The Recipe Swap is Closed! Get your letters ready...


15 people signed up for the "Pen Pal Recipe Swap", and besides that, there's me! So that's 16 addresses altogether, and we have 8 different countries in this swap!! Spain, Germany, South Africa, USA, France, Brazil, Australia, and Holland. I will post the addresses on Wednesday.

Today, I thought I would give you some basic information and give you a couple days to get your recipe cards ready.

Diet Restrictions

A few people have diet restrictions. Several have indicated they do not like seafood or are allergic, one is allergic to chocolate and coconut, and one would like gluten free recipes; keto, too, if possible!

The recipe that I am sharing with everyone is a Thai soup, which I usually put shrimp in, but chicken can also be used for those who don't like seafood. Hopefully, your recipe will be easy to adjust, too!

Sharing Multiple Recipes

If you want to share a favorite recipe, but it has chocolate in it or isn't gluten free, go ahead and print 13 or 14 recipes of your favorite, and select a different one that fits the requirements for the others.

Likewise, if you can't choose between two favorites, send one to half the group and a different one to the other half!

Language / Translations

Another note: mine is in Dutch (I live in the Netherlands) but it is pretty easy to translate via smartphone with the Google translate app. You simply open the app, click the camera icon, place your phone above the recipe card, and let it load. It will find the text and translate it to English or another language. I've used this a lot as I was learning Dutch and it's pretty reliable!

I plan on repeating these instructions by typing them, printing them, and including them in each envelope I send. If the recipient tries the recipe, enjoys it, and wants to write out a copy in their own language, they can!

Postal Rates

I have looked up the postal rates for shipping a single letter internationally in each country, so you might know what to expect as far as cost for this event. Prices are listed per 20g letter. (Most letters with a few sheets inside come in under this weight, but if you add a bunch of heavy cardstock, stickers or accents, it might push it over the edge.)

Spain- EUR1.45 per letter inside the EU and EUR1.80 per letter for the rest of the world
Germany- EUR1.10 per letter
South Africa- R11.35 - R13.40 per letter
USA- $1.30 per letter
France- EUR1.50 per letter
Brazil- R3 per letter
Australia- $2.50 per letter 
Netherlands- EUR1.50 per letter

So the average cost to fully participate will be about $22, EUR25, Rand200 or Real48.

That being said, you don't have to fully participate if the cost is too high for you!


Adjust According to Your Budget

If these prices are simply too high, don't worry! You can select half of the recipients and send recipes only to those 8, or choose several that are in neighboring countries, or do whatever you need to do based on what you think is manageable for you.

Since there are more than 10 of us, I think we will all receive plenty of recipes to make us happy, and I don't want anyone to feel obligated to spend any amount of money on postage that they just can't afford! This is supposed to be a fun pen pal event, so don't feel bad about doing whatever you need to do to keep it fun for yourself.

I have a feeling that for our South African and Brazilian participants, where postage is more irregular and expensive, partial participation might be necessary. And if I can be so bold as to speak for the group, we are all okay with that!


That's all I have for now until Wednesday. Check your emails again for a link to the password protected page that I will post with everyone's address, and until then, get to paper crafting!!!!!


Let me know if you have any questions at all!
I'll speak to you all soon.



  • Liz, It’s totally up to you! I am excited to see how everyone’s personality comes out in this event :)

  • Sounds like fun. Are we decorating the recipe cards or just printing on them the recipe?

    Liz Elias

Leave a comment