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Envelope Surprise DIY

This is a project for a campaign I’m doing with Yahoo! Mail on keeping in touch with family and friends. This idea can be used for anyone that is having a special day but is perfect for when you want to do something for someone that lives far away (Mother’s Day anyone?) The idea is to get some envelopes and get friends and family to “sponsor” each envelope. In each envelope is a an email and some sort of special treat or poem or drawing. Kind of like a birthday or Mother’s Day advent Calendar. For example I would write a little lovenote to my friend and then include a certificate to take her to lemonade that day. So the person can open one everyday to get a sweet note and surprise!

What I love about this is you don’t have to do anything expensive, just take the person for a treat or write them a poem. The other thing I love is that it is pretty easy to do. Just have people email notes or artwork then all you have to do is print them out and tuck them in the envelope. It’s a generous and thoughtful gesture that doesn’t take a lot of time or money.

Materials Needed:

-Envelopes in several colors we used A6 from Paper Source
-2 Packages of Vinyl Letters in Helvetica. Get these from any art store
-Double Sided Tape to hang the envelopes
-Emails and Gift Certificates from every person (this part takes the longest to round up, so start on this early.)

Step 1. Contact friends and family about the project and ask if they want to contribute. Give them a deadline.

Step 2. Place the numbers on each envelope. They are self adhesive so its easy!

Step 3. Print out emails and surprises and place them in the envelope. (You may need to go pick up a few gift certificates in person around town.)

Step 4. Hang all the envelopes up somewhere the person will see it everyday with double sided tape. Then surprise them with it on the first day and show them how it works.

This would be great for someone just graduating from high school or college. Notes of support or fun things getting them through the last days of finals. It would work great for Father’s Day or Mother’s Day. For a Coworker (would definitely brighten up someone’s work space.)

A special thanks to Aubrey Trinnaman for the beautiful photos and to Alexis Birkmeyer for pulling together the details and being our lovely model (plus, isn’t her hair amazing!)

All photos by Aubrey Trinnaman for Oh Happy Day

  1. jodeska

    April 28, 2011

    What a great idea! I'll definitely be pulling this one out =)

  2. pilgrim

    April 28, 2011

    oh! this is JUST what my mum used to do for my advent calendar each year <3 it makes for very happy memories

  3. Rowena

    April 28, 2011

    This is such a sweet idea. It seems we're all so far away from each other. A little bit of love in some envelopes is a simple and lovely idea.

  4. Elisa

    April 28, 2011

    very nice idea! love it

  5. Bee

    April 28, 2011

    I really love this.

    (I'm also thinking it would be fun to make the envelopes and send them in a package to someone far away so they have a surprise everyday. The only thing it'd be missing is the cute factor of hanging them on the wall)

  6. angie

    April 28, 2011

    i love this diy! soo cute and sweet.

  7. Swirls of Happy

    April 28, 2011

    I love this idea! I am going to use this for Father's day, it is a great project for kids to help with 🙂

  8. breanna rose

    April 28, 2011

    This is the sweetest idea ever! I LOVE IT. Especially the bold white numbers on the back of the envelopes. 🙂 What a great concept.


  9. Claire Vivienne

    April 28, 2011

    These are so cute! Perfect surprise to give my parents to show they're appreciated.

  10. Claire Vivienne

    April 28, 2011

    These are so cute! Perfect surprise to give my parents to show they're appreciated.

  11. Gaby [The Vault Files]

    April 28, 2011

    Oh this is so sweet and thoughtful!

  12. r8chel

    April 28, 2011

    What a neat idea. It could be especially fun to do this for someone at a distance when you can't be there to treat them yourself. Also, the envelope colors you chose are beautiful!

  13. Laura

    April 28, 2011

    My mother did this for me for my high school graduation. It was one of the most special gifts I've ever gotten. It also made graduating exciting, rather than so frightening I didn't even want to go like it had before.

    She also included a lot of reminders about cool events going on those days. That made each day exciting leading up to the big event. It doesn't have to be a treat or a letter, sometimes just a reminder of how great and fun life is can be enough!

  14. Yolanda @ Miss Refashionista

    April 29, 2011

    Awesome ideas, now you got me thinking, out anniversary is in a few days!!

  15. SF

    April 30, 2011

    I love this! What a great idea. I have to say that I have bookmarked every one of your DIYs! Can't wait to try them out. Thanks!

  16. Ivana

    May 1, 2011

    This is such a wonderful idea!!! It´s so sweet and simple, and genius at the same time!
    Thanks so much for the inspiration!
    Your blog is so wonderful and inspirational! I´ve just added you to my blogroll, I don´t want to miss any of your posts 🙂

    xx Ivana

  17. linnea paulina

    May 1, 2011

    This is such a cute idea :o) I'm going to try and adapt this idea into a birthday gift for my boyfriend! We'll see!

  18. Mae

    May 11, 2011

    I love the idea! Really and thanks! 🙂

  19. Kerri

    May 15, 2011

    I. LOVE. THIS. SITE! I found you on a post on and I'm so glad I did!

  20. Rachel at Sun Scholars

    May 20, 2011

    What a great idea! I have featured this post to my Father's Day Inspirations. I would LOVE to have you stop by and check it out! Grab an A++ button for your blog while you're there!

    Thanks so much for sharing!

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