Anyone can learn how to make handmade envelopes because it’s just cutting and gluing. Honestly. Easiest thing in the world. It’s perhaps a bit time-consuming, but if you’re going to put in the time to write a letter anyway, why not send it in style? Handmade envelopes add literal meaning to “the art of mail”. If you’re with me in preserving this art, let’s get started on creating custom handmade envelopes!
Today we’ll be making 5.1″ x 3.6″ envelopes. The first thing you are going to do is download my .pdf template by clicking on this link:
After it downloads, print it off on thick 8.5″ x 11″ paper (though regular printer paper will work as well) and cut it out along the solid lines.
Next, pick a large piece of paper that you would like to create an envelope from. I have chosen a vintage atlas that I picked up at a garage sale for free last summer. (If you don’t have any good paper, check out Goodwill, auctions, or garage sales to buy old books for pennies.) Lay the paper flat, then trace around the template you cut out, like so:
Once you’ve traced around the template, cut it out:
Now your envelope starts to come to life! Fold up the bottom:
And fold in the sides:
You’ll now have something that looks like this:
Now what you will want to do is trace around where the sides overlap with the bottom flap so you’ll know where to glue. I usually use a light pencil line to do this, but for visual’s sake for this tutorial, I have traced it in pen.
Now, put some glue where you have traced:
And voilà! A handmade envelope:
In making handmade envelopes, it is important to evaluate whether an address label is necessary or not. With the particular paper I used, it certainly is. I doubt the mailman would deliver my letter if I tried to get my handwriting to compete with the jumble of map. However, should you create handmade envelopes using, for example, a brown paper sack, you should be fine to write straight on the envelope.
Particularly if you are planning on giving your handmade envelopes away as gifts or as a stationery set, it’s a good idea to paint lick-to-seal envelope glue on them. It’s a simple, four-ingredient recipe tutorial that can be found on my blog post How to Make Envelope Glue in Four Ingredients.