How to Make Paper Envelopes

Why buy boring plain envelopes when you can make and decorate your own? Follow these easy instructions to make your own envelopes.

 

Make your own envelopes

 

Choose your Paper

Envelopes are best made from a medium weight paper. If it’s too thin and flimsy (newsprint or lightweight copy paper) it may fall apart or tear. Try a few different weights to find the feel that you like best.

Adding Decoration

Hand made envelopes using scrap paper from print studio

If you’re decorating your envelope, take a moment to decide when it’s best to do this.

If I’m printing onto my envelope, I cut the shape and print onto that. We like to print with fruit and vegetables to make envelopes, as it’s incredibly easy and it’s a good way to involve children. Another favourite way to decorate an envelope is to print using a Jelly Plate. If you have no idea what Jelly Printing is, read this!

If I’m adding illustrations or lettering, I wait until I’ve assembled the envelope. In the print studio, we often make envelopes out of scrap paper and try to position the template to get the best bit of the print.

Cut out your envelope

Envelope printed with wild pears and acrylic paint

There are three easy ways to make a pattern for your envelope.

1 Dismantle an envelope of a suitable size, lay it flat and draw around the outside.

2 Use this Envelope Template, which is the right size for a postcard and is the same width as an A4 sheet of paper.

3 Use a nifty Envelope Punch Board. Cut your paper to size and then use the measuring guides to punch out the shape. [Definitely the easiest option.]

When you’ve cut out your envelope shape, score along the fold lines, fold the paper and use glue or double-sided sticky tape to hold your envelope together.

Fasten the flap with glue, sticky tape or a sticker. Make your own washi or decorative tape using these instructions.

 

make envelopes from scrap paper

Paper printed on both sides makes an even more decorative envelope. The envelope above was made from scrap paper left over from a printing session that had been printed on both sides. The inside is a lino print and the outside Thermofax over a jelly print.

Find more creative recycling ideas for using scrap paper here.

You might also be interested in Printing Your Own Stationery, which includes instructions for making Fold & Send Mail.