Leafcutter FAQ

Quick Index



When will my order ship?

Everything ships via the United States Postal Service (USPS) within 2 to 3 business days, sometimes sooner. For example, if you place an order on Thursday, it will most likely ship on Monday (2 business days later). Remember that many of our goods are made-to-order by hand. This takes a bit of extra time since we’re not just pulling it off the shelf and boxing it up. You’ll get a shipping confirmation email from us with a tracking link the moment your order ships.

Also keep in mind that we enjoy time off on US holidays, but we try extra hard to make and ship quickly during the weeks leading up to Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Mother’s Day.

How long will it take for my order to arrive?

All items including tiny letters, cards, and packages, as well as other goods ship within 2 to 3 business days, sometimes sooner. We wish we could ship via hummingbird, but after looking into it, we realized it’s just too complicated. Our experience has been that First Class shipments destined for US addresses arrive within an additional 2 to 4 days after the ship date, but in rare instances can take as long as 6 days when USPS is backed up.

Delivery times for international orders are highly variable and depend in large part on the performance of the destination country’s postal service. International orders, Canada excepted, may take a couple weeks or more to arrive. We’ve seen delivery times of up to 30+ days to some foreign countries. Note that international shipments sent via First Class or Priority Mail are sometimes NOT trackable beyond the borders of the United States.

Can I upgrade to a faster shipping speed?

Yes, Priority and Express (US only) options are also available for an extra charge. Keep in mind that when you select one of these faster shipping services, we’ll still need the same 2 to 3 business days to make and ship your goods. Priority Mail shipments will generally arrive in an additional 1 to 3 business days. Express Mail shipments will usually arrive the following day, with the exception of some rural and suburban areas for which a second transit day is common.

Has my order shipped yet?

Did you receive a shipping confirmation email? Be sure to check your spam folder if you think it should have shipped by now!

All tiny letters, cards, and packages, as well as other goods are made to order in our studio in Berkeley, CA. We do not have warehouses full of goods or robots walking around processing orders and tracking everything. Real people are doing all of this work by hand, which is wonderful, don’t you think?

If timing is extremely important to you or you feel that your order is well past due, you can reach out to us via email at ant@leafcutterdesigns.com. We’ll figure out what’s going on and get back to you.

Where will my order ship from?

Everything ships from Oakland, CA.

Do you ship internationally?

Yes! We offer USPS First-Class Mail International shipping service as a low-cost convenience option to essentially any address anywhere in the world. But here’s the deal: This service only works if both the United States Postal Service AND the foreign national postal service do their jobs properly.

This service is more than 95% reliable to: Canada, Mexico, all 28 European Union countries, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, China, and South Korea. If you place an order to a valid delivery address in one of these countries and it never arrives, we’ll remake everything in the order and re-ship it once to the same exact address at no charge. This is rarely necessary and we’re happy to do it for you in the unlikely event that something gets lost in transit.

This service is less than 50% reliable to: Russia, Thailand, India, Brazil, Colombia, UAE, and many other countries around the world. If you place an order shipping to any country not included on the “95% reliable” list, you are doing so at your own risk. We’ll leave it up to you to evaluate its prospects for arrival based on what you know about the local postal service in the destination country. If something shipped to one of these countries never arrives, we’ll offer you a discount on a second order to try again. Unfortunately, we cannot offer refunds for lost packages shipped to countries not on the “95% reliable” list.

Can I track my international shipment?

Yes, but with First-Class International service you can usually only track your shipment until it leaves the United States. Sometimes it will pick up additional tracking detail when it clears customs in a foreign country, but only sometimes. Most often, the final tracking entry will be Los Angeles or whatever major US city was the departure point from the US. If your international tracking seems stuck on a major US city for days or weeks, there’s no cause for concern. In all likelihood, that just means your shipment is now making its way to its final destination inside the foreign country.

If you are shipping to a foreign country with a domestic postal service not particularly known for its reliability, then we suggest you select “USPS International Priority, arrives in 6-13 days” at checkout. Use the following links if you’d like to read more about Priority Mail International service before placing your order. As disussed above, international shipments sent via First Class or Priority Mail are sometimes NOT trackable beyond the borders of the United States.

How are shipping costs calculated?

Domestic (within the United States) First Class shipping is always only $4.00 per recipient that you are sending something to. If you order more than one custom World’s Smallest Post Service item, our system will do the math for you based on the delivery names you entered and will charge you $4.00 per unique delivery recipient. If you’re sending multiple pieces of tiny mail to different people at the same address, we still ship them separately by default because we like each person to get to open their own mailer. If you want to save $ on shipping and combine them all in one shipment since they’re going to the same address, please do this: put the SAME NAME in the “ship to” name area when you order each tiny mail item. Or put “The _____ Family” or “My Grandchildren”. Basically, if it’s the same name in that field, we’ll know to ship them together and our shipping calculator will only charge you $4.00. Email Sonja if this is confusing and you accidentally paid too much shipping and they didn’t get combined!

