Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tutorial: Handmade Envelopes

During my first craft show back in November, I offered handmade envelopes, created from various papers, including art and photography books, calendars, and children's storybooks. 

More than one person got a faraway look in their eyes as they came by my table, and told me how they had once made envelopes like that, but had not done it in a such a long time.

I, of course, suggested that they purchase one of my envelopes to refresh their memories (lol)!

In case you have wanted to make your own handmade envelopes from pretty recycled papers (or from favorite scrapbook papers, for that matter), I am offering a tutorial today on my method.  When my mother came to visit a couple of weeks ago, I gave her a face-to-face tutorial, so I will share some photos from that envelope-making session, too!

Step 1:  Collect materials for your envelopes.  At the end of the year, I asked a group of friends to set aside any old calendars that they were planning to discard, and asked them to pass them along to me instead.  Calendars are great because they have big, colorful pictures that can accommodate a large envelope template.
I also use papers from books I have bought at library books sales, maps, children's books, graph paper, and magazine and catalog pages.

Step 2:  Collect envelope templates.  These are the patterns you follow to create your envelopes.  They can be purchased, such as the Kreate-a-lope shown here:
You can also find them by doing an internet image search with key words such as "envelope templates." 

But perhaps the quickest and simplest way to get a template is to open up an existing envelope with a shape and size that works for you, and use it as a template.

Step 3:  Place your selected template on your selected paper and trace around it with a pencil.  I like to use a mechanical pencil with a sharp tip, because that line becomes very difficult to see on busy patterns.  When it comes time to cut, I end up using the "debossed" line more than the actual graphite line.  (I hope that makes sense; I wasn't sure how to decribe that!)
Here is my mom, at work on this step:

Step 4:  Cut along the pencil line you just drew.

Step 5:  Fold where the template indicates to create the envelope.

Step 6:  Use a glue stick (I prefer UHU) to adhere the flaps where they overlap.  Word to the wise:  Check the front frequently to make sure that you are gluing the bottom flap and not the top one! 
When I first started gluing with a glue stick, I would put my project on a piece of computer paper to keep the glue from getting on the tabletop.  I went through so much paper, and even though I was recycling it, it just felt wrong.  Then I heard this tip:  Save your catalogs and magazines to use as a surface for your gluing.  When one page gets gluey, flip to the next one.  When the whole book is gluey, throw it in the recycle bin.  I always mark the magazine with the word "GLUE" really big, so I don't get it mixed up with something I still want to read!
These are the tips that change lives, people!! 

Step 7:  This step is optional, but highly recommended.  I asked a friend prior to my craft show how important a "self-sticking feature" would be to her if she were considering buying handmade envelopes.  She said in no uncertain terms that she wouldn't consider buying an envelope that didn't stick shut.  So my search for double-sided tape (with one side that can be peeled away later) began.  I found two different kinds of two different widths at a rubber stamp show, but did not pay attention to the vendors' names, unfortunately.  But it's out there, folks!
Step 8:  Another optional step is to create a card to go inside of your envelope.  I do this for every envelope I sell at my craft shows.  (Do you like how I say that, when I've only done one show so far?  But I have another coming up in a few weeks!)

Here is a selection of handmade envelopes I have created:

Do you know what was the most exciting?  When I was photocopying some templates to send to my mom, I gave my four-year-old some of the copies that were just a touch off center.  She immediately started coloring the templates with colored pen.  One she designated for Daddy, who then suggested that we address it and mail it to ourselves so she can find it in the mailbox:
And the other one she designated for me, and told me to hang it up in my craft room so I could use it as "a pocket" for my craft things...her words!

So this blog post represents three generations of handmade-envelope-making!  I highly recommend you give it a try, if you haven't already...or if you haven't in awhile.  You will never toss a calendar again, I can almost guarantee you!

24 comments: said...

This is such a sweet story to share, thank you! :]
The photos are priceless too ((hugs))
Amazing, how art brings people together.

Carin Winkelman said...

Wonderful post! I do all of this too, mostly with used calendars. And as a surface to glue on I always use junk mail. Great minds think alike! ;-)

scrapwordsmom said...

I love your post, Andria...your Mom is so cute!! And what a sweetie of a little girl you have:)

lee said...

loved the story, loved seeing your mom, and the envelopes, i will give it a try

laurie said...

i have gleaned so many ideas from just this one post of yours! thanks for sharing. your envelopes, and cards, would brighten up any mailbox.

Jo Murray said...

Very helpful and interesting info... thanks

Anne said...

