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I can’t let our love letters become a distant memory.
One of the harsh realities of military life is the ongoing long distance that it brings. Deployments are just a part of the norm. We military wives know to expect to spend several months away from the men we love every other year, and even sometimes every year. We inadvertently kind of become experts at writing long distance love letters.
My husband and I are in that cruel reality yet again, and I’m longing for the day that we’re back together. So, I decided to create this love letter for him.
When Evan was deployed to Afghanistan, we were barely able to communicate. I was able to look forward to a crackly satellite phone call every two weeks (maybe), but other than that, most of our correspondence was through letters.
We certainly did our fair share of writing love letters. Because of how crazy the mailing system was, he and I both would receive multiple letters all at once. We had to make sure we put dates on each letter so that we could read them in order.
I’ll never forget the butterflies I would feel when I saw letters in the mail with his name on it. Pure excitement would bubble up inside me. I would race inside and rip open each one, put them in order, and read them once, twice, even three times. I would smell them with hopes for a glimpse of his scent.
There were many nights that I’d stay up late and read over those letters again and again. Some of them ended up tear-stained, as I wept over how much I missed him and longed to hear his voice.
And some nights, I would get up and write another set of love letters back to him, all the while keeping a picture of us close by.
I still have all of those love letters from Afghanistan. But, I didn’t want to just box them away for another day. I wanted to find a way to display them, keep them out in the open for me to always have the reminder that long distance can not get in the way of our love for each other.
I have utilized different ways to make these love letters last a lifetime, and I wanted to share how.
First, to give more of a dated, antiqued look, I stained the love letters with coffee and burnt the edges.
I’m going to show you how you can do it too. To give your love letters a more dated look, get together the following items:
- the letter
- a cookie sheet
- hot coffee
- a blow dryer
- a lighter (or candle)
First, to stain the paper, pour a little coffee on your cookie sheet.
Then, lay the letter on top, being sure to press it down. (This will stain the back of the letter.)
Pour your coffee on top, making sure to cover the entire sheet of paper.
Let the letter sit in the coffee for about 10-15 minutes.
If it looks like the ink is spreading, don’t worry, it won’t look like that when you pull the paper out. To keep the ink from settling and reprinting elsewhere, just gently shift the paper around a bit or give the cookie sheet a little nudge to kind of move things around.
Once your letter is finished soaking, pour out the coffee and carefully lift it off of the cookie sheet. Then, use a blow dryer to dry the paper. Make sure you get it completely dry. The paper will start to misshapen a little bit, but that’s okay. It just adds to the character!
Next, you’re going to singe and burn the edges of your letter. Please be very careful! I recommend using a candle, but I only had a lighter on hand.
Touch the edge of your letter to the flame and let it lightly singe the paper. For a more burnt look, let the edge catch flame a bit and then immediately blow it out. Then, lightly rub the ash off the edges. (Be very careful that the ash on your fingers does not rub off on the letter.) Do this technique around all the edges until you get your desired look.
Then, you can start displaying them!
I’m going to share with you my three favorite ways to preserve and display our love letters:
This is, perhaps, the easiest and most ideal way to display the love letters. I like the idea of putting them on our night stands right next to the bed.
MOD PODGE TO WOODEN SIGN
This is something I intend to do in the future. But, it is truly simple. You can either get one of the blank wooden sign boards from Walmart (in the craft section) or cut your own from wood at home.
Stain it whatever color you would like, and let that dry.
Then, brush Mod Podge onto your board, place your letter on top, and then brush another layer of Mod Podge on top of your letter. If you want to make it extra protected, add a few more layers, making sure you let it dry in between layers.
PLACE INSIDE OF OLD WINDOW PANES
As you can see, my husband and I have utilized this idea to display some of our favorite love letters from Afghanistan. They are part of the decor in our home, and they have become a great conversation starter when we have people over!
Of course, behind every love letter is a good pen.
I don’t know about other branches, but I know that every Marine always has a pen in one of the front pockets of his blouse. They never know when they are going to need it, and since they are always needing to write something, they make sure they have pens handy.
On top of that, Evan and I both like to always have good pens to write our love letters with – pens that write smoothly and are comfortable to hold. This is honestly crucial for me, as I struggle with chronic pain issues, and my joints end up hurting easily. Also, Evan is always in need of pens that last longer. These are the reasons we like the Pilot G2 Pens. A pen that can accommodate both of our needs is a winner for us!
Not to mention, the Pilot G2 Pens come in a variety of sizes (four point sizes) and colors (fifteen), as well as collections (G2 Premium, G2 Fashion, and G2 Metallics).
Walmart is currently running a Back-to-School Rollback sale on the Pilot G2 Pens, and there is a coupon for $0.75 cents off of any one 4-pack or larger! So, you could end up getting these pens for a ridiculously amazing price!
Well, I am off to write a love letter to my husband and pack up some pens to send in his next care package!
What is your favorite way to preserve love letters?
Which of the Pilot G2 Pen Collections do you think you might buy?