13 Ounces Or Less

October 18, 2011

Finding a package in the mail is always a fantastic treat, but AmberLee takes the art of sending fantastic treats to an all-time magical level.

From candy-colored pencils and bouncy balls to sand toys and a bubble-wrapped hopscotch set, she has pretty much sent it all. Successfully! The trick is to make sure everything is clearly labeled, and 13 ounces or less.

This is the sort of project kids would go nuts for! I’m inspired to think of an object — something fun and French — my children can send to cousins State-side. Secretly, I’m also wishing AmberLee was my very own pen-pal.

What’s the oddest item you’ve ever sent or received in the mail?

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Eleanor October 18, 2011 at 5:55 am

So ingenius!!!
Once on vacation in the Outerbanks we found little “message in a bottles” that you could mail and my kids and I sent them to the neighbors…they were tre cute!

BTW, I saw your House Hunters episode and was SO glad you picked the house you did…what a dream to live somewhere so beautiful!!


2 Jordana @ White Cabana October 18, 2011 at 6:31 am

I read about this somewhere last week and I just love it! I once sent a hula hoop in the mail from Canada to Australia. The idea of it still makes me laugh. Postage wasn’t even expensive – maybe $5 – because it was so light! Too too funny! It arrived in one piece and in the same shape (with one minor dent). Crazy, right?


3 Katie January 17, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Omg I wish postage had been that cheap for me, I sent Christmas presents from canada to my family who are still in Australia and it cost me $90 for a small box. Postage is the killer part of sending gifts.


4 Ashlea Walter October 18, 2011 at 6:45 am

Oh my goodness, my head is now spinning with ideas! Love it. We did receive a coconut and a pumpkin in the mail before and I thought those were pretty clever. My nieces and nephews (and friends!) would just love this. Thanks for the happy link.


5 Ashlea Walter October 18, 2011 at 6:47 am

p.s. when my husband was in high school he sent a friend a little lizard in an animal cracker box that he caught while on vacation in Florida. It actually survived and jumped out of the box when his friend received it a couple days later.

Long live the USPS!


6 Janelle October 18, 2011 at 9:58 am

If this were FB, I would so *like* this! A lizard, that his parents let him mail, genius!


7 Denise August 28, 2012 at 10:12 pm

I wonder how the lizard enjoyed that journey?


8 Lori H October 18, 2011 at 6:49 am

Ok, this is unusual and gross…I worked for a dining coupon company years ago as a customer service rep. A customer mailed me HIS STEAK which he was contending was smaller than normal because he was using a coupon. It was nasty and slimy when it got to me. Well, you did ask! :)


9 Jennifer Sedor October 18, 2011 at 7:36 am

I love this. Working with kids, and having a Secret Sister group that I am in…. these have inspired a whole new level of…. “Making eyes light up – ness”



10 Giulia October 18, 2011 at 7:37 am

When I was about 12 my friend and I sent a Banana – it arrived, just a little brown. We also send a record without sleeve, kind of like a postcard and it arrived as well.


11 Christa The BabbyMama October 18, 2011 at 7:37 am

The oddest item was not so very odd – a potty – but it was just wrapped a little bit, so I had to go to the post office to pick up this potty shaped parcel. It would have been cuter had it just had the address label stuck right on, but it was still exactly shaped like its contents. The mail people thought it was pretty funny, actually.


12 Katie October 18, 2011 at 7:45 am

WHen my husband was a kid, his uncle sent him a coconut from Hawaii. He had painted a fun picture on it and then wrote the addresses right on it. No wrapping.


13 Catherine October 18, 2011 at 7:46 am

My boyfriend was cycling in Gaspésie, a few hundred kilometers from home. He sent me a rock he had found on the beach with a big stamp on it. I was 17 and madly in love (and still am).


14 Nicole October 18, 2011 at 7:59 am

A few years ago while on a Florida vacation we sent a “message in a bottle” to our daughter’s new in-laws who live in the Netherlands. It caused quite a stir in their village post office. So much so that they had to come to the post office to retrieve their mail. Everyone gathered around to see what was in the bottle…some sand, a plastic palm tree, a few small shells, and a photo of us waving a hello! Your mention of this has rekindled my desire to try this again!


15 Annie October 18, 2011 at 8:05 am

When I was 14 and living in American Samoa my Mom sent a coconut with the address and stamps right on it to my siblings who lived in the states. A few weeks later we got a sternly worded letter from the US Agriculture Department letting us know what a bad idea it was and how my Mom was single-handedly corrupting the United States. They let her know that her name was now on a “list.”


16 Haydee October 18, 2011 at 8:23 am

This is the coolest thing ever! I can’t imagine what the kids would do if a bouncy ball came in the mail for them. Great share:)


17 Monica October 18, 2011 at 8:55 am

I love this! I adore getting mail (NOT BILLS), and I rarely do. What a joy it would be to receive something like this….hmmmm maybe my 4 year old can receive something cute from Santa???


18 Kate October 18, 2011 at 9:19 am

When I was an undergraduate I drank A LOT of diet coke. For my birthday my friend Maggie mailed me a diet coke bottle with a rolled-up message inside! She stuck the mailing label and stamps right to the bottle. Later, she mailed one of our friends a tray from the Yale dining hall. Stamps on the front, letter on the back!