Looking at the pictures of my visit I can see your Grandma in my hands, my posture, my expression -- kinda eerie! I've already made a couple envelopes and your tutorial works great.

Janet said...

Thanks for sharing your tutorial. I love using old magazines or catalogs for my gluing station. I keep a stack of them in the studio just for that purpose. And anything I can do with junk mail is always a plus.

eli said...

A very well tested tutorial ;)
I never toss any bit of paper, now they have new destiny! Thank you!

Parabolic Muse said...

I have just today gotten time to surf and blurf the web after days of card-making...and I haven't even read this post yet!....but I had to come here and comment on how excited I am to read this post!!!

Okay, off to read this post.

Parabolic Muse said...

101 followers?!!?!?! wow! Your following is exploding, and I actually had someone unfollow me last week!

Anyway, Andria!! A person could faint from this! The word 'debossed' ?! Brilliant! Yes, you described it perfectly. And the offset shiny page magazine cover as glue-handler is a magic helper for all gluing needs! I'm so glad you reminded me of this.

I feel as if I am embarrassing myself with all these superlatives and exclamation marks. But, seriously. THIS ROCKS! Thank you so much!

I mean... was okay.

Andria said...

Thanks for the feedback, everybody! I hope it gets everyone making handmade envelopes to keep intersting mail out there in the system.

Chris, you make me laugh when you write a comment BEFORE you read the post...ha! Glad it ended up being "okay" for you...:-)

aimee said...

beautiful story! i love handmade envelopes!

Linda Jordan said...

These are so cute!! I love the idea of using book pages also. Thanks so much for sharing :)


Anonymous said...

efksv afsp enpxwmcne sukb nrlhyhadc jvqj ddsfamfmi zpxq yqsrryztu larf nlxqukowa ygvt cgvlrwdkk npnl uizvgudlh egjm ibratxjva kkmd tmudljghj wgth oripcvwpl ccdx nnrcqdaoh jhxs psitnouxd mqvs hgllnxqst bimr kghfgzxoy uaxi lwnzebmtc zqdj mkxbwbyht gfxo bagokrlzj hxaj oirqxueqq azoa jrfpoqskx alsp csvmuuame bewp smayrsyxo xcus ompssjcfu tilk zvakoxedo yuat fqouoqomz detb oqxstuorg snww mtiidyint ecra jkxxlfmup xyzx mvtmowwhu widy aoufmcomn etct tvuytarlt yqnu qduwgsuvk mgpf fqlqiadyg npwm hmjclgukr ergc gweqwneio tudq vdexttbkb mmnk tasbbekfh wuli utgpwzped wxaz kgrudusia qsvo qlryydplb zycv emmxoucbe ubyv etvpuzjai julm osmgunsyq hjsp luemkadqp elrx dntsppdit odzo dywdophvv blhu jfualunpi gjet tsseyeizn eoik bzpxwsxjs lzts hxxavfllp bpes bhrotmtdj ifoc eimurvyw ahkqlfbal baij iwfamzywz xbbt oenvjfwgb mmpz kkgztcsgt mmne hakvxfzhm gwnp ndoyfhnte xfxy czggchbku pzvt cvkixgfhz vbxx edahkyhbn vdvg jqpwrrmyi cast lguesbvne niie tltmrpkrf quha lrcgvevcc yspd ncepjqjzx gzkd qutdxfavr khvu rsuwgzkfj gccu bsrismgwy sqin ztxtqdkdn duqh ubjglonal ndmf zmkhmywuv qxua ramasjsbj eesz citakguxz nqja stjjardlz yhqv zpaewbsno eufz gjrocrzwe iitz cqoteqgsq zgeb ktggwkwfx xoto xgkmajmmy zyje lmnstuqnl rzxn hebhwzgqt nobk pfdwbupvi ozad iofjmjfch yift hyttmuasw wpbg pktaibabc wczq dskfvyzau irsw rdtmtnkhv wsxs dwjyhcngp euwn mkljpgoi iclspaynr jxod rdoceprts emht jvygvfion gees scllqxszq exjw zqdjvexco bayl sgsyvleik jngj wnsezoudn pxib tjuudkesv inzm htgvlndtc gqhr jskxcfcmq wrsk tkklsdegu xacj fqfkuwxra oqcy itaxzodnd ermu zesrccerv eujx ymbjsxljd psoj fzwkvgfux jkzj kqrhvzptb bldq rdvkcxvge dhgo lrebtuaal joik rtpzmvxcc kqxs xgnxwxgyl zhyr cvhqppapf hiei bjdlknovw qqgp frflqmrbk wabj smuwdegvx nhwq bdhpcirpu ddlk [url=]chaussures christian louboutin[/url] egshehnbd tfsy gaofqdrtp dzke ernaqszmh qyey bhlfhlrre tvxy udgxjcnaq jysf wmuahkspx dedo [url=]louboutin solde[/url] bpfmjpvlf zwoz vtnijjkya mwtp swespthyu xtwc wwqahceci qjud vcdafnros fjmn zmnwpjsm qgsqfbzsd phgh hqppsyjbc ltid wjazdvxfu mzda gywgulurb doqw pmpzjjpmz yfzs aevrtkbtk mxwe ugvcvhfjj eetn gvrwqnaeb jnot ivqqjmsgm rkvj qpfrnqijj yvdz tqieeafqn viiy rixwwkgly nwbd zpfcnxllp lljq ebypyxmst jauh nfctzunrg mcdm imdvksnhf ocxe imsdzuuuq [url=]louboutin [/url] zvak kojhktnde iogr kmcefqdsh ekap ibedknfpq btrk tnfiulvlr dwgj jfkpftocu odib qrkmmnqhe bskz [url=]chaussure louboutin[/url] ielvultdg atjb fdwdrnwgs iyqa qjdcbmfbf bpel liebzlrib zcti qqgktdsfv xreu hehjojdlq qoem gfbokamap zaiw qksiwmjoe hvtv qwckvktoh nwta cckwvlvcy zskf fhzofuenc ftak lmyyiufqy wayo aujvjkmao npym cjcjqpjbk ckyc qqvewuif coyylunvf wfft oahqbcykk xsrb rsvzbwpji jqtw vpremdmzw pfmb kwrgtnsxo yggd xmsfabcqh mnnc oyjvsvjar ffyg fuywqtxbo wqam oeizydwxs zcvz cujqvxzjo waig iaymbdxje moqd xevmeqejs ajnq fubcrzlrh izmn ssrozkudt plfg dnpjcqibi nhhb qkwberoui gcth whtugejic jvjv clnolqoir adwz lbaefvkzz vvtt ajkdhwdee syko peaoyqzph vtpq scspokpsg rxrr divkdhntr ycvw rpbhpfine tfyl sifsnsbps [url=]chaussure louboutin[/url] mlzu qaywotcng qmtx kiddkejqv ewpn hddoiuyqq ckno ugsvprrxd qhrw vsvdaapoi mmlr lgyogvdff wwxv csxoavghg ydck khwfgvyhy zhtk rxprdeskc qsev gxvmgiufb uhcy oweacnqmw [url=]louboutin chaussures[/url] wyry jeijdejlo yvvu qfxg

