While exploring the internet, I came across some hand-made envelopes, ones made from recycled paper from magazines, books, advertising flyers etc. I was rather intrigued and wondered if they would be a good match for my hand printed cards. I searched books and found a used instructional book that contained templates – just so I could see if there was any trick to making these wonderful envelopes. No, no tricks involved. You can make your own templates by taking apart any envelope you’d like to duplicate. Just work carefully, lay it out flat and trace the outline to make your pattern. There are an amazing number of variations in envelope patterns and sizes, but they all produce a similar product. Some patterns make better use of an 8 1/2″ x 11″ piece of paper, but that seems to be the major difference.
When looking for paper to use, I thought about what wonderful paper you find in some books. I found an old quilt book – one that I have not even been able to unload at a used book store. I decided if anyone was going to cut this book apart to use for a craft, it might as well be me. Cutting the first page out of the book was the hardest part. I was brought up with a HUGE respect for books, and I felt like I was committing a heinous crime. Of course, once I realized I’d ruined the book, it became much easier to continue. And continue I did. I carefully sliced out every page. I then selected my favorite colorful images and matched them with envelope templates that made best use of the design. Then I used quilt pictures that I didn’t like, since they still made pretty decent envelopes. When I was left with just pages of text, I decided that they would make excellent envelopes as well, as the paper quality was far too good to waste!
I’ve made some lovely envelopes out of old calendar pages (I knew I was saving those for something.) I’ve also used magazines and scrapbook paper. Some scrapbook paper is printed on 2 sides so the inside of the envelope is also very attractive. All very interesting! I’ve closed the envelopes with a glue stick, and for mailing I add white stickers to create space to write the address. This isn’t necessary when you are going to hand deliver. The best template material I’ve found is at a dollar store – inexpensive flexible plastic cutting boards work very well. They’re easy to draw on, easy to cut with scissors and thick enough to trace around easily. I will go almost anywhere in search of great supplies!
I opened the flap on all the envelopes so you could see the different designs and shapes. As you can see, there is no end to the fun possibilities with this technique.