I love sending notes in the mail in lieu of texts or emails. However, running after a toddler leaves me with very little time to do that! So, this week, I decided to set myself up for mailing success with a handmade stationery set. Equipped with eight envelopes and cut-to-size paper to go inside, I can now send out impressive notes in the time it takes my toddler to down a smoothie (my go-to for distraction)! If you’d like to make your own handmade stationery set, here’s how to go about it:
1. Make the Envelopes
First, find a book or a magazine that has visually interesting, fairly thick pages. For this tutorial, I used a vintage book that I found at a thrift store.
Now, tear out a page, and trace around an envelope template over that page. I used the 5.5″x5.5″ envelope template from the Letter Writer’s Complete Resource, but you can trace around a commercial envelope for this step instead (see the How to Make an Envelope Out of [Almost] Anything article).
Next, cut along the guidelines that you just drew.
Then, fold the bottom and side flaps in and glue them together.
Make as many envelopes as you want in your stationery set! I decided to make eight.
2. Add Envelope Glue
I like to apply moisten-to-seal envelope glue to the tops of my envelopes so they’re easy to seal and easy to open. For this step, you can whip up a fresh batch of envelope glue or put a current (refrigerated) batch in the microwave for ~10 seconds to restore it to a liquid state.
Once the envelope glue is nice and runny, use an old brush to apply it to the top flaps of your envelopes.
3. Add Address Labels
If the paper you chose would compete too much with a hand-written address, glue address labels on. To make an address label, simply cut out a rectangle of paper and glue it to your envelope. Try to glue the label closer to the bottom of your envelope than the top to leave room for postage!
4. Complete Your Handmade Stationery Set
Once you finish your envelopes, cut several pieces of paper to be sightly smaller than your envelopes. These papers will fit perfectly inside! A paper cutter will make quick work of this step, but you can use scissors if you don’t have a paper cutter available.
Next, use Kaitlin Style calligraphy to write “hello” (or whatever) on the tops of the papers that you just cut. I used sepia ink for this step to complement the vintage theme.
Once you’ve made your stationery set, test it out by writing a quick note or a letter! I used grass green ink and a glass pen to write a note to my friend Rodger. The green ink seemed appropriate because it matches the color of my postage stamp.
Put it all together, and you’ve got a thoroughly charming combination.
While a handmade stationery set requires a time investment up front, it’s absolutely worth it! In the end, you’ll have a one-of-a-kind set that’s ready to go when you need to jot a quick note. As an added bonus, this project breathes new life into paper that is otherwise destined for the recycling bin! It’s a win-win. 🙂
Thanks very much for reading, and have a wonderful, creative weekend!