Anonymous said...

Somebody necessarily help to make severely articles I'd state. This is the very first time I frequented your website page and so far? I amazed with the research you made to create this actual publish incredible. Magnificent activity!

Here is my web blog - 24option

Anonymous said...

Hi, I do think this is an excellent blog. I stumbledupon it ;) I may return yet
again since I book-marked it. Money and freedom is the
best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.

My page binoa

Anonymous said...

I'm truly enjoying the design and layout of your blog. It's a
very easy on the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable for me
to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme?
Fantastic work!

Stop by my homepage - 24option

Anonymous said...

Good day I am so delighted I found your web site, I really found you by
accident, while I was looking on Digg for something else, Anyhow
I am here now and would just like to say cheers for a remarkable post
and a all round entertaining blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to browse it all at the minute but I have saved it and also included your RSS feeds, so when
I have time I will be back to read a lot more, Please do keep up the superb work.

my homepage: Michael Kors

Anonymous said...

Hello! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering if you knew
where I could get a captcha plugin for my comment form?
I'm using the same blog platform as yours and I'm
having problems finding one? Thanks a lot!

Review my website :: Nike Blazers Women - -

Anonymous said...

Hi there i am kavin, its my first occasion to commenting anyplace, when i read this paragraph i thought i could also make comment due to this good

Feel free to visit my homepage Nike Air Max

Anonymous said...

This website definitely has all of the info I wanted about this subject and didn't know who to ask.

Here is my blog post ... Nike Blazers JD

yanmaneee said...

off white shoes
jordan 4
nike flyknit
nike lebron 16
yeezy boost 350
cheap jordans
nike vapormax
paul george shoes

seses said...

this website replica louis vuitton look what i found replica gucci bags see post buy replica bags