Pretty Stationery Sets That Prove Old-Fashioned Mail Is Still the Best

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white stationary on gloss finished wood tray
MJ Kroeger

In a world that has gone—for the most part—entirely digital, sending old-fashioned mail to our loved ones is an intimate, fun surprise for them, not to mention a meditative, time-passing activity for you. Now that many of us may feel more disconnected than ever as we remain at home to practice social distancing, writing and receiving a handwritten letter is especially impactful.

Even with technology at our fingertips, staring at a screen, be it a text on a phone or a face on a computer, can feel unfulfilling. That's why it's important to remember that there is more than one way to communicate from a distance—and now might be the perfect time to return to a mode of communication that's been in practice for thousands of years. "The COVID-19 pandemic has pulled us apart from our family and friends," says Taymoor Atighetchi, founder and CEO of the stationery company Papier. "But through paper, we can remain close while staying apart." This is a perfect opportunity to incorporate letter writing into your life—which is why we've gone ahead and rounded up some of the prettiest notecards and stationery sets you can buy online.

Unsure of what to say in the notes you'll send to friends and family? Atighetchi first recommends incorporating letter writing into your routine. Pick a time of day to be your special writing time. "You don't have to be great with words," says Atighetchi. "[Write] what you did today. Share a funny story, or something that inspired you, or made you think. Maybe it's sharing a memory that you hold together." Whatever you choose to share to your loved one, you can make it feel that much more significant with one of these stationery sets.

01 of 17

Eye See You

L'Objet Lito Eye Stationery Set
Courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue

These unique cards have an eye (the color varies!) printed on them, a design meant to symbolize "a point of connection between two souls." Let your pen pal know you're thinking of them and your special connection with each other—and bonus points if you send them a card in their specific eye color.

Shop Now: L'Objet Lito Eye Stationery Set, $71.25,

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Watercolor Marble

Papier Marbre Rose Notecard Set
Courtesy of Papier

This set, complete with a speckled watercolor border that reminds us of Jackson Pollock's work, is printed on soft textured paper. Add your name in a minimalist font for a personalized touch.

Shop Now: Papier Marbre Rose Notecard Set, $28 for 10,

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Well-Dressed Spaniels

Smythson Spaniels Correspondence Cards
Courtesy of Smythson

Here's a blank note option that's infused with plenty of personality—you have the dressed-up spaniels (outfitted in intriguing headwear) to thank for that.

Shop Now: Smythson Spaniels Correspondence Cards, $55 for 10,

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Lovely Laurel

Papier Monogram Wreath Notecard Set
Courtesy of Papier

Striking in their simplicity, these cards are perfect for minimalists; other than the monogram surrounded by an illustrated laurel wreath (add your initials when you order!), the paper lets your message do the talking.

Shop Now: Papier Monogram Wreath Notecard Set, $28 for 10,

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Moody Botanicals

Rifle Paper Co. Social Stationery Set
Courtesy of Rifle Paper Co.

Each set comes with three different floral prints—but all of them are offer moody illustrations of botanical scenes.

Shop Now: Rifle Paper Co. Social Stationery Set, $22,

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Retro Monogram

Dear Annabelle Disco Notecards
Courtesy of Dear Annabelle

Inspired by the queen of disco, Diana Ross, these cards feature gold lettering in a glamorous '70s-esque font.

Shop Now: Dear Annabelle Disco Notecards, $80,

07 of 17

Heart You

Sugar Paper Gold Heart Note Set
Courtesy of Sugar Paper

These notes are printed by hand on antique machinery—and if that's not reason enough to scoop up the suite, the tiny gold foil heart and pale pink envelopes will certainly convince you.

Shop Now: Sugar Paper Gold Heart Note Set, $28,

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Contemporary Art

Moglea "Kanagawa" Set
Courtesy of Moglea

Each of these cards are hand painted in Moglea's Iowa-based studio, which means no two are exactly the same. Each time you put one in the mail, you'll feel like you're sending your loved one a little square of commissioned contemporary art.

Shop Now: Moglea "Kanagawa" Set, $20,

09 of 17

Provincial Motifs

Terrapin Stationers Golden Rooster Note Cards
Courtesy of Terrapin Stationers

This rustic set features a unique rooster design embossed in gold leaf—a perfect option for those sending mail from a bucolic retreat.

Shop Now: Terrapin Stationers Golden Rooster Note Cards, $18,

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Poketo "Tutti Frutti" Postcards
Courtesy of Poketo

Vibrant and fresh, these postcards bring a playful energy to your stationery arsenal with their kitschy fruit illustrations.

Shop Now: Poketo "Tutti Frutti" Postcards, $10,

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Traditional Ecru

Crane Hand Engraved Ecru Card
Courtesy of Crane

Simple and classic does the trick. Engrave your name on the cards in dark green ink for a jolt of color.

Shop Now: Crane Hand Engraved Ecru Card, $292 for 50,

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With Love

Alissa Bell "The Essential Eight" Card Set
Courtesy of Alissa Bell

Each note in this monochrome suite—all full-color cards in black, red, pink, and blue come with a matching envelope—is embossed with a different message printed in gold foil. This will be the set that saves you when you're in a pinch for a just-right greeting card, so stock up now.

Shop Now: Alissa Bell "The Essential Eight" Card Set, $64 for eight,

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Italian Paper

Nostalgic Impressions "Florentia" Italian Desktop Box
Courtesy of Nostalgic Impressions

Take your stationery game up a notch with this luxurious Italian box set, complete with a plethora of note options, including writing sheets, long cards, and envelopes. When the cards have all been sent, the beautiful box can be used for something else, like craft storage.

Shop Now: Nostalgic Impressions "Florentia" Italian Desktop Box, $45,

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Fairy Tale Notes

32 Degrees North Italian Stationery Letter Writing Set
Courtesy of Vintage Ornaments

With its beautiful floral borders and envelopes, this stationery set looks like it fell from the pages of a fairy tale.

Shop Now: 32 Degrees North Italian Stationery Letter Writing Set, $12.95,

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Arpa Correspondence Sheet Set
Bryan Gardner

Using centuries-old Spanish techniques, Arpa Handmade produces deckle-edged cotton-and-linen paper. They come in a spectrum of colors: blush pinks, dreamy blues, sage greens, and elegant neutrals.

Shop Now: Arpa Correspondence Sheet Set, from $20 for set of 6,

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Hand Carved

Katharine Watson Block Printed Cards
Bryan Gardner

Vermont artist Katharine Watson block-prints each card and envelope with her lovely hand-carved designs, inspired by vintage textiles.

Shop Now: Katharine Watson Block Printed Cards, $18 for six,

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Chalk Art

Lily & Val Floral Thank You Cards
Valerie McKeehan

Don't just send a card; give them a keepsake to treasure. Each note card in this set is illustrated with custom chalk-art by Valerie McKeehan. Gorgeous flowers frame the hand-scrawled lettering of "Thank you" for a beautiful expression of your appreciation.

Shop Now: Lily & Val Floral Thank You Cards, $20 for eight,

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