DIY, Printable

What to Put Inside Your Open When Letters

My younger sister moved to Tucson over the Summer. I was really sad in the weeks leading up to her leaving, and I knew I was going to miss her like crazy.

She’s never lived away from home before, and now she was moving to a whole other state! I mean come on, it was going to be difficult for her too.

I wracked my brain for ways to make the move a little less painful, for both of us. After scouring Pinterest, I came across these “Open When…” letters.

They are such a cute idea! I knew I had to make these Open When letters for my sister. But I had a hard time figuring out what I should put in each one, here’s what I did.

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While these ideas are perfect for just about anyone, I’ve been thinking up even more ideas. So be sure to check out my Valentine’s Open When letters, Open When Letters for your man, and Open When Letters for your kids.

What to Put Inside Your Open When Letters

I’ve also created a free printable that you can snag below with all of the open when ideas ready to be downloaded and printed out so that you can make these for a loved one! If you want something a little more fancy be sure to check out our shop!

In every envelope, I put a little letter. Some of the things were too big to fit in envelopes, so I put them in bags that I had and taped them shut.

While there are many ideas here, you can find many more ideas in the Open When letter ideas for men and in the Valentine’s Open When Letters!

Outside of Box

I had a box at home already, so I just decorated the outside with a bunch of different duct tape that I already had lying around. I also printed out this cute “I miss you already” tag and affixed it to the top.


Open Now

The first letter was to open as soon as she got the gift. She left a week after her birthday, so I gave her the gift as both her going away present and her birthday gift. It had a bag of snacks for the road, instructions for the gift, bunches of pictures and a letter to her saying how proud I was for her taking this leap.

Open When Rules

Open When… You’re Settled In

My parents drove out there with her, and then my mom stayed for a week. So I gave strict instructions that she couldn’t open it until after she dropped my mom off at the airport. I wanted her to go relax, so I put a gift card to the movies in it.

Open When you're settled in

Open When… You Miss Me

Just a letter

Open When… You’re Stressed

Bubble Wrap – we’re silly and always loved playing with bubble wrap as kids. Okay, as adults too. So I knew she’d get a kick out of this.

Open When… You’re Getting Sick

Stuff to make a Hot Toddy along with instructions. Honey, whiskey, tea bags, and a cute mug.

Open When… It’s too hot to function

Reminding her that she moved to Satan’s butthole and it’s going to be hot! I found a Hashtag ice cube tray on clearance, so I bought it for her.

Open When… You’re Actually Sick

Cough drops and a soup packet, we love the Lipton Noodle Soup, and I knew it would make her smile when she was sick.

Open When… You Need a Little Sparkle

(Be careful when opening, but don’t worry it’s not glitter) Gold heart pushpins for her pushpin board. They didn’t have anything to protect the back and I didn’t want her to stab herself.

Open When you need a little sparkle

Open When… You Can’t Sleep

Chamomile tea and hand-drawn sudoku (I copied a few games off of

Open When… You Need a Pick Me Up

Gift Card to Starbucks, because who doesn’t want to drink Starbucks!

Open When… You Need a Vacation

Margarita mix and fun umbrella straws.

Open When… The Guys are Jerks

So she moved out there with two of her best guy friends. And I’ve lived with two guys before. It’s a rollercoaster, and it can be great, but it can also be awful.

I knew there would be moments that they didn’t get along, that’s with any roommates. I included this to hopefully break the tension and get a few laughs.

Did you know you can buy gummy dicks online? I think I saw these on Buzzfeed, and I about died laughing. So I had to get them.

The letter was affixed to the front and it just said give this to the boys when they’re being jerks, and then they opened it up! The letter inside said, “Eat a bag of dicks”. That’s funny.

As you can see by the picture, they had already opened and started eating the gummy candy. They both said it was delicious.

Open When letters

Open When… You Feel Like Coming Home

Gas card, it wouldn’t get her all the way home, but hey, it’s the thought that counts 😉

Open When… You’re Low on Money

Gift Card to Target, I figured she can get anything she would ever need there.

Open When… You’re Hungry

I wanted to put in a Pizza Hut gift card, I even slyly asked what her favorite pizza place was. But the stores didn’t sell them and I didn’t want to order online… so she got an Applebee’s gift card instead!

Open When you're hungry

Open When… You Need to Talk

My phone number. I know she has it, but I wanted to remind her that she can call me day or night.

Open When… You Need a Laugh

Chuck Norris jokes (we love them), Elephant Jokes, and knock-knock jokes. They were pretty funny if I do say so myself.

Open When… You’re Feeling Spicy

Could be angry, feisty, excited, whatever. It had spicy popcorn in it. Popcorn has always been our “go to” snack, so I figured this would be a cute reminder of home.

Open When you're feeling spicy

Open When… You Need a Sissy Date

We always go to sushi together so I gave her some money for sushi (or whatever she wanted). She was so cute though, she saved the money until she came home so that we could go get sushi together <3

I had lots and lots of ideas but a lot of them I just didn’t have time to execute. One day I hope to make her some more as she’s already used all of these.

I also sent her a little first aid kit. Target had these cute first aid carriers on sale and I’m the preparedness one of the family, so I knew she didn’t have a first aid kit.

I got some supplies together and set them to her. I figured she could keep it in her car. She’s pretty accident prone so I’m sure it will come in handy.

