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How to Make Fabric Envelopes

Why You Need These Envelopes!

Like most of America, my wife and I have a bit of a debt problem and decided it was time for a change. We are going to the "cash" system and to hold the cash, we needed something pretty right? My wife is amazing and decided to make her own envelopes. The following is a great tutorial, written by my wife.


These are my cash envelopes. They are economical, super sturdy, and beautiful. I love them so much. I also love that they cost me less than $8 to make (and they would have cost me practically nothing if I sewed more often and had more scraps to work with). I’ll walk you through how I made them, but I’m not promising that this is the easiest or best way to do it. It’s just the way I did it.


First, gather your supplies. You’ll need:

* Miscellaneous fabrics for the outside of your envelope–I used a quilt bundle like this from Joann (one 7.5″ x 9.5″ rectangle per envelope)

* Coordinating fabric for the inside of your envelope (one 7.5″ x 9.5″ rectangle per envelope)

* Sturdy fusible interfacing (one 6.75″ x 7.5″ rectangle per envelope)

* Coordinating thread, pins, sewing machine, shears, iron & ironing board… you know, typical sewing stuff!


These are my very official pattern instructions. I designed this envelope with inspiration from In Color Order and below those instructions are the cuts of fabric I needed to make a matching wallet, which I found an awesome tutorial for over at Lola Nova. I am pretty slow when it comes to sewing, but I made five envelopes and a wallet in about 3 multi-tasking hours. I never work on one thing at a time, so it’s hard to estimate how long it might take someone with the ability to focus.


I started with my “pattern” which was a sheet of paper that I cut down to measure 7.5″ x 9.5″. I cut one piece of lining and one piece of patterned fabric for each envelope I was making. I also cut one 6.75″ x 7.5″ piece of interfacing for each envelope.


Next I ironed on the interfacing, according to the manufacturer’s directions. I centered the interfacing along the short edge, and approximated the spacing along the long edge so that I had the same size edge all the way around three sides, and then a longer gap along the top. This is the “flap” of the envelope. (By the way, this is my very classy ironing board. It’s a folded bath towel on my kitchen counter. Maybe someday, when I grow up, I will have a real ironing board.)

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Then, I laid my patterned fabric face up, and then carefully placed my lining piece on top, with the interfacing facing up. Take care to line up the two pieces from the bottom edge (not the “flap” edge). The flap doesn’t have to be exact.


Next, I sewed from the top right corner, down along the bottom, and back up to the top left corner (like a pillowcase, but not along the top at all) with something between 1/8″ and 1/4″ seam allowance. (I told you, I’m not great at this…) Then I clipped the corners, turned it inside out and pressed the seams. I also folded in the fabric at the open end and pressed it so I could sew it closed.


Then I stitched close to the edge where I pressed the flap opening. After that edge was stitched, I folded the bottom of the envelope up to where the edge of the interfacing is (you can feel the difference) and I pressed that edge. I then sewed both sides closed to form the envelope.


I then ironed the flap down over the envelope and TA DA! I was all done!


Aaaannddd… thanks to the awesome tutorial I referenced above, I was also able to make this super cute little wallet for my business cards and frequent buyer cards for my favorite coffee shops and restaurants.


This system works very well with the Dave Ramsey Plan.

This tutorial and other interesting stuff can be found on my wife's blog.


Lane on August 10, 2014:

Thanks for the best fabric envelope instructions! I was needing to make a couple of dozen small gifts, searched pinterest and google and yours was the simplest, most helpful I could find. My gifts look perfect and I can't wait to make more!

Marcy Goodfleisch from Planet Earth on January 24, 2012:

These are beautiful, and your guide is easy to read and understand. I'd be curious what you can charge for these? I know several SAHMs who are looking for things they can do to earn money - your inventiveness is great, and you came up with a product that can be made at home! Voted up and useful.

Jessie Miller from Buffalo, NY on January 24, 2012:

I just wanted to let you know that I admire the effort you put into the photos used in this hub. Not only are the fabric choices for the envelopes beautiful but the photo editing is inviting and drew me to this hub more than anything. These are super cute too, I'm a sewer so I might just have to add this to my list of never-ending sewing projects!

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