How to make a cute quick envelope for a fun mailbox surprise.

So, a lot of my friends [and some swap-botters, too!] LOVE the envelopes I  send my mail in.   I’ve never really been one for plain things, so I used to hand decorate my envies. That gets too time consuming.    I  randomly figured out a cute cheap way to make envelopes recently. No more over decorating.  This way is much cuter.

I didn’t have any envies, but thanks to Michael’s Craft stores and their 6 sheets of scrapbook paper for 1$  i had a TON of paper.  All sorts of cute designs.  I had a brainstorm and made an envelope out of it.  Two actually, and now I’ll share that with you!   It’s not hard, and only takes a minute or two.. The more you do it, the quicker you get because you learn where you should be folding.

Pic heavy post, read on…..

100_4232First, you’re going to need :

  •  FULL  12×12 in (304mmx304mm) scrapbook paper in any design you want. I like the RECOLLECTIONS paper from MICHAEL’s CRAFT STORE.  Mostly because it has that white info bar down one side, so it gives me a good guideline.
  • scissors,
  • tape [I like the transparent plastic feeling tape. The kind thats a little hard to tear.]
  • a glue stick.      I use Elmers Disappearing Purple School Glue Sticks because the purple really helps me know that i’ve got all the proper areas covered. It vanishes so I don’t have to worry if I’ve gotten it on places it shouldn’t be, and its washable so if I get it on my hands, clothes, or workspace, I can just wipe it up.   (I do put down a piece of paper before I glue. I have one piece i use over and over again ]

 

 

 

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You’re going to take your paper and fold it in half as accurately as you can.   Since I have the white bar, I fold it down the middle of that so both my strips of paper have the white bar on it.     Once folded, cut them apart into two pieces.  These will be your two envelopes.

Here comes the folding. Make sure you’re on a flat hard surface so you have clean  sharp folds. You can drag the handle of your scissors down the fold to crease it better.

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Now, take that white info strip, and fold it.  If you don’t have the info strip, fold about  3/4ths of an inch  (1.9 cm)  of your paper.   This is going to make a binding area.

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Now, with your binding area  still folded in, you’re going to take the other side of your strip, and fold it over like the above photos. Make sure your edges line up with each other.  ( my envelope was already folded which is why you see creases that I haven’t explained yet)    Crease the side you just folded.

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Unfold the paper and lay it flat, design side down on your desk.  I am using an envelope just to show you the size, and if you have one laying around, it can help you with the bottom and top folds.   It makes it easier if you have one as a guide. You just have to lay the envelope on the paper and fold your top and bottom around it.

If you don’t have one, take your bottom and fold about 5/8th of a inch.  Crease well. This will be your bottom flap.
Take the top edge and fold roughly 1.5 inches down.  Crease well.

 

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Lay your paper flat, design side down, and get your scissors.  I have marked the areas you need to cut as it’s hard to see the creases well in a photo. You’re going to cut the un-needed pieces of paper off.  The top and bottom boxes on the right and left side need to go.
I like to cut them on a slight angle [right photo] so that when you fold everything, it fits.

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When done cutting your 4 bits off, you should be left with something that looks like the left photo above.
The right photo is just a close up of the way  I cut the flaps to give you an idea of what I mean.

Now, get your gluestick.

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Lay your paper design side up on another piece of paper.  That very first flap you folded? You’re going to cover that in glue.    Flip your paper over (design facing your desk now) and fold your flap in, and then fold your paper over and line it up on the flap, just like you did when you first creased it, only this time, it’s going to stay there.
I use the glue stick and roll it down the side I just glued to make sure everything gets glued down

 
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Move to your bottom flap ( the smaller of the two flaps left) and cover that with your glue.  Fold it over onto your paper and rub it flat.

 

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Normally, I stick my hand into the newly formed envelope in case I got a little glue inside while gluing the bottom flap shut.  This stops the envelope from sealing inside.

OPTIONAL:

Grab your scissors again, and cut a small triangle into the opening part of your envelope. This is just so that you can easily put things in. you do not HAVE to do this.  If you’re going to, make sure you don’t cut below where your flap covers. You want a full close, no open parts.

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Grab some tape and tear off a small piece. Like I said, I really like this transparent tape. Its 88 cents at Wal*mart and a little hard to tear.  You get quite a bit. It’s very hard to see once you put it on your paper, and its durable.. which is great for what we need it for.  I have colored the tape with black sharpie ONLY so you can see what I’m doing. Don’t color it yourself.
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Put the tape on a corner. Line the point of the corner up with the edge of the tape.

 

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Bend both sides of the tape over to the back of your envelope. This creates a seal on the corners. They are what tend to rip open when put through a sorting machine.     Optionally, you can just tape a piece of tape the length of your sides and just tape your sides off by placing the tape half on the side and folding it over to the back.

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This is a picture of the corner taped of without the sharpie color.  You can barely see it. It doesn’t take away from the envelope at all while keeping it more secure.

 

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If you have a darker envelope like this one, you can take a piece of paper (I’m using standard printer paper here) and cut  two peices [dont mind how awful I cut these. They were quick] and lay them down like this. Tape them on.  Cute designed washi/deco tape would be great. Your transparent tape would work even better if you didnt want to take away from the design of the envelope. make sure all 4 sides are securely taped down. You dont want the address coming off half way through its trip.  (Alternately, you can use what  I use.  I get self-sticking paper from AMAZON  for 7$ free shipping.    Its normally for labels, but I use it for everything, since its not precut into labels.    GET IT HERE  – That paper is so sticky you won’t need tape or glue.  Just stick it on and you’re good.

 

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Once you’re all done with your envelope, and have put what you need inside,  put a quick line of glue on the body of the envelope and press the flap firmly down onto it.  You can also put a piece of tape on it once its closed for a more secure feel.

PUT A STAMP ON IT AND YOURE DONE!! You’ve got a super cute little envelope that will work through the mail or with a gift.  The great thing about making your own is you can pick and choose the paper you want to match the person you’re sending it to or the contents of the envelopes.  Ive picked this dark colored paper because I’m going to use it for the GOTH GIRL ATC that I am doing.  I feel it fits well.

 

Take your other piece and do the same thing –   Two envelopes for a few cents!

 

Michaels Craft Store always has  4/$1 or  6/$1  sheets of paper, and the site / mobile app always has coupons.  I tend to stock up when I see sales or a coupon for paper.

 

Happy mailing!

 

Leave a comment if you have any questions.

 

Alternately, you can make larger or smaller envelopes using the same idea as above. Just adjust the cutting of the envelope and folding sizes.

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