Weird Things You Can Mail

July 13, 2016 by Erin Behan

     
Did you know that you can mail a potato? Really, you can. And that’s not the only crazy thing that's 13 ounces or less that you can address, stick some postage on, and be moderately confident (hey, it’s the post office!) it will reach your intended recipient.

Totally Weird Things You Can Mail
As soon as the post office began mailing parcel post packages, people began mailing items beyond the usual envelopes, and we mean way beyond. At the top of the "You could mail that?" list are children. According to a piece in Smithsonian.com, there's documentation of such an incident in Ohio in 1913 when a couple mailed their 8-month-old son to his grandmother for just 15 cents (they insured him for $50), and in 1914, a 4-year-old was mailed via train from her Idaho home to her grandparents about 73 miles away.

Totally Weird Things You Can Mail
You can't mail children today, of course, but you can mail fun things like a Frisbee or any flying disc. Orbs are mailable, too, and SendaBall.com will send a personalized, hand-signed ball to someone you love for just $19.99. Or, you can send your own ball — and, yes, any sized somewhat spherical object (beachball, baseball, rubber ball, plastic egg, football, etc.) will do.

When it comes to mailable food products, coconuts are popular for their durability and size — who wouldn't want to get an invitation to a pool party on a coconut? Indeed, every Cinco de Mayo party invite should come etched on a lime. And about those potatoes: although you can always DIY, there is a company, Potato Parcel, that will put words (up to 15) or a face on a potato and mail it; sadly, they ruin everything (but the potato) and put it in an envelope first.

Totally Weird Things You Can Mail
For some truly wacky experiments in mailable goods, the magazine Wired had a long-running experiment called Return to Sender, which challenged readers to get the post office to deliver bizarre unwrapped items. Its winning entries include a pink plastic flamingo, a bicycle and a high-heeled shoe (we recommend a flip-flop because it's cheaper and slightly less likely to poke a hole in the balloon you're also trying to mail).

In the sort-of-boxing-it-but-not-really camp, there's the idea of stuffing goodies into a clear plastic drink bottle, or simply affixing a label to something that's already boxed, like playing cards or a box of candy. Really, the sky's the limit. What's lying around your house? A ping-pong paddle? Mail it. A foam dinosaur? Mail it. A plastic shovel? Mail it. An unopened bag of Cheetos? Give it a go!

For more mailing inspiration, see Buzzfeed's 21 Things You'd Be Surprised You Can Actually Mail. Of course if you really do need a box to mail something important, at Distinct Papers, we have plenty of packaging materials, from boxes to shipping tape to mailing tubes … because sometimes you don't want to count on the good humor and generosity of postal employees to make sure your package arrives safely, on time and in one piece.

SHOP AT DistinctPapers.com for your envelopes today.


Erin Behan

Written by Erin Behan

Erin Behan is an L.A.-based writer and editor who considers fine paper one of life's little pleasures.

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