Tutorial: Security Pattern Business Card Envelopes

Security EnvelopesPresentation is everything.  Your business card is no exception.  Make yours stand-out with a unique, handmade envelope.  These stunning, memorable envelopes are made from repurposed security envelopes.  Read on for the complete instructions to make your own.
Security EnvelopesSecurity envelope papers are captivating the craft world.  There are so many different security envelope patterns, and most of us get them with our bills or junk mail so they seem to be in abundant supply.  There is even an ongoing project on Flickr called Security Patterns to gather and categorize security envelope patterns from around the world. I took a look through my file drawer and found more than a dozen different security envelopes and instantly began wondering what I could make with them.

Please Recycle EnvelopeI decided to craft business card envelopes. What better way to promote my eco-friendly business? I figure whether I am giving out business cards in person or including them in a customer’s order, the beautiful little envelope would be well received and memorable. I made both side open and top open versions, which allowed me to get the most out of security envelopes small and large.  My favorite patterns were a tiny teal houndstooth and the “please recycle this envelope” print.


  • Security Envelopes
  • Colorful thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Ruler
  • Scissors/Paper Cutter

Step by Step:

  1. Open security envelopes carefully along seams and lay flat.  Do this for all your security envelopes.
  2. To make envelopes for a standard 3-1/2 x 2 inch business card, you need to cut rectangles from the security patterns that are either 4 x 4-1/4 inches (top open) or 2-1/2 x 7-1/4 inches (side open).  Sometimes the size of the security pattern will dictate the type of envelope you can make.
  3. Fold your rectangles in half with security pattern facing out so they are 2 x 2-1/8 inches or 2-1/2 x 3-5/8 inches. TIP: Whenever possible I tried to make use of the fold at the bottom of the security envelope when cutting my rectangles.  With the envelope folded I cut a 2 x 2-1/8 inch or 2-1/2 x 3-5/8 inch rectangle on the fold.
  4. Use a 1-inch circle punch to punch a half circle at the top of each envelope.  TIP: Use punch upside down so you can see exactly where you are punching on your envelope.Houndstooth Security Envelope
  5. Stitch a seam along each edge of you envelopes with some colorful thread.  Try to keep your stitch about 1/8 inch from the edge and do not go in any further than 1/4 inch or your business card will not fit.  If you use decorative stitches make sure you set the stitch width on your sewing machine as narrow as it will go.
  6. Stuff with business cards and hand out with pride!

24 thoughts on “Tutorial: Security Pattern Business Card Envelopes”

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  8. What a great idea for dressing up business cards, recycling envelopes, and making a green statement at the same time. You can make the exchange of business cards more memorable with unique holders like these. Quick recommendation: practice an elevator speech to go with your business card exchanges and make them even more memorable.

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  12. I love your idea, which puts together upcycling and unique pro communication improvement tips!
    The graphic patterns of security enveloppes are nice, but so many of them are discarded. Let’s keep them and reuse them!

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