Open when letters - ideas and free printable
DIY & Crafts, Gift Ideas, Marriage, Printables

41 Open When Letter Ideas and FREE Printables

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Open When Letters – Ideas for a boyfriend, best friend, husband… to know what to put in them and free printable cards to make it easy!

Open when letters - ideas and free printable

Open When Letters

So what are open when letters? Well, if you are in a long-distance relationship, have a dear friend or relative far away, or if you find yourself away from your sweetheart longer than you’d like, creating a gift that allows you to speak to them when you are away is more than words can describe. I especially love the open when letters ideas as a birthday present for my husband.

Even though it’s hard to top the year that I kept a secret from him for a YEAR and surprised him for his 30th birthday with a trip to Mexico with friends… this heartfelt gift just keeps on giving all year!

See ALL of our gift ideas for the sweet person in your life! 

Open When Letters can be a sweet way to send a heartfelt message to your loved one when it’s hard to find the right words to say, and they’re just super fun anyway to create and give!

How do Open When Letters Work?

Open when letters work just like a regular handwritten card.

However, the difference is that you give them instructions on the letter for when they are supposed to open them.

They can be specific such as an anniversary or a set date, or broad such as “when we’re having a fight”.

You can be as creative as you want with these, and the more specific they are to your loved one, the better the experience will be.

Free Printables and Envelope Ideas

When I created my own, I wanted to make them so I could re-use the master copies for a friend, relative or even my husband again one day.

Then, when I made them, I remembered that I can’t keep a good thing to myself, so I wanted to share 4 different free printables with you so you can make your own! You find the download links below.

Here’s how I made mine, and hopefully it will spark some ideas and help make your “open when” letter project a little easier!

Open when letters - how to make

How do you write open when letters?

I simply grabbed size A2 envelopes from Walmart, and I had NO idea until I picked up my Walmart grocery pick-up that it was a box of envelopes AND cards! BONUS! I thought it was just the envelopes. Woot! (You can grab a2 envelopes and cards on Amazon HERE if you prefer shopping there!)

However, for the letters that I’d be writing, I had already decided to use colorful paper that I already had on hand for the letters that I’ll put inside the envelopes, so I’ll save the blank cards for something else later.

But to make things super easy, you can totally use the cards that come with the envelopes! 

Cards for open when letters

Once I had everything that I needed to get started on the open when letters, it was time to print off the printable cards.

Blank “Open When” Cards

When creating the master printable card download, I ALMOST typed in the “when” on each card, until I realized that I may like to switch things up sometimes and that not everyone has the same relationship and things to say to one another as I do to my husband.

So, I thought the blank space to write in exactly what you want it to say, would be the best bet.

Plus, I think the handwritten “when” on each card has more of a personal touch, and how sweet is that, right?

"Hey love" open when letters - free printables

Free Printable Open When Letter Cards – Four Options

I have included four different options in case you prefer one over the other.

“Hey Love,” in Pink or in Black

…for a boyfriend, husband, finance, etc.


Pink Open When Card Printables

Download the Black “HEY LOVE” Open When Printable Cards Here!

Printable Open When Cards


“Hey You,”

…for a friend, sibling, relatives, etc.

DOWNLOAD the Pink “HEY YOU” Open When Printable CARDS HERE

Printable Open When Cards in Pink

Download the Black “HEY YOU” Open When Printable Cards HERE!

Printable Open When Cards in Black

This way, you can choose which of the above greetings works best for the person you’re sending them too!

Note: I’ve included a list of ideas below of what you can fill in the blanks with.

To Write:

For the hand-written portion on the free download cards, I’m a sucker for a good gold metallic sharpie, and I thought it looked adorable paired with the coral border and font on the card.

(Perhaps I’m partial to these colors because of the colors I use in my logo here on the blog, but I digress.)

Open when letter ideas - for boyfriend, husband or friend


(Insert the impression of Joey from Full House here. Just me? Ok, sorry.)

Once the cards are cut out, they’re ready to glue on the front of each envelope!

Blank "open when" letter printables - free
Glue on the free open when download cards and put letters in the envelopes

Glue on to the front of each envelope:

I just grabbed a glue stick from my kid’s coloring cart and went to town. This worked amazingly well actually and I’d highly recommend it.

I did hesitate using the glue sticks that we had, because they were purple, but I was excited to see that it dries clear, so that made a big difference!

Open when free printable download
Write the open when letters to put in the envelopes

Write a little note for inside:

Once the cards are glued (or taped is fine too) on to the outside of the envelopes, it’s time to start writing your sweet love notes to go inside.

I kept mine short and sweet and sealed each letter into the coordinating envelope and it was ready to seal!

Open when cards - free download and ideas
Open when letters and ideas for boyfriend, husband, friend, sister, brother, military, etc.

Seal for the perfect time!

