Tools + Supplies

Published on January 24th, 2009 | by Julie Finn

22

DIY Valentine: Make Your Own Custom Envelopes from Recycled Paper

My freakin' awesome ValentinesI have just finished making an entire stack of freakin’ AWESOME Valentines for my Valentine’s Classroom Card Exchange swap over at Craftster, and the last thing I intend to do with them is stick them into a bunch of boring, mass-market, chlorine bleached, old-growth forest envelopes. And also? I made my Valentines weird sizes.

I am a crafty chick, however, and as my friend Autumn says, happiness IS recycling folded paper, so I’m going to take this atlas I found dumpster-diving, in which the Berlin Wall (Boo!) and Tibet (Yay!) are both alive and well, and I’m going to fold some pages into rockin’ envelopes to house all my many missives to all my many Internet sweeties (You out there, superhooker? Pumpkinbear says hi!).

Why don’t you give your own sweetie a smile and craft along with me?

Measure the Lines for your EnvelopeYou will need: A card or letter to mail (my Valentines are 4″x6″ cardstock, with a floofy tinsel border); a pretty cool piece of paper to recycle that is any amount wider than your card or letter and any amount greater than twice as high (my atlas pages are a standard 8.5″x11″); ruler, pencil, white glue. Bonus points for a gridded cutting mat that will help you rule straight lines.

1. Decide how roomy you want your envelope to be, and do some math. Because of my floofy tinsel, I want my envelope to end up more like 4.5″x6.5″. If you plan to mail something pretty thick or bumpy, you might want a roomy envelope, too. Lay your paper down with what you want to be the inside of your envelope facing up.

Start folding2. Subtract your envelope’s finished width (in my case, 6.5″) from your paper’s width (in my case, 8.5″) to find out how much extra width you have (in my case, 2″). Now divide that extra width by 2 (in my case, equalling 1″). Measure in that amount on both sides of your paper, and draw a line right there from top to bottom, pressing down hard with your pencil to make it easier to fold later.

3. From the bottom of your paper, measure up to your envelope’s finished height (in my case, 4.5″) and draw a line right there from left to right, pressing down hard with your pencil.

4. Fold down to the inside (but don’t glue) the left and right folds.

5. Fold down to the inside the line that you drew to mark the height of your envelope. Glue it down on both sides only along those left and right folds, and let it dry.

6. Stuff your envelope, and seal the flap with a glue stick, rubber cement, some stickers, or, of course, a kiss.

Are you sending handmade Valentines this year?



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About the Author

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now. Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.



  • rebecca

    I’m with you. I never met a piece of paper I didn’t like, or one that couldn’t be used for SOMETHING. I’ve made envelopes out of calendar pages, maps, magazine pages (fancy mags with heavier paper I get free at the thrift store or local bookstore work best), even placmats. Good use of your old Atlas, though it may be a collector’s items with the Berlin Wall and Tibet both intact — tee hee!

  • rebecca

    I’m with you. I never met a piece of paper I didn’t like, or one that couldn’t be used for SOMETHING. I’ve made envelopes out of calendar pages, maps, magazine pages (fancy mags with heavier paper I get free at the thrift store or local bookstore work best), even placmats. Good use of your old Atlas, though it may be a collector’s items with the Berlin Wall and Tibet both intact — tee hee!

  • rebecca

    I’m with you. I never met a piece of paper I didn’t like, or one that couldn’t be used for SOMETHING. I’ve made envelopes out of calendar pages, maps, magazine pages (fancy mags with heavier paper I get free at the thrift store or local bookstore work best), even placmats. Good use of your old Atlas, though it may be a collector’s items with the Berlin Wall and Tibet both intact — tee hee!

  • rebecca

    I’m with you. I never met a piece of paper I didn’t like, or one that couldn’t be used for SOMETHING. I’ve made envelopes out of calendar pages, maps, magazine pages (fancy mags with heavier paper I get free at the thrift store or local bookstore work best), even placmats. Good use of your old Atlas, though it may be a collector’s items with the Berlin Wall and Tibet both intact — tee hee!

  • http://www.diycitymag.net Deb

    Love these – thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.diycitymag.net Deb

    Love these – thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.diycitymag.net Deb

    Love these – thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.diycitymag.net Deb

    Love these – thanks for sharing!

  • http://whistlingleafblower.blogspot.com/ cake

    i am such a sucker for anything made with old maps. these are great.

  • http://whistlingleafblower.blogspot.com/ cake

    i am such a sucker for anything made with old maps. these are great.

  • http://whistlingleafblower.blogspot.com/ cake

    i am such a sucker for anything made with old maps. these are great.

  • http://whistlingleafblower.blogspot.com/ cake

    i am such a sucker for anything made with old maps. these are great.

  • http://lu-n-am.blogspot.com/ Lu n’ Am

    Handmade envelopes are the best, my mother and I make all our envelopes from whatever paper we can get our hands on and the best part is you can make them any size you want. Thanks for sharing that tutorial, and I agree old maps are wonderful.
    -Lu

  • http://lu-n-am.blogspot.com/ Lu n’ Am

    Handmade envelopes are the best, my mother and I make all our envelopes from whatever paper we can get our hands on and the best part is you can make them any size you want. Thanks for sharing that tutorial, and I agree old maps are wonderful.
    -Lu

  • http://lu-n-am.blogspot.com/ Lu n’ Am

    Handmade envelopes are the best, my mother and I make all our envelopes from whatever paper we can get our hands on and the best part is you can make them any size you want. Thanks for sharing that tutorial, and I agree old maps are wonderful.
    -Lu

  • http://lu-n-am.blogspot.com/ Lu n’ Am

    Handmade envelopes are the best, my mother and I make all our envelopes from whatever paper we can get our hands on and the best part is you can make them any size you want. Thanks for sharing that tutorial, and I agree old maps are wonderful.
    -Lu

  • http://www.craftknife.blogspot.com Julie Finn

    I’m a little worried about this ton I made for Valentine envelopes out of an old coffee table book about Sesame Street–the pages are glossy; doesn’t the post office have a thing about envelopes not being glossy?

    I’m still upset that a vertically arranged envelope costs extra.

  • http://www.craftknife.blogspot.com Julie Finn

    I’m a little worried about this ton I made for Valentine envelopes out of an old coffee table book about Sesame Street–the pages are glossy; doesn’t the post office have a thing about envelopes not being glossy?

    I’m still upset that a vertically arranged envelope costs extra.

  • http://www.craftknife.blogspot.com Julie Finn

    I’m a little worried about this ton I made for Valentine envelopes out of an old coffee table book about Sesame Street–the pages are glossy; doesn’t the post office have a thing about envelopes not being glossy?

    I’m still upset that a vertically arranged envelope costs extra.

  • http://www.craftknife.blogspot.com Julie Finn

    I’m a little worried about this ton I made for Valentine envelopes out of an old coffee table book about Sesame Street–the pages are glossy; doesn’t the post office have a thing about envelopes not being glossy?

    I’m still upset that a vertically arranged envelope costs extra.

  • Pingback: DIY Valentine: A Sweet Treat that You Don’t Eat! : Eco Child’s Play

  • Pingback: Eco Packaging Handmade For You: Envelopes : Crafting a Green World

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