Monday, November 28, 2011

Writing and Folding a Regency Style Letter

Because I am a fan of all things Regency (for a definition of Regency click here) I am going to show you how to write and fold a Regency Style Letter! I learned this from The Jane Austen Handbook which happens to be in the possession of my friend Kate. I looked at one of her letters to me for the folding technique, and read about the style of writing in the book.

 So, first write the letter. I made this paper look a little older by soaking it in coffee, and then made a oh-so-fun attempt to write a letter, Regency Style! For the tutorial on aging paper with coffee, click here.
You know, Regency style isn't exactly like modern American style. No perfect pages were effortlessly typed in uniform font back then.
In order to preserve paper, letter-writers from the Regency period would write like so:

And not only that, but they also wrote in a third direction: diagonally! I didn't attempt that feat. :) 
I also put a white paper with dark black lines on it underneath the brown paper so that I would have some lines to guide me.



Once you are done having fun writing the letter, you can now fold a letter Regency Style.

1. First fold the letter in from the sides two times, meeting in the middle. 


 Then fold the letter up from the bottom. Fold it into four sections. The picture above illustrates the sections without the folds.

Sorry, I don't have a picture of the first fold. 

Leave the top section a little shorter to leave space to put a wax seal.

To finish it off, seal it with a wax seal. Gartner Studios has great seals.

And by the way, I got a really awesome box to keep my letters in. I got it at Ross, since they have a big selection of them. 

Pretty cool, huh? 
Have a happy Saturday!


  1. Wow, I love that...Did you use coffee or tea to stain it?

  2. I normally use coffee, but I think I used tea this time. The reason I use coffe is because it is darker and works better, and also it is easier to make. You don't have to make real coffee, just put instant coffee into the water, making it as dark as you want.

  3. Hi,I was wondering if you have ever sent a regency folded letter in the mail and if it was a success? thank you!

  4. Actually I never sent a Regency folded letter in the mail, it was hand-delivered. :) I do know though that the seals often get messed up if they are on the outside of the envelope. If you would put the whole letter in an envelope, it might work. :)

    1. I was thinking of just sealing it with a sticker along the bottom or side edge and making a home made mailing label.I am just not sure that even if i called the post office that they would know what a regency style letter was,that i would be able to explain it.

  5. I don't know whether or not that would work, you might need to take it to the post office and ask there. I have never tried mailing a letter like that.

  6. There are different types of sealing wax. One, which I guess is used for affixing a ribbon and an official seal to certificates and suchlike and was probably fine for mail in the days before it had to go through sorting machinery, is quite brittle. That's what I had left over from my teen years of sending sealing-waxed letters (back in the sixties, 't'were), but when I tried sending it through the mail in 2012 it cracked and pieces came off, causing goodness knows what problems with the high-speed mechanics. The other sort isn't as lovely and glossy and the colors aren't as rich, but it's quite flexible; seals made of that have made it through the mails just fine, with maybe a little flattening of the thicker areas around the outside of the stamped area.
    I received a couple of Regency-folded letters from Mary Robinette Kowal, sealed only with wax, during the Month of Letters last year. One end was tucked inside the other, so only a single thickness of paper had to be held down by the wax. It was a beautifully tight packet, very secure, and I wasn't at all successful trying to emulate it! I don't know what the official policy toward such letters; my postmistress was intrigued by the idea of the MoL, and made no objection to my sending 'em off.

  7. If you want mailable sealing wax, look into J. Herbin Cire Souple. It's mailable sealing wax, and goes through postal machines just fine. I use it a lot, and I love it! You can find it at a few places. (I got mine at Goulet Pens, which is

  8. If it gets marked as Hand Cancel, you don't have to make it so it will go through the machinery. You will, however, have to pay more for that.

  9. As an answer to you question, I don't know of any discussion boards but if you research it, I'm sure there are some out there.


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