Tips to Spicing Up Letters, Postcards and Mail to an Inmate

Mon, May 11 2015 07:29pm EDT 1
Ro ❤ CoFounder/President
Ro ❤ CoFounder/President
1020 Posts
Ro's blog post 4/4/12

After all of the legalities are behind you and your loved one has settled into prison to serve his sentence, you’ll have to learn ways to communicate throughout this time. Prisoners and their families rely heavily on what is commonly referred to as “Snail Mail” in the age of instant messaging, aka Post Office mail. Eventually, the same old cards and letters will begin to feel boring so here are some ideas to spice up your letters, postcards and mail to an inmate.

Think Cheesy

Things that many couples on the outside think are “cheesy” become golden to a couple who is separated by incarceration. The life of a prisoner is so restricted they revel in the littlest things in which they are allowed. Hearing their name at “mail call” can brighten their mood in an instant. There is nothing “cheesy” about making someone you love smile. A couple quick and simple suggestions are putting a bright colored lipstick and kissing the paper or spraying it with perfume or his favorite scent before placing it in the envelope. A prisoner will appreciate anything that is a reminder of those he loves and the familiarities of home.

Get Crafty (or “Krafty” if you’re still stuck on “cheese.”)

Knowing that you took the time out of your busy life to handcraft a card will brighten an inmates entire day. Target has a dollar section that is full of treasures. Usually it offers stickers, post-its and scrap booking supplies. Start with scrapbook or construction paper as your canvas and have fun creating a card for him. Things to add to a DIY card:

  • Clip out images, phrases and words from magazines and newspapers
  • Cut shapes into or out of construction paper (For example: hearts or snowflakes like you did in grade school)
  • Write with marker or glitter gel pens (you can get them at the Dollar Store)
  • Color pictures from coloring books.
  • Try to draw something (even if you aren’t an artist, its fun)
  • Decorate the paper and envelopes with stickers

Free Options

  • Look up love quotes (on Google)
  • Write out song lyrics
  • Write a story (Examples: write how you felt the day you met him, write an encounter of his first day home. You can keep it clean or get as “X-Rated” as you feel comfortable)
  • Write poems
  • Write him a song
  • If you have access to a child, have them draw a picture or write a card

A picture is worth a thousand words

Photo documenting events in your life, having a mock photo shoot or simply taking a few pictures is another great idea for prison mail. Put on his favorite outfit or sit in his favorite spot and take a few pictures. Write little fun, quirky sayings on the back of each image. Number the pictures (because they will get out of order by the time they reach him) and write a little story on the back of each one. Another fun trick is to buy stickers of “speech bubbles” that have cute sayings on them and add them to your pictures. Play with simple photo editing sites such as “Face in Hole” and Picasa.

You can also use your photos to create a calendar. Pick a theme each month, take thematic pictures and upload them to a calendar. Add any “special” dates that month (holidays, birthdays, visits). For a completely free option you can print a black and white version from a printer. That is a guaranteed piece of unique mail each month.

Places to print pictures:

  • Walgreens (You can always find photo coupons online)
  • CVS
  • Kinkos
  • Walmart
  • Kmart
  • Library (for black and white prints from the computer)

Have Fun

Get in touch with your inner child and have fun creating mail for your loved one in prison. Don’t be shy because he will love anything you make simply because it is from you. Share your ideas and pictures in our gallery.

Watch Our Video!

Watch Ro’s video featuring many tips on how to spice up cards and letters to your inmate. This was my top watched video and has helped thousands of viewers. I decided to bring it back due to some recent inquiries regarding “jail mail.” New video updates every week. Watch our video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umlGqqjUg_Q




http://www.strongprisonwives.com/members/profile/1/blog-view/blog_8.htm
Thu, May 14 2015 11:20am EDT 2
Jen
Jen
563 Posts
xoxo
Thu, Sep 10 2015 11:14pm EDT 3
MISSJLH
MISSJLH
13 Posts
Great ideas! Earlier today I remembered that I had bought grown up coloring books a while back and I decided I would color pages and send them to him. I a installing that Face in Hole app as I type this! LOL

Thanks Ro!
Fri, Nov 6 2015 08:33pm EST 4
Christopher'sQueen
Christopher'sQueen
1 Posts
For those of you with hubby's as greedy about pictures as mine... it can get a little pricey but I have found an amazing app. It's call Photo Affections or Free Prints... depending on whether you have an android or iphone. You get 85 free prints a month, all you pay is shipping and handling... (about $8.00). I use this every month. It's the cheapest way to print my husband loads of pictures. It lets you order cool things with your pictures too like calendars, canvas pictures, phone cases, all kinds of stuff. You can always order more the the 85 for just 8 or 9 cents each. This has been a life savor for me, just thought someone else might enjoy the money saving this app allows.
Sun, May 15 2016 06:30pm EDT 5
Brandi
Brandi
1 Posts
How do you know what's allowed and what isnt...are there rules to what we can and can't send?
Mon, Jun 20 2016 10:57pm EDT 6
Ro ❤ CoFounder/President
Ro ❤ CoFounder/President
1020 Posts
How do you know what's allowed and what isnt...are there rules to what we can and can't send?

