Got thank-you notes or birthday invites to write? Here are 20 ways to create your own, recycled handmade stationery!
It seems a little strange to promote real-live paper-and-stamp mail on an eco-friendly crafting site, I know. Think of the paper used! Think of the energy spent transporting a letter across the country, when you could just email someone for the energy spent on electricity and wi-fi!
Nevertheless, I was raised in the South, and I hold these truths to be self-evident: thank-you notes must be written by hand and mailed. Condolence letters may be typed, if they’re long, but they must be mailed. Add to this kids who love pen pals, the craft swaps that I enjoy, and post cards, and even if I’m not exactly Elinor Dashwood sending out my correspondence every afternoon after tea, I do have correspondence to send.
So we’ve established, at least to my own personal satisfaction, that correspondence is necessary; that doesn’t mean that Hallmark has to sell all of your stationery to you! Instead, you can take this chance to go local, perhaps pull some would-be trash out of the waste-stream, and hand-craft some stationery to be proud of. Check out this list of handmade stationery projects, and find just the one that suits you!
1. custom envelopes. No matter how oddly-sized the greeting card is, here’s how to easily make an envelope to suit it.
2. die-cut lined paper. If you don’t own a die-cutter, then you can hand-cut the lined paper.
3. DIY stationery set. To make it easier to remember to write, make yourself a mitchy-matchy stationery set.
4. fabric envelope. For cards and letters that you’ll hand-deliver, sort through your fabric stash for envelopes.
5. folded heart card. Add some origami and a secret message to your card.
6. greeting card with fabric applique. Did you know that it’s easy to use scrap fabric on a greeting card?
7. marbleized stationery. Turn plain white paper into hand-marbled stationery.
8. photo card. Love those beautiful photo cards that print-and-mail companies often offer? Save yourself the big bucks and the extra shipping by making your own!
9. recycled paper envelopes. Here’s a different method for making envelopes that works well with oddly-sized recycled papers.
10. embroidered greeting cards. Turn plain cardstock into a beautiful handmade card.
11. Scrabble tile greeting cards. Got an old Scrabble game lying around? It’s easy to use it to personalize a card.
12. record album cover greeting cards. Upcycle the cardboard cover that a scratched record use to live in–embellish it if you want, but it’s pretty cool as-is.
13. scrapbook paper envelopes. Twelve-inch scrapbook paper is the perfect size to make these old-school twine-and-brad envelopes.
14. seashell and pebble sprayed stationery. This is a good way to match paper and envelopes.
15. shaped text. Use the miracle of Microsoft Word to decorate a greeting card with text that’s in the shape of a heart–or a dragon, perhaps?
16. washed-out photo paper. Here’s a simple way to transform plain lined notebook paper into beautiful personalized stationery.
17. window cards. Use a cutting template and pretty recycled paper to make these easy window cards.
18. handmade paper. Feeling super inspired? Make your paper AND your envelope from scratch!
19. stationery box. What to do with all of your beautiful handmade stationery? Store it in an upcycled stationery box! A shoebox would be a good choice for this project.
20. envelope liners. You can make these for handmade envelopes or for store-bought ones.