Breaking the barrier into the “artsy” pen pal world can be an exciting move! There are so many talented people creating wonderful snail mail art, envelope art, and cute little goodies. But once in awhile, we can experience some art block. Nothing looks good, everything feels wrong, and the design you’re trying to go for just isn’t looking the way you want it to.
Sometimes, you need a little inspiration to get the creativity flowing, and the best way to do it is with a reference point. This huuuge list of pen pal ideas is here to inspire you for your next snail mail letter. Maybe you don’t want to think too hard and just use one of the pen pal themes below, or maybe you feel inspired to create some envelope art loosely based around the themes. Whatever it may be, I hope that these pen pal design themes help you start crafting your next outgoing snail mail!
100 Pen Pal Ideas to Try
The mail themes in this post are split up into broad categories, with specific ideas listed out. If you want a visual reference, I suggest typing these pen pal ideas into Pinterest and seeing what pops up, or browsing other pen pal Instagram accounts for some inspiration.
1. Fruit Inspired Pen Pal Letters
Who doesn’t love fruit?? A fruit themed letter can be a cute way to highlight your favorite fruit or to have a consistent motif throughout your snail mail letter. The cute peach themed letter below incorporates the theme so well!
2. Animal Themed Snail Mail Letters
It doesn’t matter if you’re a dog or cat lover – animals are always a great theme to start with! Keep things simple with one animal as the main focus or have fun with it and use small images all throughout your happy mail. The letter below looks so beautiful with the whale as the center piece! (But am I biased because it was addressed to me? …maybe hehe)
- Dogs (of course!)
- Cats (duh!)
(I also love animals so here are some bonus unique ideas: axolotls, quokkas, or the dumbo octopus!)
3. Nature Inspired Snail Mail Art
Who doesn’t love nature?? This theme is sure to bring you a little bit of calm and peace when you’re crafting your pen pal letter. Whether you’re inspired by the mountains, forests, or oceans, your pen pal will definitely love it. The subtle blue flowers sprinkled throughout the goodies and happy mail look beautiful all togther!
- Tropical Island
- National Parks
4. Snack Related Themes For Pen Pal Letters
Foodies unite! Bond over your mutual love for snacks or take it one step further with a snack themed letter. You can use your favorite snack as inspiration or showcase your culture’s most popular goodies. Look how cute that giant pink gummy bear is!!
- Dim Sum
- Candy Bars
- Boba/Bubble Tea
- Gummy Bears
- French Pastries (i.e. croissants, cakes, macarons, etc.)
- Hot Cheetos or Takis
- Animal Crackers
5. Pop Culture Inspired Snail Mail Ideas
If you’re part of a fandom, showcase that proudly and connect with others! Pop culture is so vast that you’ll never run out of themes to try and craft your letters with. Look how cute the Disney theme can be! (I know – another one addressed to me…but my pen pal friends are just so talented.)
- Kpop Groups
- Harry Potter
- Avatar: The Last Airbender
- Star Wars
- Lord of the Rings
- Doctor Who
- Super Natural
- Game of Thrones
6. Flower/Plant Pen Pal Themes
Plants and flowers not only brighten up the home but can also brighten up your day. Use these cute little plants as inspiration for your next happy mail. The succulents and cactus work so well together in the letter below!
- House Plants (i.e. monstera, pothos, snake plants)
- Palm trees
- Vines/Trailing Plants
- Cat Tails
7. Mystical Themed Envelope Art/Snail Mail Art
Channel your inner mysticism and craft a magical letter for your pen pal. Whether it’s a mystical creature you love or the big, wide unknown of space, your pen pal is sure to love whatever design you come up with. Look how amazing that Saturn turned out!
- Astrological Signs
8. Miscellaneous Pen Pal Ideas & Themes to Try
These themes are more like overarching ideas. Each category can be interpreted and further broken down into something more. Browse through and see which pen pal theme sparks your interest and encourages you to create. Seriously – how gorgeous is that vintagey-travel inspired theme?
- Fine Arts
- Decades (i.e. 80’s, 90’s)
- Holidays (i.e. Christmas, Easter, Halloween)
- Cottage/Farm Cozy Vibes
I hope these 100 pen pal theme ideas helped create a jumping point for your next happy mail design! Remember to gather inspiration from others, but don’t plagiarize/imitate. If you do, always credit the person you were inspired by.