Hey sweetie, your best bet is to call the facility and ask. Or you can go the trial and error route, but that can tend to get expensive. Good luck and enjoy sending some creative letters. xo

Tue, Jul 12 2016 10:55pm EDT 7
Samisunshine
Samisunshine
4 Posts
Unfortunately at my man's jail if you put a kissy mark on the letter they photocopy the letter and wont let him have the original... :(
Wed, Jul 13 2016 08:49pm EDT 8
TrueLoveSurvives
TrueLoveSurvives
1 Posts
I was doing the kiss mark on my husbands letters, but the COs informed him this was no longer allowed because it may contain something illegal.......really.......
Sun, Jul 17 2016 12:19am EDT 9
Samisunshine
Samisunshine
4 Posts
does anyone know the general policy for naughty pictures? Are they allowed? and how naughty can they be if they are?
Mon, Jul 18 2016 07:03am EDT 10
Mrs. Bell
Mrs. Bell
3 Posts
On things me and my hubby do is wrote qoutes on our envelopes along the border.
Thu, Jul 21 2016 07:12pm EDT 11
Lark
Lark
3 Posts
does anyone know the general policy for naughty pictures? Are they allowed? and how naughty can they be if they are?

It'll mostly depend on the faclity, but I know we're not allowed any at all. So whoever is in charge of the mail that day wil be the one who decieds if it's too naughty or not. And since they're all on and on about how he could get mail privlesges susppended if its a problem Ive never risked it.

Tue, Aug 16 2016 02:09pm EDT 12
Arron's Rib
Arron's Rib
3 Posts
does anyone know the general policy for naughty pictures? Are they allowed? and how naughty can they be if they are?

no money shots...

Mon, Sep 12 2016 09:10am EDT 13
Starr
Starr
3 Posts
These are great ideas will be trying this my husband has a Anniversary coming up.
Thu, Mar 16 2017 09:39am EDT 14
Lindsay
Lindsay
18 Posts
I know this is off "snail mail" but you can print the pics and mail them too! I spend hours making collages and framed pics, I found a new app called "pic collage" I love it, I make all mine from scratch and when complete I send them straight through Jpay! I don't send really bad pics but if I am in boy shorts or Lingerie I will shrink the pic down and put it over another one (the bottom corner) and then when he gets it, he zooms in on that pic and there ya go! Hope this helps, I don't know what states use Jpay,but use whatever email system your state has or mail them (just keep it clean if you mail it in) Me and my baby love these, I do a few a Day :)))
Wed, Mar 22 2017 03:34am EDT 15
Hope
Hope
5 Posts
I draw pictures, send song lyrics (music is huge to him but can get spendy), pictures of the house and the ocean and nature. I tried some naughty pics but he hasn't got them yet so I figure those are out of the question. We aren't allowed to spray, tape, glue, no kissy marks. We do write naughty stories: I start a scenerio and tell him to finish me off...LOL
Sun, May 14 2017 11:18am EDT 16
Hilarya93
Hilarya93
4 Posts
Here in Virginia, they are now photocopying ALL mail, even pictures and cards because of contraband coming in behind stamps, stickers, etc. I thought about sending him some adult coloring pages I have colored, but he would only get a black and white copy. I send him a lot of pics thru his email, but it sucks that we can't send "real" stuff. Getting a black and white photo copy of a photograph is crap!
Sat, Jun 3 2017 03:26am EDT 17
TME7982
TME7982
9 Posts
There's some great ideas here that I'll definitely try. I like to take a new picture to include in every letter of me that day holding a sign with something written on it (usually cheesy and sweet) I've also made personalized word search and crossword puzzles with inside jokes and stuff that only we'd get. You can make themed puzzles, like once I did a wordsearch where every word was an adjective that described how I felt about her...those go over REALLY well and you can make them for free online:
Word search puzzle maker - http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com/WordSearchSetupForm.asp
Crossword puzzle maker - http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com/CrissCrossSetupForm.asp?campaign=flyout_teachers_puzzle_crisscross
Fri, Aug 18 2017 03:29am EDT 18
Drea
Drea
1 Posts
I am from New Mexico and my husband is in federal custody. Where he is incarcerated no mail is allowed that has lipstick, perfume or anything with glitter.
Thu, Oct 19 2017 11:20pm EDT 19
Johnathon's girl <3
Johnathon's girl <3
2 Posts
How do you know what's allowed and what isnt...are there rules to what we can and can't send?

the only way i know of is to google inmate mail and see wat ur state says is or isnt alowed

Wed, Nov 8 2017 03:31pm EST 20
Admin Megan
Admin Megan
12 Posts
I am from New Mexico and my husband is in federal custody. Where he is incarcerated no mail is allowed that has lipstick, perfume or anything with glitter.

I kiss my letter, and then I make a color copy of it. My husband loves it.

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