So literally everyone has heard of these, and if you haven’t it’s basically a bunch a letters you write to a loved one, and they open them as appropriate. I think it’s a really cool gift idea, and they are so simple to make. So as my niece Isra turns 1 in October, I thought it would be a great idea to make these for her and I did the following letters:
- Open when you want to learn more about me
- Open when you need a laugh
- Open when you need to know how happy you make me
- Open when you want to hear some compliments
- Open when I’m mad at you/ you’re mad at me
- Open when you start school
- Open when you leave school
- Open when you graduate
- Open when you start taking driving lessons
- Open when you are getting ready for prom
- Open when things are falling apart
- Open when you are feeling lazy
- Open when you miss me
- Open when you don’t feel pretty
- Open when you need to know how much I love you
- Open when you are having a bad day
- Open when you reach that age when parents begin to annoy you
- Open when you are scared
- Open when you turn 16
- Open when you are tight on cash
- Open when you are bored
I tried to make things a little different, and added a few bits and bobs in some of the letters. Keep reading to see what I added:
Open when you want to learn more about me:
In this letter, I mentioned a few things current things about me, such as my age and my job. I also mentioned why I was writing these. As a little extra, I added a page with my handprint – I hope she will add her little handprint with mine when she opens this.
Open when you need a laugh:
I mentioned her absolute favourite nursery rhyme and I also added a few child-friendly jokes.
Open when you need to know how happy you make me:
I mentioned the story of how my sister first told me when she was pregnant, and how excited I was. I also put in her scan pictures.
Open when you want to hear some compliments:
I wrote about why I am so proud of her and why I love her in my letter, and I then added some cards with feel good quotes.
Open when I’m mad at you/ you’re mad at me:
I apologised (in case it was my fault) but also put in prompts for her to come apologise to me! I added in a paper with a few kisses from me too
Open when you start school:
I added some mechanical pencils in this letter for Isra, because her mother and I loved using these in school and I want her to have the same experience (somehow, with technology advancing by the day, I don’t think mechanical pencils will even be available in about five years). I also added cute hair clips – I don’t know why, but the polka dots just automatically remind me of school uniforms.
Open when you leave school:
As an ‘update’ I thought it would be cool to give her hair grips as opposed to the clips I gave her for when she started school. In this letter, I also mentioned how she should think carefully about her options and be practical.
Open when you graduate:
I had originally wanted to add a chocolate bar or vouchers for this, but the chocolate would probably expire by then, and I already did vouchers for the ‘open when you turn 16’ letter (see below for this letter). So I kept this one simple, and just wrote about why I am proud of her. I also gave her a reality check that this is just the beginning, and the entry to the World of Work is a real struggle.
Open when you start taking driving lessons:
In this letter, I added cards with the L and P letters as motivation to carry on learning (I’ve been taking lessons since two years and beginning to lose my willpower so I don’t want Isra to go through the same process) and rip the L card as soon as possible.
Open when you are getting ready for prom:
I wrote about why this day is so important and how she can always come to me for fashion advice.
Open when things are falling apart:
I put together a photo puzzle for Isra to make, with a picture of us. This puzzle took me a while to do because my hand-eye coordination is awful so it was hard to make sure the lines were straight and matched perfectly, but I love the end result.
Open when you are feeling lazy:
I wrote about how everyone goes through these phases and its completely normal. I unfortunately forgot to take a picture of this letter, and only notice after I sealed it away.
Open when you miss me:
I found this idea from another blog post, which I now cannot locate but I loved the idea of a paper hug so much that I just had to steal this idea!
Open when you don’t feel pretty:
In this letter, I wrote a long message about how physical appearance has nothing to do with being ‘pretty’, and how there are better things to focus on in life. I think this was a really important letter, because nowadays self-image is a real problems thanks to social media.
Open when you need to know how much I love you:
I added a little cootie catcher in this letter, which has little love notes inside it.
Open when you are having a bad day:
In this letter, I wrote about how this is all a phase and it will be okay in the end. I also added in a ‘Take What You Need’ sheet as I love them and they are so simple to make.
Open when you reach that age when parents begin to annoy you:
I mentioned how I feel her pain, as I am currently in the same situation! I also tried to explain how Isra should try to think from her parent’s perspective too! (I don’t want her to think it’s okay to be a brat)
Open when you are scared:
I kept this one simple, because to be honest I wasn’t sure how to address it because I don’t even know what Isra will be scared of in the future. In fact, I don’t even know what ‘scared’ will mean to her. So I just mentioned things such as how strong she is and how I think she can overcome anything.
Open when you turn 16:
This was one of my favourite ones to pull together. I made four different vouchers, each entitling Isra to different things. I also added in a birthday badge and some balloons to get the party started!
Open when you are tight on cash:
In this letter I decided to put in a fiver – I did think about putting in ten pounds instead, but I don’t want to spoil her (who knows when she will open this?) and also, I hear that the paper five pound notes will soon be worth a lot, as they are now changing to plastic notes, so Isra may appreciate this.
Open when you are bored:
Another one that was really fun to put together. At first, I was going to Google a few puzzles and print them out for her but then I thought it would be nicer to add a personal touch to them. So I made her a Sudoku puzzle, a letter find puzzle and a colouring sheet
I hope you like these ideas, and if you have any of your own, do let me know! Also, I am still trying to find cool presents for Isra, so if you have any ideas, please do share!