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Em O’Donnel’s Snail Mail Will Make You Want to Send Letters Again

If you can’t remember the last time you sent a handwritten letter, you might need to rethink your current mode of correspondence. Although snail mail may seem MIA in the era of Snapchat, emoticons and good ol’ SMS, Emily O’Donnel of Thimble proves that the handwritten letter is not a lost art. After all, there’s always something special about receiving a handwritten note, prettily packaged and delivered to your doorstep. As a so-called “mail enthusiast” and a lover of all things vintage and kitsch, Australian blogger O’Donnel reminds us just how sweet the handmade note can be. Take a creative cue from O’Donnel’s personal outgoing mailbox of vintage-inspired snail mail and read our exclusive interview with the blogger below!


Snail mail has become so uncommon since, well, e-mail was invented. Did you always love sending snail mail?

I’ve always loved mail. When I was little, I used to have a mini mailbox outside my door and would make fake mail for the rest of my family and deliver it to them. It’s just such a fun surprise to receive a letter in the mail instead of an email. As lovely as an email from a friend is, I think snail mail is a nice way to show that you care for someone and are willing to put in a little bit of extra effort for them.

Where do you find inspiration for them?

There are so many amazing people who share their mail online, and so I get a lot of inspiration from blogs like Hello Sandwich, Send More Mail and Goodnight Little Spoon. And of course, Pinterest is always an inspiration. As soon as I’m on there, I want to make everything I see!

Where do you like to shop for stationery and the little surprises that you put in your snail mail?

Like many, I have completely succumbed to online shopping. I especially love browsing Etsy and stocking up on stationery and goodies. I am also a major thrift shopper, so I pick up a lot of little things to send to fellow vintage lovers.

Can you describe your favorite letter that you’ve ever received?

Gosh, this is a really hard question! I’ve received so many amazing things over the years! Anything I receive from friends and family is always cherished. One that springs to mind is a parcel I received from fellow blogger, Fiona, of Burnt Feather, which had an assortment of thoughtfully-chosen thrifted goodies that were all things that I collect.

What’s your favorite part in the process of creating snail mail?

My favorite part is probably decorating the envelope or parcel. I’ll put on a movie and I can happily spend hours decorating mail!

So you have a mail exchange going on between you and other bloggers where you send each other snail mail. How did that get started and what’s it like to send and receive mail to and from other bloggers?

I actually started my little blog with the hope that I would find other people who enjoyed sending mail. Most of my penpals started from comments left on my posts and it has been wonderful meeting people who appreciate snail mail as much as I do.

Who do you write to the most?

I’ve been in America the last 6 months, so recently I’ve been sending a lot of mail to my mum and sister, who always send back lovely, vintage postcards.

What’s your favorite snail mail you’ve ever sent and who was it for?

If I had to choose, it would be a letter I sent to Sara from the blog Random Places / Familiar Faces, purely because I adore confetti. Normally, I include confetti in my letters, but I love how bright and happy it looks when stuck onto the envelope.

If you could be pen pals with anybody, who would it be?

I have so many wonderful penpals already, but Margaret from Paper Pastries always sends out the most wonderful-looking mail with beautiful calligraphy. It would be a treat to be penpals with her!

What’s the most special letter you’ve ever received and why? Let us know in the comments below!

Ahhh, fall. There are so many things to love about this time of year (give us ALL the sweaters and pumpkin-flavored eats). But, high on the list comes autumn decor candles, throws, textiles — you name it. Of course, buying items and actually adding them to your room are two different things. So we're turning to Instagram for the best styling advice and inspo for the season. Scroll on to see everything you need to get those wheels turning!

@sbkliving: Sometimes, it only takes a chic doormat to transition your front steps for the season. Hello, fall!

@rachelpuccetti: Excuse us while we spend an entire lazy Sunday relaxing in this fall-infused space.

@farmhousetofrills: A monochrome mantel never looked so chic. (That fireplace pumpkin setup is seriously *genius*.)

@faith_hope_home: Greet guests with a fall-themed entrance to set the tone for a day of pumpkin carving or scary movie marathoning.

@simplysoutherncottage: Don't forget about those nooks and crannies! This entryway/mudroom situation is capturing our little harvest-loving hearts.

@6thirtydecor: Speaking of pumpkins, pick up a few extra gourds to pave the way into your cozy autumn abode.

@farmsteadonfirst: That guest bedroom you weren't sure what to do with it? Transform it into a rustic retreat with some fall signage and mustard-yellow and green accents.

@fiddleleafinteriors: We're going to take a second to *swoon* over this adorable kitchen setup. Those farmhouse accents and simple centerpiece setup? We're in love.

@ohmydearblog: Contrary to what you think, florals *aren't* just for spring. Bring them into your abode by selecting buds in moody tones to pay homage to the season.

@simply.mrs.z: Drawn to modern style? Play up the Halloween vibes by picking black, orange and brass accents to rock on places like your bookshelf. (Bonus points for carrying the theme over to your textiles.)

@drivewaytodreams_crystal: We're going to go ahead and give two thumbs up to all of these orange-hued accents. Backdropped with a neutral furnishings and they truly *pop*!

@cripcollectiveig: For those who don't want to go overboard with the "fall stuff" this one will speak to you. Compile a couple of cute throws and a minimalist pumpkin print on your mantle and you're set

@cavcottage: Who said fun pillows were limited to furnishings only? We're ALL about this entry display.

@houseon77th: This daybed setup is a *dream*. But actually, this would be the perfect space to doze off in come the colder days.

@kristenforgione: For a more festive Halloween look, overhaul your living space with a spooky handmade addition like this one. *Googles paper bat DIYs.*