Once you've purchased stationery, you'll want to make the most of it by using the right accessories.
Start with a good pen. For formal stationery, only black ink and a fountain pen are truly proper.
"To write with a good pen on cheap stationery is like ice skating on carpeting," said stationery consultant Patrica DuCharme. By the same token, to spend money on personalized stationery and then use a ballpoint pen that leaves ink splotches is silly.
Good pens like Mont Blanc, Parker, Waterman and Omas come in prices ranging from $100 to thousands of dollars for a collector's piece. Many of the new rolling ballpoint pens are very good and inexpensive and don't require the upkeep of a fountain pen.
There are many who collect pens and even a magazine for them called Pen World. Just glancing through the heavy-papered, glossy magazine is a step into another world.
Another personalizing touch that takes time rather than money is the special postage stamp. Wedding invitations with stamps that say "Love," and floral envelopes adorned with flower stamps say something about the message before the envelope is even opened. In Orange County, the Spurgeon Station of the post office at 615 Bush St., Santa Ana, is a philatelic center, which has an extensive range of postage stamps, postal stationery and philatelic products. Some post offices have stamp stores, like the Riverside Avenue branch of the post office in Newport Beach.
For the final touch, there's always sealing wax, rubber stamps done with colored ink (like Christmas trees for the holidays) and unusual stickers. Letters closed these ways add even more of a personal touch.