After you’ve inserted your little note into the envelope, it’s time to seal and it’s ready for them to open when needed!

Box/Bag Them Up!

Although you can give them to your loved one just like they are (or with a rubber band wrapped around all of them) I thought it would be a super cute touch to put them into a cute basket, box or bag.

I even love the idea of putting them in a decorated shoebox, recipe card box, or narrow plastic container with a lid, (almost like a library card file) so they can sort through them easily when they’re looking for the right one!

Here are a few fun ideas of what you can put the open when letters in. Just keep in mind you get a size that will work with the size of envelopes that you used!

Card Box Ideas:

The Ground Rules for Open When Letters

Rules? Well that sounds pretty harsh, but let’s just say when you’re dealing with someone who wants to read them all RIGHT NOW, it may be best to give them some guidelines.

When you first give them this Open When Letters set, you want to start by having an “open first” letter to get the ball rolling.

This should include the “rules” of when to open the letters and how it works. You also want to make your letters in such a way that they won’t open them all in one go. Try to space them out the best you can, and let life handle the rest!

Open When Letters - Ideas for a boyfriend, husband, best friend

Open When Letter Ideas and Topics:

Here are a few ideas to help you get the ball rolling, and with the “fill in the blank” free printable open when cards that I’m giving you, you have the freedom to choose which cards work best for you and your loved one! 

Feel free to fill in your own “open when’s” on the cards to really customize the experience!

Open when…

  • You first get this
  • You are having a good day
  • You can’t fall asleep
  • You need a good laugh
  • You are upset
  • You are feeling lonely
  • You feel really far away
  • You need a reminder of how much I love you
  • You are worried
  • You could use a pep talk
  • It’s your birthday
  • It’s our anniversary
  • You miss me
  • You are mad at me
  • You feel bad about yourself
  • You need a hug
  • You are sick
  • You feel like giving up
  • You’ve made a mistake
  • You want a surprise
  • We’ve said goodbye
  • I’m angry
  • You need to make a big decision
  • I’m driving you crazy
  • Someone passes away
  • You’re missing home
  • It’s my birthday
  • You’re stressed out
  • You’re bored
  • You want to talk to me
  • We haven’t been able to talk in a while
  • You don’t feel loved in a while
  • It’s Christmas Eve
  • It’s New Year’s Eve
  • It’s Valentine’s Day
  • It’s [insert favorite holiday]
  • You’re feeling nostalgic
  • You’ve forgotten what I smell like
  • You’re nervous
  • You’re embarrassed
  • You’re thinking about the future

The Perfect Love Letter Ideas

Open When Letters can be a thoughtful and sweet way to show your spouse that you love them. Instead of trying to come up with the right words on the spot, prepare these letters ahead of time so you can say the right thing at just the right time.

Do you have a fun “open when” letter idea? I’d love to hear it below in the comments!

17 thoughts on “41 Open When Letter Ideas and FREE Printables

  1. Jayleen says:

    Amazing for a gift idea! Going to make some sets! Fabulous!

    1. Jessica says:

      Aw, thank you Jayleen! I hope you enjoy and have fun with them!

  2. Jessica Medina says:

    really love this idea! i love doing diy gifts and I think I am going to do these!!

    1. Jessica says:

      Yay!!! I hope you get to make them! Thank you for dropping a note and letting me know!

  3. pammy says:

    i really love this idea

  4. liv says:

    perfect idea, thank you so much, my sister loves it and i have you to thank for that, thank you again!! you made us both happy!!

    1. Jessica says:

      Yay!! I’m so glad that you both loved them!! Thank you!

  5. Nikki says:

    I made 50 of these for my boyfriend he was so happy! He cried because they were so thoughtful and fun! Thank you so very much the ideas were great and he loved them! I now do them for my whole family!

    1. Jessica says:

      Awww, you’re so welcome Nikki! Thank you so much for sharing your story with us! I hope your family loves them too!

  6. olivia says:

    this would be a good idea for friends I made this fr my friend

    1. Jessica says:

      For sure!!! It’s a great gift idea for friends!

    2. Mic says:

      Yay! My cousin is flying in in a few months and I will definitely make these for her birthday. (We live in different states on opposite sides of the country)

      1. Jessica says:

        I’m so glad that this will be helpful!! 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

  7. Sienna says:

    OMG all of these are absolutely amazing and I am definitely going to be using these for valentines day. Thank you so much for the ideas.

    1. Jessica says:

      Yay!!! I’m so glad that you enjoy them, thank you!

  8. Jessica Davis says:

    I love this idea! I have been googling near and far for ideas on motivating myself to lose weight. I can use these for when I hit my goals and remember why I’m not giving up!

    1. Jessica says:

      What an amazing idea Jessica!! I never thought about that, but it’s genius! Thank you for sharing!

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