The envelope you use to mail a letter or card can be just as creative and fun as what you put in the envelope. This is a guide about making your own envelopes.
Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".
Envelopes made from white paper bags and post cards made from file folders.
Approximate Time: 20-30 minutes
By Monica from Cortez, CO
Whether I'm at work or at home, I try to limit the amount of paper I use by utilizing electronic media as much as possible. The problem is, I'm a stationary junkie. I would much prefer to send and receive greeting cards and written correspondence by postal mail rather than email. After all of the junk mail that gets delivered to my cyber mailbox each week, I find it refreshing to open something that has actually been delivered by a living breathing human being.
It seems like after a period of time, my stationary box always comes up long on cards and short on envelopes. My solution has been to make own envelopes out of recycled paper. Now not only am I able to personalize the envelopes according to the personalities of each addressee, but I get to alleviate some of my "paperless guilt" by showing the world (or at least the post office) that I am committed to recycling.
Have fun by selecting envelope paper that suits the personality of your recipient. A gardener might enjoy getting a card or letter in an envelope made from a picture on last year's gardening calendar. Use the cover of a sports magazine for an athlete or an old map for someone who loves to travel.
Colored paper can slow down mail automation machines unless the address is easily readable. To prevent this, use a plain, white, self-adhering address label when you're using an envelope made out of colorful paper. Make sure to print the name of the addressee clearly on the label using black or dark blue ink.
Standard 1 ounce letters can be a maximum of 1/4 inch thick and are machine sorted at the post office. Adding lace, buttons or reusing clasps from other envelopes are all wonderful ideas if you plan to deliver the envelope by hand. When sending envelops through the mail, however, an additional non-machine surcharge of $.0.13 is applicable under the following conditions:
|Regular||5 inch min||3-1/2 inch min|
|11-1/2 inch max||6-1/8 inch max|
|Large Envelope||11-1/2 inch min||6-1/8 inch max|
Envelope Directions: A simple way to make an envelope template is to take apart any size envelope you happen to have laying around and use it as a pattern. Iron the envelope flat with a cool iron and trace the pattern onto a durable material like vinyl. Cut it out carefully. Now you have a long lasting template that won't rip or tear. Lay the vinyl template over the piece of paper of your choice, cut around it carefully and refold it like the original envelope. Use a glue suitable for paper (Elmer's stick glue works well) to seal the points of the envelop after inserting your letter or card.
Post cards are a great way to drop someone a quick "hello." It's easy to recycle paper for postcards, but they need to be made from a slightly heavier paper like cardstock. Cereal boxes, magazine and phone book covers work really well.
|Post Card Dimensions:||Length||Height|
|5 inch min||3-1/2 inch min|
|6 inch max||4-1/4 max|
By Ellen Brown
After you've made your homemade cards and matching envelopes, here's an easy to make glue.
To adhere the envelope, moisten as you would any envelope and press closed. Store unused mixture in an airtight container. To re-apply, warm the mixture in a pan and apply as before.
By keeper from Blue Ridge Mountains, NC
Here's a great way to recycle paper by making your own envelopes and note cards.
Write your note and slide it inside the envelope. Fold over your closure. You can either paste your envelope closed after inserting the notecard, or just fold the flap inside the envelope. Or make a set and give them to a friend as a gift.
By Mara from Seattle, WA
By Mara Rivet
Here are a series of pictures that show you how to turn a regular piece of paper into a usable envelope. You will need to have some kind of glue or tape to put it together. I like to use glue sticks.
It is fun to see how a pattern that does not look like an envelope can turn into an envelope. You might need a blank small square of paper a name on the envelope if it is made from printed paper. Just write the name on the square, if you want to and tape it on the front of the envelope.
This is an actual recycled envelope I got in the mail with little Valentines in it. I just loved it and had to share!
By Robyn from Tri-Cities, TN
For my Dad's 80th birthday party, I printed the invitations on card stock, folded in thirds, stamped 2 holes with a regular hole punch close to the edges, and ran 1/4 inch organza ribbon tied in a knot (knot came out to the front) through it. I got a lot of comments on my unique invitations and I saved money on envelopes. (The ribbon was very cheap, cheaper than envelopes).
This also works for mailing a plain letter when you don't have an envelope, I just did it here at work where I needed an envelope, but had the stamp (my own) already. Take a piece of copy paper, fold in thirds (shorter side), tape the ends and back shut with tape, address, stamp, and mail.
By thriftyvicki from Dallas, TX
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Here are questions related to Making Your Own Envelopes.
I have a bunch of nice greeting cards without envelopes. Does anyone know of easy way to make envelopes? The cards are all different sizes, so buying them is not an option. I hate to let them go to waste.
By Erika from Tallahassee, FL
Take apart one envelope to make a template for others, orfold a white piece of paper around the card, allowing room for a fold-over top. Fold sides around the card. Remove the card and fold the side folds to the inside of the envelope, trim and glue.