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So I’ve been keeping my correspondence log in this ARC notebook, which started out as a Letter Writers Alliance log and turned into an InCoWriMo log, as I got a much better response from that endeavour than the pen pals that were sent to me from LWA. But as the number of letters sent grew larger (I’m in the 60s now since February 1) and my stack of replies seems to stay at a constant dozen, I needed something more organized. I wanted to keep track of the person’s name and address but also a log of our correspondence and some idea of what I’ve already said to the person. Don’t want to be a boring correspondent. So I came up with a card file. I had a 40% off coupon at Michael’s and I used it. Please know that I am not a crafter; I have never attempted decoupage before so this is my first project. Please indulge the rookie mistakes. ๐Ÿ™‚

front of box

I wanted something more interesting than a recipe box but not as big as a conventional card file (one that might fit a shoe box – I don’t have that many correspondents). I saw this rough wooden box in Michael’s and thought it was perfect. I bought a bottle of Mod Podge and some foam brushes and went to town decoupaging the box. It’s not finished yet; I will do another post when it’s done. I intend to cover the entire thing (or as much of it as I’m capable of) with interesting paper I have collected over the years. In the picture above the paper on the front right is a page from my Bo Bunny Miscellaneous Me collection of notepaper. I cut it into an interesting shape, laid it on the box, and covered it with the gooey Mod Podge. The paper on the front left is gift wrap given to me years ago. You may recognize it from this post in which I use it as a divider in my planner. The sticker is one I picked up at Michael’s a while ago. I’ve been waiting for the right project to use them on and this is definitely it. The finished project will probably have more of those stickers.

closeup of front

I thought it would be interesting to have the paper cover the edges of the box. I used an exacto knife to cut the box open again after the paper was dry.

The image on the top of the box is a napkin, believe it or not. I removed the two layers of absorbent sheet on the napkin and was left with a very thin sheet with the image on it. It was tricky to decoupage as it becomes like wet tissue as soon as the Mod Podge hits it. But I’m very happy with the end result.

top of box

The other side of the napkin had a similar but slightly different design so I put that one on the inside of the box lid. You can see where the napkin started to tear on the left. I’m learning!

inside cover

For the card file I needed dividers. Michael’s didn’t have any so I went to Staples and they only had the brightly colored modern ones; I was hoping for the vintage looking black and tan ones. No luck. So I made the dividers myself using brown tags.

index card dividers

The two-toned brown tags match my colour scheme, such as it is. I used an alphabet stamp set to make the letters.

Each correspondent will have their own set of three types of cards: Name and Address on the first, Log on the second, and Letters on the third and subsequent cards.

sample cards

The first card is simply their name and address, and perhaps any extra info about them, like their username on FPGeeks or Youtube for example. The second card, the Log, will be a record of when each letter was sent from me and when I received their reply. The third card, the Letters, will be the details of what I said to them in each letter. I don’t want to repeat funny stories about the cats or my husband or something at work. And each set of cards will be fastened together with an interesting paper clip (finally a use for all those funky paper clips I own!). Each paper-clipped set will be filed under the person’s first name, as that is how I will think of them for sure. So when I sit down to write a response, I will have their last letter in front of me to answer, but I will also have all of their information from the card file. I’ve been using this system for about a week now and it’s working great!

As I said I still have work to do on the box. And after it’s all covered in paper I’m told I should do a final Mod Podge coat, to seal it all in. I will do another post when I’m done. Hope you enjoyed this – I’m certainly having fun playing with paper and glue!