International shipping is usually $14.00 per recipient regardless of how many items you order (only $10 to Canada). We wish it was less, but USPS has raised international rates by more than 30% for 3 straight years now, and there is no less expensive alternative. Many of the goods available in the shop do not incur an additional shipping charge, even for international orders. For example, you can order 100 Trade Tokens, 20 Matchbox Theaters, and 3 sets of PhenomeNonsense puzzle cards and it will all ship for only $14.00 total.

Sometimes a large international order of heavy items will show a very high shipping cost at checkout. If this happens to you, you have two options: 1) go ahead and checkout and we will refund you the difference between what you paid and actual shipping costs, or 2) email us and we’ll give you a revised shipping quote and an easy way to complete your order.

Why was I asked for my shipping address twice?

If you ordered a tiny letter, card, package, or Punch Box, the custom submission form asks for a ship to address and then the checkout system also asks for a shipping address. Usually, our system will transfer over the info and automatically fill out the checkout page for you. If something goes amiss you may be asked to enter the shipping address again. Sorry if this happened to you!

My friend’s birthday is on X date.
Can I order now and ask you to delay shipping?

We wish we could provide this extra service but we haven’t yet figured out how to do it without driving ourselves crazy. And we don’t want to mess up anyone’s birthday! We cannot accept delayed-ship orders but would suggest two simple workarounds: 1) use the production time and shipping info above to estimate how long it will take your tiny letter, card, or package to arrive, and then work backwards to figure out when you should place your order, or 2) type something like “DO NOT OPEN UNTIL X DATE” to instruct your recipient to wait until the right day under “Opening Instructions” on the tiny mail submittal form. These “Opening Instructions” will be written by hand on the outside of the larger mailer (not on the tiny mail item itself). If it’s very important that it arrive before a particular date, please order plenty of time in advance!

Can you ship different items from the same order to multiple addresses?

Yes we can! We recently completed a major upgrade of our shopping cart and checkout system for precisely this reason. You can now order as many custom tiny letters, cards, and packages as you’d like and ship them directly to as many different recipients as you’d like, all in one single order. You can also ship other non-custom goods to different recipients (in addition to as many custom tiny mail items as you’d like), under the same single order.

Our shopping cart system will automatically arrange your goods into various shipping baskets depending on the “ship to” name you enter when each item is added to the cart. Unfortunately, you cannot rearrange the shipping baskets once items are in the cart.

How come my curio goods arrived in a re-used box?
We try very hard to minimize our use of materials and our overall impact on the environment. We ship stuff in whatever boxes we have lying around. We’re always careful to make sure your items are well protected and in good shape upon arrival but if something shows up in less than perfect condition, let us know and we’ll replace it right away.

Gift Wrapping


Do you offer gift wrapping service?

Yes! Email Sonja RIGHT AFTER placing your order if you’d like to add a custom, 1-sentence gift note to your gift(s). For free, we’ll transcribe one brief note per recipient/address and include it with the package. We will not include an invoice (or packing slip) when shipping your gift-wrapped items. They’ll know it’s from you when they read the gift tag!

World’s Smallest Post Service


Can you transcribe tiny letters in languages other than English?

Yes! Mostly! Even other alphabets like Russian and Greek! Just make sure you type it into the online form exactly how you want it to appear in your tiny letter because we will have no clue what we’re transcribing. One time we transcribed a letter in Italian and the only words we could understand were “little letter” and “love.” Chinese and Japanese characters generally come through smoothly, but we’ll contact you if there’s an issue and ask that you confirm your message. Please note, however, that emoticons and special symbols (hearts, thumbs up, etc.) will not flow through to the text of your tiny letter.

Leafcutter Designs & Our Goods


Are your goods environmentally and socially sustainable?

We try to make things as close to home as possible with the most earth-friendly and people-friendly materials and processes we can. This can be tricky as a little company without much buying power, but you can see our philosophy reflected in our organic certified fabrics, recycled papers, and reused packaging materials. With so many tiny goods in our collection, we’re certainly good at the first of the 3 “R”s: Reduce! Everyone in our workshop makes a good wage and helps herself to tea with local honey and organic milk whenever he or she wishes. We converse about life and love and art while we work. Sometimes our worker bees even show up with home-baked goods for everyone.

I am a retailer interested in selling Leafcutter Designs products – how do I get started?

Our products are available in a number of lovely stores around the world. If you’d like to bring our curious items to your community, please visit our retailer page and fill out the brief form. We’ll get back to you right away with more information and details!

Privacy / Information Sharing


How will my personal information be used/stored? What is your privacy policy?

Leafcutter Designs does not store any credit card information. This is handled through our merchant gateway or PayPal and they have taken substantial measures to protect the confidentiality of your information. Regardless, the personal information that you do share with Leafcutter Designs (name, shipping address, email, etc.) is used only for order processing and remains confidential. We will never sell, share, give, leak, or distribute your personal information in any way. Read more here…



What is your return policy?

It’s simple. You can return any item for any reason for a full refund at any time.

If your items arrive damaged (or never arrive at all) let us know and we will remedy the situation right away! Yes, you can even return custom items. Even though we can’t re-use these goods, we want you and your recipient to be happy no matter what!