One of my most favorite things to do is make my own envelopes for handmade greeting cards, letters, and notes. These are easy and fun to create and they are sure to impress that special recipient. I have used all kinds of paper to make these beautiful envelopes. Cardstock is ideal to use but regular paper will work in a pinch. You can make all different sizes and after you get the hang of it you can make your own templates for whatever size you want.
Types of paper you can use to make handmade envelopes:
- Scrapbook Paper
- Card Stock
- Old Folder Covers
- File Folder
- Magazine Covers
Believe it or not, magazine covers make gorgeous envelopes.This is another great project for recycling/reusing paper. You can make plain colored ones and stamp them with rubber stamps or use pretty printed papers. Also, if you have a favorite wrapping paper or newspaper but they are too thin, you can glue a couple layers together and it should then be thick enough then to make an envelope. If you want to glue pages together to make your paper thicker, I recommend using a spray adhesive or glue stick. This does not distort the paper like a wetter glue would.
Another great thing about making your own envelopes is you can have the design on both the outside and the inside of the envelope. You can download envelope liner templates. Its basically the paper of your choice, cut the same size as your flap and applied to the inside of your envelope. It really adds to the cuteness factor! Many prefer to do a plain color on the outside and add a printed design on the inside. You can also add the liner effect with your printer by printing both sides of your paper, or just one side and fold it with the printed side inside for your "liner". It's all up to you and what you want to do. I added some links to some great sites to show you how to make liners for your envelopes at the end of this hub. Be sure to check out the links. There are some really good ones with some really great FREE templates for you to use. Let's get going with my simple tutorial on how to create your own fabulous envelopes!
What you need:
- Thick Paper (Scrapbook Paper, Magazine Covers, etc)
- Old Envelope or Free Template (from my list of links below)
- Glue Stick
Step One: Get Your Template:
Take an old envelope the size you would like your envelope to be and carefully take it apart being sure to pull off the glued side flaps without tearing too much keeping the whole shape intact. See the illustration below OR you can print and cut out your own free template from one of the sites listed below or you can print your free template directly onto the paper you are using to make your envelope.
Step Two: Trace and Cut:
Take your template and put it onto the paper that you have chosen for your envelope and trace the edges of the template. Once the edges are traced, cut around your traced edges. If you printed directly to the paper you are making your envelope from just cut out the printed template.
Step Three: Fold Your Envelope and Glue Flaps down:
Using the guide below carefully fold the envelope. I deconstructed an envelope I received a Christmas card in. Folds are indicated with dashed lines and I have written glue where you apply the glue. Once you have have it folded, apply glue stick to the bottom flap and fold up over side flaps as indicated in the illustration below. Let dry! I usually lay a heavy book on top of my envelopes while they drying. The pressure seems to help the glue adhere better since glue sticks sometimes do not have an immediate hold like other tackier glues. I let mine dry for at least a few hours.
TAA DAA! That is all there is to it.
Note: The photo below is just meant to be for illustration. If you do not have an old envelope for use as a template, you can print out a free template from one of the sites below :0)
Ideas for Sealing Your Envelope
Here are some free envelope glue recipes from friendship-by-mail.com that you can make yourself and add to the inside edges of your top flap or you can do like I do and use a sticker or just seal your envelope with the glue stick :0)
Envelope Template Links
Below are a list of sites for free templates for envelopes in different sizes that you can print and use:
Free 6.5 x 9 (C5 Envelope) Template: http://www.ehow.com/how_4966866_make-envelope.html
Another great envelope template: http://www.ziggityzoom.com/activities.php?a=262
An A2 envelope template: http://houseofstirfry.com/chia/templates/A2env01.html
4in square envelope (with matching card) tutorial w/template (so cute!): http://www.gemscottage.com/Projects-4_Inch_Square_Cards_with_Envelopes.html
A few different envelope templates plus LOTS of other templates- great site. http://www.ruthannzaroff.com/mirkwooddesigns/templates.htm
A couple different larger sizes: http://www.taradel.com/Envelopes-template50
Some side open and top open envelope templates: http://melstampz.blogspot.com/2009/08/new-envelope-templates-standard-a2-size.html
A tutorial on a custom printed double sided envelope at Instructables: http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-a-Custom-Printed-Double-Sided-No.-10-Business/
Another tutorial at Instructables on how to make recycled paper envelopes complete with the decorative liner: http://www.instructables.com/id/Recycled-Paper-Envelopes-Tutorial/step4/Glue/
Scroll down a bit and you will see a tutorial on how to make gorgeous envelopes with tissue paper!! http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=88858.msg839943#msg839943
If you want a particular size you can not find here just do a google search for "free envelope template" and be sure to put the size you are looking for- it should bring up some great sites for you to check out.
DIY Envelope Liners
DIY decorative envelope liner: http://diy.weddingbee.com/topic/envelope-liners-1
Another great tutorial on envelope liners:http://www.carlas-scraps.com/2010/01/envelope-liner-tutorial.html
Adorable ideas and tutorial here on envelope liners with Martha Stewart: http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/article/lining-envelopes
Another great tutorial on envelope liners : http://dillpicklepicnic.com/2009/09/20/envelope-liners/
I hope you have enjoyed my tutorial on how to make your own envelopes. Have I inspired you to make some of your own? Just have fun with this! Try different sizes and different colors and prints of paper..... It's really easy to do. These envelopes can be stamped and sent in the mail just like any other envelope. Just be sure that it is properly constructed, the address information is legible and it has a stamp- then it's good to go!
Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on March 14, 2015:
Georgina_writes- Thank you so much for dropping by! I hope you are able to give these a try sometime :)
Georgina Crawford from Dartmoor on March 08, 2015:
I'm always looking for good envelopes to send my hand-made cars in. I especially like the idea of using magazine covers.
Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on October 29, 2014:
April Willis- You are welcome! Thank you for dropping by :)
April Willis from Sheffield, UK on October 15, 2014:
This is so helpful!
I have wanted to know how to make these for a while, thank you :)
Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on February 14, 2013:
Alise- Evon- Thank you so much for dropping by! Glad you enjoyed this hub :)
Alise- Evon on February 14, 2013:
This was a really well-written article with nice photos. Thank you for the inspiration and all the useful tips and links. I love learning how to make things from scratch.
Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on September 02, 2012:
That Grrl- I usually make them out of the covers of magazines because they are little thicker but you probably could double or triple up and use regular magazine pages like you were talking about with the newspapers. My husbands gaming magazine covers make awesome envelopes. I have never done newspaper envelopes but those sound really cute! May have to give that a try sometime :)
Laura Brown from Barrie, Ontario, Canada on September 01, 2012:
I didn't think to use magazine pages for envelopes. I've done it with newspaper before. We had to double it for more thickness and then use address labels so the mailing address wasn't lost in all the other print. But, they were a good conversation starter. :)
Navneet on June 10, 2012:
Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on March 20, 2012:
Thank you Sunny :) I was thinking the same thing about the store bought cards and envelopes.. why not have a pretty envelope too, right? They are super simple and quick to make..and you can make them out of any paper you want. You mentioned the flowers..I am trying to learn some new paper flowers right now.. so I'll do a hub on those when I feel more confident. Thank you SO much for your positive feedback... it helps me more than you know :)
sunbun143 from Los Angeles, CA on March 20, 2012:
There's really no need to be limited to the store-bought card and plain matching envelope, is there? You've also taught us how to make paper gift bows and boxes, plus flowers...is there anything you can't make?? I see a whole series of ebooks out there in your future :) Good luck! And thank you!
Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on December 02, 2011:
sestasik: Thank you for stopping by and commenting! I'm glad you liked this. Thanks for the calender tip too :) I actually have two different old calendars I've kept because the art was so pretty. I sure may do it! Thanks again.
sestasik on December 01, 2011:
I love making my own envelopes! This is a great tutorial, too. Another place to find nice envelope-making paper is an old calendar.
Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on October 23, 2011:
quilt827: Thank you so much for visiting my hub. I LOVE making envelopes.. the possibilities are endless. I hope you have as much making them as I do. God Bless :)
quilt827 from Tampa Bay, Florida on October 22, 2011:
What a great hub! I have been making my own cards and now I can do my own envelopes! Thanks.
Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on April 06, 2011:
Thank you RTalloni.. I really appreciate it :)
RTalloni on April 06, 2011:
Thanks so much for providing this info in a well-done hub. Voted up.
Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on January 30, 2011:
Thank you pol1ice.. I appreciate it!
Paulo Pta from the Right Place on January 30, 2011:
Nice idea. ;)
I voted "useful"
Cece on January 21, 2011:
Thanks for linking to my liner tutorial :)
This is the direct link that would require less scrolling:
customenvelopes on January 10, 2011:
What a fantastic article! Great links, great pictures, and a great read, thanks! Different to what I'm used to dealing with - machine made envelopes, but very beautiful.
Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on January 05, 2011:
Thank you Simone.. I hope you do give it try. I couldn't stop making them when I first learned how to do it.. they are just so neat and easy to do.
Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on January 05, 2011:
What a cool idea! I totally want to try this. Thanks for sharing!
Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on January 03, 2011:
I'm glad you like them.. I'm about to publish a hub on making little note cards w/matching envelopes. Be on the look out!
craftdrawer on January 03, 2011:
What a great idea! I love stationary especially for thank you notes and invites!
Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on January 01, 2011:
2uesday: Thanks for reading! I love the idea of using left over wrapping paper for the inside of the envelopes!
stampinwithfab: Welcome to HubPages!! I can't wait to start reading your hubs.
carrie450: Thanks for reading. I'm so glad you are going to give this a try..watch out though you may get hooked.. its great fun!!
carrie450 from Winnipeg, Canada on January 01, 2011:
What a wonderful idea Jamie, I'm going to try this out and bookmark your hub, thanks
Thomas Silvia from Massachusetts on January 01, 2011:
Great idea and great hub! I do this all the time and it something i have been doing for years.
Fabrizio Martellucci from London, United Kingdom on December 31, 2010:
Great hub, I'm just in the middle of writing my first one. I mention about making your own envelopes so have linked to your hub if you don't mind. Hopefully my hub will be up in a couple of days ! ;)
2uesday on December 31, 2010:
This is a great idea how nice to receive a card or letter in a customised envelope. Voted up and useful, the inner patterned paper is a good way to recycle smaller pieces of unused wrapping paper that you have left over too.