First Aid Kit

Overall, I think this gift came out super great. My sister loved it. Apparently, she’d been telling her friends she wanted Open When Letters and I didn’t even know.

These Open When Letters are such a great idea if you have a college kid, or even a sibling or friend who just lives far. This is the perfect gift to give that just keeps on giving.

I also created these Valentine’s Open When Letters for my husband! I’ve had so many people ask about these that I had my husband help me with some Open When Letter ideas for men.

If you think of any other great ideas for Open When letters, let me know in the comment section! I’d love to hear. And as always make sure you are following me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest to see all the latest and greatest!


42 thoughts on “What to Put Inside Your Open When Letters”

  1. This is a lovely idea. I would send little drawings inside, or another small handmade decorated envelope with a handmade card inside that she could copy and then send to another person, or etc. You go girl

    1. Another “open when” card could be open when all your shows are on a hiatus, and assuming she has a Netflix account, put a list of shows and movies to watch on netflix on the letter. I know I could definitely use one of these myself!

  2. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Open when you miss your mom/dad/grandma/grandpa,etc…pic of said person and a blank card with a stamped and adressed envelope.
    Open when you think you’ve met the one…blank journal & your number
    Open when you know you didn’t^^^… – box of tissues and ice cream gift card
    Open when you’re ready to happy dance! – itunes card, spotify card, mixed tape aka CD
    Open when you need a hug…tissue paper streamers with construction paper hands taped to the ends.
    Open when life gives you lemons…margarita mix
    Open when you partied too hard…visine
    Open when you forget who you are, favorite childhood pic with sweet remembrances of what makes them so loved by you.

  3. Hi so sorry this is probably crazy but i subscribe to your page many of times and i still cant print out the things! what am i doing wrong?!

  4. Hey Amy!!! One of my closest friends is moving away this summer and she is afraid she will get bullied so i wanted to give her “open when . . . ” letters and a care package. any ideas on what to put in it? please email me!!!

    1. Hello Sasha! I can’t see your email address but you can email me directly at I think giving her self love items, like bubble bath or essential oils would be good- open when you’re feeling anxious, open when you need a breather. Maybe information about her new town, any fun events in the area, like local paint nights, library meet ups- open when you want to get out. I also like the idea of the game “Sneaky Cards”. I’m not sure why she’s worried, but I think putting good vibes into the universe could be good for her. Maybe a Open to pay it forward or open when you want to meet people. Check out to see if it would be something she’d be interested in. And good luck to her! I hope the move goes well.

  5. Hi there. I want to make a “Open When..” for my boyfriend.. I want to make his gift this year extra.. and I want some ideas. Please help. ????

    1. Hello Keyla! I’d love to help! I always think gift cards and/or movie tickets are great ideas for these. Or maybe think of a concert or something coming up and gift him a card implying he has to hold the date! If you have any questions or want more help, feel free to email me at and I’ll help you out more!

  6. Hi, This is an amazing idea! I’m gonna make it for my big brother when he goes off to university. I’m finding it hard to think of things to put I’m with the notes though because he isn’t the most sentimental of people but we’re still really close.Do you have any ideas?

    1. Thank you! You can use his favorite candy, or some inside jokes. Maybe money for laundry or movie gift certificates. You can really use anything you can fit into an envelope or bag!

  7. Hello, I’ve subscribed to the blog, but I keep getting this page to confirm subscription without link! Can you help? I want to get these printed!

  8. Hello, I just love your idea but can you tell me where you found those envelope from picture 7 (open when you are feeling spicy ). I think it is a great idea as I was looking for a gift for my bestie

  9. Thank you so much for this sweet idea. I’ll adapt it slightly to give to a good friend of mine, who has been feeling a little down lately.

  10. This is a super-neat idea! I am thinking about different times grandparents could put something like this together for their grandkids. New school, off to college, first baby, etc.

    1. a grandparents one would be great! I’m an artist and my grandson is 11 yrs old. him and I have been close since the day he was born. I don’t have a car right now , so I don’t see hum as much. he doesn’t live far, but too far to walk. any good ideas for envelope contents?

  11. Hi Amy! Love the post and especially loved those little “hello”
    “Hi” “ahoy” note cards you used. Do you remember where you got them?! I’d love some for myself!

  12. Hi there! Love this idea! I really want to do something special like this for my fiance(we live together) for his birthday coming up in March! But he’s turning 35 & I have no idea what I could do at all that he would really like & not think is “stupid” bc u know how guys can be!! Lol Any thoughts/ideas?? U can email me at bc I’m not sure how to even get back to this site! Lol I’m illiterate & havnt used Pinterest very long so it’s kind of confusing to me! Thank you!

  13. Hey Amy, my best friend is having a birthday soon so I’m making her open when letters. What you said was sooooo helpful thank you so much!
    From Karina

  14. Thank you for sharing your list. My favorite cousin lost her mother and niece within a year apart so I chose to put something like this together for her since this is a super sensitive time of year for her. With that said, if you have any suggestions for someone that’s mourning or missing lost ones during the holiday season, I’d love to hear them. Thanks in advance.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear this. How sweet of you to make this for her during this difficult time. I have seen a ‘chair from Heaven’ with a cute little poem about loved ones coming down from Heaven and watching us during the holidays. If you want more specifics please feel free to email me: hello @

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