Tutorial: Easy Tiny Envelopes 

4 mins read
Guest tutorial by Ruth Bleakley
I discovered this envelope making method completely by accident when pulling soggy rain-soaked mail out of my leaky mailbox – I had a total *eureka* moment when the envelope I gingerly opened up completely unfolded at the seams revealing an envelope “template” perfectly.
I’ve seen many envelope tutorials online, some offer downloadable templates, some show fancy paper folding techniques and some suggest specific measurements to create your own D.I.Y. envelopes. I’m going to show you how to replicate any interesting envelope that you might already have, no measuring involved! 
1. Choose an envelope you already have that you like the size and shape of
2. Soak it in a bowl of water (lukewarm is probably best) for about one minute, or until the glue releases from the paper easily. It will not take as long as you think!
3. Pat the now unfolded envelope dry – it doesn’t have to be completely dry, just not drippy – and trace it onto a thin piece of cardboard – chipboard works well, as would something like a cereal box. Try to be accurate at this stage and trace neatly
4. Cut the template out with a pair of scissors, and you may want to label it so that in the future you (or whoever you live with) won’t say “what is this strange piece of cardboard?” and toss it out!

5. Use your new wonderful template to trace out an envelope design on any and all types of paper! Think gift wrap, maps, magazines, old calenders, stamped cardstock – you name it! I like to trace using pencil on the side that will be the inside so the marks won’t show.

6. Carefully cut out your envelope with scissors and fold it up – I like to do the sides first, then use the folded sides as a guide on where to fold the top and bottom. Use the handle of your scissors or a bone folder for really crisp edges.
7. Use a glue tape roller  to stick your envelope together, or glue stick but I find glue stick gets brittle after just a few months, go ahead and get a glue tape roller, they’re like $5 and you can find them in the adhesive section of an office supply store or craft store.
8. *Bonus Points* if you’ve ever wanted to be able to lick and stick your envelope flaps, check out this Lick& Stick glue I originally bought from Paper Source (they don’t seem to carry it anymore). If you can’t find it, you can also D.I.Y. your own envelope glue (2x craft bonus points!)
9. Ta-da! Admire your finished work! Ideas for use include: penpal & swap envelopes, gift card envelopes & storing small things in your studio – if you happen to make some yourself, I’d LOVE to see them! Post a link in the comments.

Jan Halvarson

Jan founded Poppytalk in 2005 while a student at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (now ECU) to catalogue inspiration from typography to interior design. Since then she’s collaborated with Target (creating a limited edition glamping collection), a wallpaper collection with Milton & King, as well has written as a contributor at Wired, Martha Stewart and Huffington Post.