I discovered pocket letters maybe a week or so ago and naturally thought, wow, what a great idea! It seemed so convenient. Just get the pocket sheets and envelopes and get cracking. I’m sure that’s how it works for you peeps in the US.
However, I do not live in the US. I live in the cold (and currently quite wet) Nordic country of Finland. At first, I couldn’t find the required pocket sheets from any of the local stores (granted, I didn’t go check myself, my fiancé did, but I trust his eye with these things and besides, they weren’t listed on the store’s websites either). This meant I had to wait until I could go get them from a store a bit further away from where I live (I don’t have a car, so I depend on either local transportation or my fiancé taking me there). No matter, I made a size guide, made some cards while I waited, and posted some of my questions to an FB pocket letter group for beginners. I didn’t even have to wait for that long until I got my chance to go shopping.
Turns out Finland doesn’t have the so-called size 10 envelopes. All the envelopes at the store we went to were too small (by at least a couple of millimetres). Well, says I, I’ll just order some online and wait like always. It’s no biggy. I tried to look for suitable goodies to put into my letters, but the place was (as is the norm) super expensive for my wallet so I ended up getting just the sheets and some larger envelopes that might work if I cram my letters enough. Bummer, but this is Finland. Apparently in the land of paper and paper mills, we only have expensive paper.
As soon as I got home, I started packing the cards I’d made into their respective pockets and what do I notice? The sheets I purchased aren’t uniformly sized. The left and right pockets are smaller than the middle pockets, and they aren’t even the same size either. So, cue me scrambling to trim the cards to fit their pockets… And let me tell you, it wasn’t as easy as it may sound. I’d already used some embellishments that, had I trimmed only from one side, would’ve been placed wonky. I had to trim both sides a little at a time until the card fit.
Still, this was just a minor setback (and in truth, the next setback is also a minor setback, it’s only the sum of things that makes this a bit of a struggle). The next day I sit on my computer ordering goodies, stickers and washi tape for my letters since I couldn’t get any from the store (turns out we don’t do washi very well and the sticker section didn’t have much that I liked) and this hobby obviously calls for more stash than what I have. I decide to also check on the number 10 envelopes. Surely I can grab a pack for a reasonable price, right? No. The Gods of cheap-o, hyper-polluting* China “Free Shipping” goodness have decided not to make (or at least not to sell) these forsaken envelopes. Hence, to get them, one must order them from the US. Cheapest postage? $14.11. And I do mean the cheapest. $20-$25 seemed to be the norm. So, for 50 white size 10 envelopes I would have to pay $19 (roughly 17.40€). That is $0.38 for an envelope that normally costs $0.10. Call me a cheapskate, but that’s a bit much. (*One day I’ll have the money to not support this awfulness, but that day unfortunately isn’t today.)
I know I’m a bit on the lazy side when it comes to crafts, but it now seems not only that I’ll be making pocket letters (which I’ve realized are quite a lot of work when you want to make them right), I’ll also have to customise my own envelopes for them. I don’t even want to think about when I get to weighing these bad boys to find out the actual shipping costs. At least it seems I might make it under the 2cm international letter thickness limit (if I’m careful), so I won’t have to pay 8€/letter. So, it can’t be too bad, right? Right?
Tl;dr: Pocket letters, not as easy and convenient as I thought.