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How to Make Handmade Envelopes

| 1/25/2013 1:12:00 PM

Tags: crafts, paper,

Here’s the plain and simple truth: I love to make things that would be easier to buy at the store. My days of yore as an intern at MOTHER EARTH NEWS are testament to this, as I blogged about topics such as how to make reusable bags and handmade gifts. And as I get older, I get even more determined to save money and make my world a little more unique through creative recycling.

Because Valentine’s Day is a dream holiday for those of us who love sending things in the mail, I would like to share one of my favorite means of recycling paper: handmade envelopes. Handmade envelopes are extremely easy to make, and a great way to let your letter/card recipient know that you care and are willing to put in the extra time to make something special — while reusing materials! These instructions can be customized to any occasion, such as a birthday, save the date (pictured here), handmade wedding invitation, baby shower invitation, etc.

Make an Envelope 

Right now, I happen to have a vintage atlas that I got free at a garage sale last summer. I have been using it to create handmade envelopes like a fiend. There are really no rules about the sort of paper you should use for handmade envelopes, though. I have made them out of everything from newspaper to large antique book pages. I’m sure you could also create them out of fabric with the help of some starch.

Here are the step-by-step instructions. First, you’ll want to trace around a template on your chosen material. You can create a template one of two ways: either carefully deconstruct a commercially-made envelope, or print out my handy envelope template.

Map Envelope 

After you have traced around the template, you’ll want to cut it out and fold the bottom up, and then fold the sides in.

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