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What to Put Inside Your Open When Letters

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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. I wanted to give her these open when letters to help her miss us less during the move.

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.

What to put inside your open when letters
Different colored closed letters

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.

What is an Open When Letter?

An open when letter is a letter that you can give someone that has a date of when they should open it on the front. These make a great gift when given in bulk and are perfect for going away presents or people in long distance relationships.

Going Away Present

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.

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

How to Make Open When Letters

When making these, you don’t have to use envelopes. I’ve used paper bags, explosion boxes, and other boxes!

What to Put Inside Your Open When Letters

Open when free printable at

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.

If this list isn’t enough you can find more of what to put in open when letters at these two posts: 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.

Decorated box thats labeled I miss you already
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Open When Ideas

Open Now

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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.

Paper Titled Rules for when to open letter 1 through 5

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 letter and AMC theater gift card

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.

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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 letter

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.

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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 letter when the guys are being jerks with gummy's

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 letter with Applebee's gift card

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.

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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 with spicy popcorn

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

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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 with letter

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 and Pinterest to see all the latest and greatest!

Yield: 12

Open When Letters

Open When Letters

How to make open when letters for that special someone.

Active Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour


  • Envelopes, boxes, bags, ect
  • Items to put in letters (ideas above)
  • Paper, labels


  1. Fill envelopes, boxes, bags, or a combination there of with little gifts and letters.
  2. Label the front of each envelope, box, or bag with an open when label that corresponds with what's inside.
  3. Package it all up in a bigger box or bag and gift to your recipient!


You can see tons of ideas for what to put in open when letters on


Wednesday 21st of February 2024

My little sister is going to collage and I’m not ready she’s going to be across the country, we have this thing where I run and jump on top of her when she’s laying down and I yell John cena and the idea is I get her a weighted blanket and the note says open when you need a…. She opens the box to another note that just says John cena on top of the blanket unless someone can put vinyl or embroider it on the blanket


Monday 29th of April 2024

This is so cute! I bet she will love it!


Saturday 10th of June 2023

hi love these ideas. But i am really struggling on what to write in the letters for my bestfriend and what to put in them.


Friday 28th of July 2023

My best advice is to try to think about what you both like to do together and to gift those types of items. So if you enjoy going to a specific restaurant, give gift cards to that restaurant. If you're really into crafting, give crafty supplies. If they love a certain movie or book, find some fun stickers and a funny quote for if they feel lonely or silly, etc. This is really such a personalized gift that there is no wrong answers!

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Monday 27th of April 2020

Hello Amy,

I am Sierra Cook I am writing this for my BFF. She is going to move and she is not happy about it so I thought that this was a GREAT idea to do for her! She has been my best friend for SO long and I wanted to make it up to her for being the best best friend to me.

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