19 Nicole K October 18, 2011 at 9:20 am

I can’t wait to fill a bottle with gum balls as a surprise for my goddaughter!


20 se7en October 18, 2011 at 9:23 am

Gasp – this is the coolest thing I have seen all year… Our post office is very boring even trying to refuse to post my kids letters that are smothered in stickers… I am wondering what they would do if I arrived with um… a frisbee say!!! Oh the fun!!! Love it!!!


21 Sandra October 18, 2011 at 10:00 am

I mail weird stuff all the time. One year, on my nieces and nephews birthdays, I mailed them Wichita State University t-shirts stuffed inside of a big, yellow foam finger. I put a label on the back side of the finger and it mailed for $2.


22 Jaime de Brebisson October 18, 2011 at 10:02 am

One of my dear friends from High School sent me an Apple, a plastic Granny smith with a big heart on it! I think I still have it, it was by far the best mail I ever got!


23 CMN October 18, 2011 at 10:17 am

I just love the concept of mailing the unusual and unexpected … At Easter this year, I mailed about 15 individual plastic eggs to various people. It was so much fun coming up with funny little things that fit (a lot harder than you’d think!), that I kept running to the store for MORE eggs… nieces, nephews, siblings, friends! My postal clerk thought it was the greatest thing ever. Totally fun!

Currently, I’ve got a plastic bottle sitting on my desk and I’ve been trying to decide A) what to put in it, and B) who to send it too. Oh, decisions decisions!


24 Jo October 18, 2011 at 10:24 am

Oh this is SO cool! Will have to try out Australia Post and send something to my littles – just thinking how they would squish a BIG ball into our teeny letterbox or if we would get a parcel pick up notice…I can just see our postman on his scooter balancing hula hoops in his sack!


25 mer October 18, 2011 at 11:01 am

Isn’t Amber Lee the greatest?! And her ticket chocolate~I’m dying to try it!



26 Susan S. October 18, 2011 at 11:05 am

When I was in junior high, my family and I sent unwrapped coconuts to all of our friends from our vacation time in Hawaii. For one of our friends, we had forgotten to write a note or say who it was from on the coconut. My friend and her brother played baseball with the thing trying to get it open because they thought something was on the inside. I don’t think they ever succeeded:)


27 Lisette Wolter October 18, 2011 at 11:12 am

When I was young I received a coconut from Hawaii from my friend. I was ecstatic when it came in the mail.


28 Sabrina Visser October 18, 2011 at 1:01 pm

every year, “the mysterious great pumpkin” delivers mouthwatering pumpkin chocolate chip cookies to the doorstep of each child in the neighborhood on Halloween day. i wish i could hide behind the corner and see the look on each child’s face as they open the door to find this beautifully decorated package full of goodies. of course, you have to ring the door and run and hide quickly! giving is sooo rewarding.


29 jodi October 18, 2011 at 2:08 pm

That is so cool! I’ve never seen that blog before and it’s so cute!


30 Kiasa October 18, 2011 at 8:35 pm

I love AmberLee’s blog and creativity. My 4 yr old and I put together Easter eggs last April and sent them to all my nieces and nephews. My nieces at BYU loved the surprise, especially since it arrived during finals. And my daughter LOVED sending them.


31 Trish October 18, 2011 at 9:58 pm

You can still mail a coconut from Hawaii — the post office on Molokai is worth the trip there, with the mailman who should be a spokesman for the whole USPS. He has the coconuts and markers, and takes the time to pick the prettiest stamps to affix to the coconuts. We sent them this summer and they were a HUGE hit.


32 wordplayhouse® October 19, 2011 at 8:29 am

A design friend and I used to see what we could get away with sending back and forth in the mail. String with the letters attached by bits of paper. An old shoe with a message written inside. I still have some of the mail she sent to me and I wonder if she still has mine. Yes. The postal service delivered it all.


33 Whitney @ thecurtiscasa October 28, 2011 at 7:06 am

My husband received a fun piece of mail once! His friend was spending the summer in desert in the midwest, so he sent my husband a package, a very large but lightweight box.. Inside the box, a GIANT tumbleweed!


34 Carolyn May 2, 2012 at 9:09 pm

In high school my bff’s boyfriend worked one summer at a scout camp out of state we mailed him a shoe, a rock, a deck of cards, but the best was the cookies. We took a few soup cans (with labels removed, and thoroughly washed) that we’d opened with one of those openers that take off the whole top. We used them as the cookie cutters and then put the baked cookies inside and super glued the tops back on. (you cover the last cookie with a little wax paper to protect from the glue) Then we wrote on the address and covered them with stamps. He said they were still fresh when he got them!


35 Bonnie January 20, 2013 at 10:37 am

I had saved this post and thought of it a couple of days ago. I have an empty container that I think I’ll fill with goodies and send to my daughter in Hawaii!


36 Rachel BG March 23, 2014 at 5:47 pm

I love your blog so much! I have had great success mailing all kinds of things. Most recently I have don’t small beauty products (like nail decals and lip balm tubs and solid lotions) as well as redesigned cd cases! Thanks for the ideas!


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