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If you need to re-open an envelope that you have already sealed and put a stamp on, there's no need to steam the flap open. Just cut the end off the front left side of the envelope (where your return address is, not the end with the stamp on it). Tap the envelope on the table to make the contents drop away from the edge. All you have to cut off is a piece about 1/16 inch wide. Then you can pull out the contents, fix it, and slide it back in the envelope.
Close the end with a piece of frosted (preferable) or clear tape folded over the edge, making sure to press all the tape down, and leave no sticky part exposed. Trim off any excess tape. This is easier, neater and faster than trying to re-open the flap. I avoid the end with the stamp because you shouldn't cover any part of a stamp with tape, so it can be canceled.
By Pixiedust7 from Wantagh, Long Island, NY
If you seal up a envelope then realize you forgot to put something in it, place it in the freezer for about one hour. It will then unseal easily. Just put tape over the envelope or close up with a pretty sticker or one of your address label.
If you seal an envelope and realize you have forgotten to include something inside, just place it in the freezer for an hour or two. The envelope will unseal without a trace!
Total Time: 1-2 hours
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I forgot to insert a check into an envelope after I sealed it up. Does anyone have any idea on how to loosen the glue?
By dejah from Chowchilla, CA
A fellow cardmaker stuffed wedding invitations (and sealed them) and then the bride wanted changes. She had to open them (without damaging). As Mary Ann suggested, she used the freezer method, and said it worked great! (07/01/2009)
The classic method is to steam open the envelope - by putting the glued side next to a source of steam (traditionally a kettle). The steam dissolves the glue while saving the envelope - so you can open it and reseal. (07/01/2009)
Freeze it for a couple of hours and it should pop right open! (07/01/2009)
When this happens to me I tap one end of the envelope on the table so all contents slide to that end. I then cut off a strip (as thin as possible) from the other end. I remove or add what I need to and reseal the cut end with a piece of Scotch tape (the length of the cut), folding it over the end of the envelope. (07/01/2009)
I tried microwaving it for a few seconds - only worked partially. Not a good method. (07/02/2009)
Open the envelope on the side instead of the top. Just put a nail file (or something small and flat) near the top or bottom of the side edge and slowly rock the nail file back and forth and the edge will open. Insert the cheque and use a little bit of glue stick to reseal. (07/02/2009)
Had to do this once - steamed it over steaming water and opened it that way - this worked for the old kind of postage stamps too. (07/02/2009)
Forgot to put the check (or other item) in the envelope before sealing it? Instead of tearing it open, use scissors to cut a "thin" strip off one narrow end. You can insert the forgotten item, and then use cellophane tape to close the envelope back up before mailing. And since the tape is on the narrow end, it won't interfere with the envelope being opened by the recipient.
Reopening a sealed envelope after you forgot to put something in it. Put the envelope in the freezer for a couple hours and then try to loosen up the flap without damaging it. (maybe with a flat knife)
By Mary Ann K. from Lawrence, KS
I've also heard of microwaving it for a few seconds. Never did work for me.
Here's an idea that really works. Put the tea kettle on and bring to a boil. Place a spoon in the spout to keep it open and allow the steam to escape. Now hold the envelope flap over the steam (careful not to burn your hands). In one hand use a knife to carefully lift the glued flap while the steam does its job by loosening the glue. It's a little work, but gets it open. (10/06/2006)