How to Write a Thank You Note + a $50 Stationery Giveaway!

How to Write a Thank You Note


Today I am giving some simple tips (and phrases!) to make thank you note writing a breeze and introducing you to a Dallas-based stationery company that I think you will love. Bonus: they are giving one DoSayGive reader a lovely stationery package!

There is nothing quite as insincere as when you receive a two line thank you note that looks as if it was written by a six year old. Dear Lee, Thank you for the candle. I loved it. Love, Jessica. 

But at the same time, a thank you note is not a not dissertation. It really shouldn’t consist of more than 4-5 sentences. Longer than that, and it starts getting boring (or repetitive!).

So what is the happy medium? Here is a basic method of constructing a thank you note:


Dear (First name, unless there is a significant age gap and you don’t know him/her very well)

→ Sentence #1: Use an introductory phrase of thanks. Thank you for the…, It was such a nice surprise to receive the…, We had a wonderful time at the… (I tend to want to use “I wanted to write and say thank you” but that is stating the obvious, so I try to avoid that phrase!)

Sentence #2: Include a nice detail that compliments the person’s thoughtfulness. Everything was so tasty., You put so much love into every detail., Hydrangeas are my favorite flower (as you know!).

Sentence #3: Give an example how you will use it. I have them on my dining room table…, I can’t wait to use the clutch this fall…, We enjoyed the banana bread all weekend!

Optional Sentence #4: If the situation calls for it, express your gratitude for the relationship. We could not have gotten through these past few weeks without you…, I am so glad I have a neighbor like you…, My girls are truly blessed having you as their grandmother.

                                                                 Closing: You can use a phrase like “Hope to see you soon

                                                                 or the traditional options of: Best, Thanks again, Sincerely,      

                                                                 All the best, Yours, All my love, In Him.)

                                         Sign your Name

Your level of effusiveness should align with how well you know the person. For example, if you are writing to thank your tax attorney for some Harry & David pears, don’t write in the same tone as you would your best friend.

Below is a thank you note I wrote to the owner of Joy Creative Shop who sent me the stationery featured in this post.

Three sentences are sufficient!

Here is an example of what I would write to express gratitude to a close friend:

September 15th

Dear Leslie, 

      I was delighted to find the beautiful food basket on our front porch last week. You were so dear to include some of my favorite things. The chicken salad from Festive Kitchen and the ripe Texas tomatoes were a welcome and refreshing change from the casseroles we’ve been eating lately! You are a precious and thoughtful friend and I am so grateful for you. 

       With love, 

                   Lee Cordon 

Did you notice that I didn’t even use the work “thank” in the above note? Try that next time and you might be surprised at how creative you can get with your words!

A few pointers: 

  • Always write the date. When you are writing notes that you think someone will keep, write out the date (June 2, 2015). That is technically the correct way, but it if it just a thank note like the first one I wrote above, I will just write the day of the week. It is just another level of thoughtfulness, showing that you took the time out of that day to sit down and write!
  • Sign your name. I would prefer that all thank you notes be in cursive, but I know that is not going to happen with many millenials, especially since many schools no longer teach cursive (quelle horreur, I know!). At a minimum, sign your name in cursive. Writing it in print just comes across as elementary.
  • Write a thank you note as soon as possible after receiving the gift, but late is better than never. I am trying to be better about this!
  • You do not need to write a thank you note for a thank you gift. Unless it is just an over the top gift, or you just can’t let it go, it is unnecessary to write a thank you note if, for example, someone gave you a bottle of wine as a thank you gift for having them over for dinner. The cycle has to end somewhere!
  • Your stationery does not need to say “thank you” on it. Those are completely fine, but every person in the family really should have their own stationery. Having personalized stationery makes note-writing easier and more personable.

A few pointers on children’s thank you notes: 

  • As soon as children can sign their name, they should take part in thank you note writing. A parent can write the note as the child dictates and the child can sign. As with all good habits, start early!
  • Avoid the fill-in-the blank cards. If they can write, they should write the entire note – even if it is just two lines!
  • Don’t pretend to be your child. I did this a few times and felt totally ridiculous. if your child cannot yet write, then you should write a thank you note to the child from your family, perhaps using some family stationery.

If you want to learn more about proper note-writing, I recommend The Art of the Hand-Written Note by Margaret Shepherd. Great to have on hand if you run out of phrases and salutations!

Hope you enjoyed this post about how to write a thank you note! I would love your tips below!

Happy Writing!

Stationery c/o Joy Creative Shop!


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7 thoughts on “How to Write a Thank You Note

  1. Love this Lee!! And thanks for the reminder that I have some thank you notes I need to write! 🙂 Darling stationary, too!

  2. I was THRILLED to see this post! Back in January I emailed you and we actually talked about the importance of thank you cards, so this post made me especially happy. I love it!

  3. Lee, this was so helpful to read to my daughter tonight as I try help her learn how to write thank you notes!! Thank you and Happy New Year!!