to mail things to foreign missions which can get very pricey.
Keep it light.  Print on both sides of a page and try to keep your message
limited to a single sheet of paper or less.  Our goal for them is 4lbs. or less...

I sent a printable (3.25 in. x 6 in.) that I made in Photoshop along with a short letter from me attaching both together will a paperclip.  It turned out cute.  My first chalkboard printable.  I'm kind of in love with them at the moment...but I digress.  Click on the picture if you would like to download it for your missionary.

Whatever they/your family decides to send, make sure that everyone signs their name so your missionary will know whom each message is from. 

Now just fold them all up accordion style. 

Fold the flap over the top but DON'T glue or tape it shut!

Print out the 'Words of Wisdom' printable onto white cardstock.  Just click on the image below and it will take you to the link.

Put the cut out printable on top of your stack of envelopes and tie them all together with the bow or knot going through the center - see how I provided a nice little space for your bow?  Cute!   I picked up my ribbon at Walmart in their seasonal section for $1 a spool.  Can you say bargain?

Pop it into the small Flat Rate box with some shredded paper, tissue paper or Easter grass (click here if you don't know what I'm talking about), toss in a few pieces of candy or a protein bar and send it on it's merry way.  Easy Peasy!  Way less than the 4lb. limit for mailing overseas.  Have fun!

AND just for you - because I think you AND your missionaries are wonderful, I've already whipped up printables for November and December.  I will post additional months as I get them designed. Just click on the image and it will take you to the link.

(Thanks to for the free digital sunflower stamp.)


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