I’ve been making my own recycled envelopes for a long time, it’s great on so many levels.
Firstly I never run out of envelopes! No more running to the newsagent at the last minute and having to buy a pack of 50 boring white envelopes.
But really my favorite reason is re-using lots of paper that would normally get thrown out, and making really fun stationery at the same time.
I love sending mail in fun envelopes. It brightens up the day of whoever is receiving it, and I’m sure the postie enjoys a change from delivering boring old mail too.
How to make a paper envelope the easy way!
It’s very easy to make your own envelope template.
I while ago I made myself a cardboard template that fit onto A4 paper, which creates postcard sized envelopes. Now I’ve digitized it so you can print yourself out one too. Pop it onto strong card to make it durable.
You’ll need to print the template at 100% – depending on your printer it should work ok (some don’t print right to the edge). If you are having trouble, just ‘print to fit’ page, It may end up slightly smaller.
If you want to make mini envelopes go ahead and reduce the template by 40-50%
I made a big batch a while ago with Emma’s old kinder artwork. No more guilt about ‘filing’ those abstract paintings in the recycle bin, making envelopes was a great use for them.
You will need:
- Envelope Template – Print here at 100%
- Thin cardboard
- Glue stick
- Scrap paper – see list below
What paper can I recycle into envelopes?
Really any piece of paper large enough to fit the template can be recycled into an envelope. You probably throw tons of it away every day, or if you are like me, have a huge pile of pretty wrapping paper and children’s art work in a box just waiting to be used for the right project.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- old maps
- used wrapping paper
- pages from old books
- kid’s artwork
- paper bags
- magazine pages
- old calendars
- sheet music
- colouring book pages
- scrapbook paper
- product packaging
- school work
- junk mail
How to make an Envelope:
Create your template
1. Glue the printed template onto thin cardboard (I’ve used a file divider thingy). Alternatively you can print directly onto card.
2. Cut out the cardboard template. Now you can use this envelope pattern over and over because it’s nice and sturdy.
How to make paper envelopes
3. Trace the envelope outline onto your chosen paper with a pencil.
4. Cut out on the trace line. I like to cut a few layers of paper at a time for efficiency. You can erase any remaining pencil lines if desired.
5. Now time to fold on the dotted line. I just go ahead and do it by eye, but if you’d like to make it more precise, you can use a ruler and score it with a blunt edge tool (sometimes called a bone folder).
6. Fold in the short sides first.
7. Then fold the bottom.
8. Add glue to the edge of the bottom flap. I’ve marked the areas in pink on the photo above.
9. Fold it up and press down firmly to secure. Crease top flap and you’re done.
Make a big batch in one sitting and you’ll never run out of envelopes again.
If you need to address the envelopes just paste a white paper square onto the front.
I love these travel themed ones using a map. It’s fun to theme the envelope to what will go inside. You could even make them to match the wrapping paper on a gift.
Now that you know how to make an envelope out of paper, you’ll never have to buy a new envelope again!
What will you be turning into envelopes?
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LOVE IT? PIN IT!
This post was first published in Nov 2017 and updated in Jan 2020