What is your technique for handmade envelopes?

I love making envelopes as it’s a great way to use and re-use packaging materials, book and magazine pages and scrapbooking paper I have no other use for.

The techniques I tried were

  1. “Gift wrapping” – meaning you lay down your cards or letter on the paper you want for the envelope and wrap it like you would a gift. This is very easy, but for me the downside was they can be tricky to open without damaging the content and they didn’t really “feel” like proper envelopes.

  2. Using an existing envelope as a template – carefully take it apart, lay it flat on your intended material and trace around it. Then cut out and fold. This is the method I used for the longest time, it’s cheap and easy. Downside is the thin paper that will not hold up well to the tracing. I glued an open envelope to cardboard and cut it to make it sturdier, however lost some precision in the process which made folding harder.

  3. Variation of no. 2 – Transparent template – I constructed a template on sturdy clear plastic so I could position the image I wanted on the front of the envelope. I’m still using this occasionally, but the edges of the plastic are quite sharp and it’s also slippery, so a bit fussy to use.

  4. Printing a template - You can find many templates on the web to print – good if you have paper that will allow printing or if you want to have a more elaborate flap, e.g. scalloped.

  5. My current favourite – using a sturdy wooden template the husband of fellow postcrosser @moonwalker has created. I love the shape, it is very precise and stays where it should :smiley: I also started to use a scoring board to help with folding, but this is just because I’m a bad and impatient folder and hate crooked envelopes.

I have never tried commercially produced plastic templates because I never found a format I liked. I have made envelopes using cutting dies, but just mini ones.
What is your favourite technique?

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Hello :blush:

My approach is much more simple. I do not try to reproduce the shape of a commercial envelope, because it needs so much paper. I simply use nice washi tape to close the open edges.

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Please show us! :heart_eyes: I have a brother who is good with woodworking tools, maybe he can make me something similar!

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I’m No. 5.
Use the templet from @moonwalker for B6 envelopes.
For me it’s simply perfect.

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I keep it simple - much like @sisinje above. I take a page from a magazine or calendar and fold it not quite in half - leaving some for the flap. I use glue for the two sides and let it dry. When I go to use it, I fold the flap down and glue or washi tape it shut. Often it requires a plain label to write the address over the magazine text or pictures so I slap a plain label on it and write the address - often outlining it in red so it stands out.

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Coincidence! Today I used the last envelope of a package I bought, and started thinking…what if i made my own envelopes and reuse paper? And now I find out so many ways to do so!!! Thank you so much for this post. I will be trying some for sure!! :blue_heart::smiley::+1::cherry_blossom:

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Beautiful :heart:

I use same technique as @TwasBrillig and @sisinje - using double sided tape on the flaps and for closing the envelope and then I harden all the sides with colourful plastic tape (washi has such unpredictable stickiness, I don’t trust it for envelopes). And of course there is another sealed inner envelope inside, so it’s double sturdy

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I have just added one of those wooden templates to my ever-growing collection of crafting materials, but I still need to try it out!
When I started out making my own envelopes, I read a few tutorials on the Internet - unfortunately I forgot to bookmark my favourite one and I can’t find it anymore on Google… :see_no_evil: But basically, I take my postcard or folded letter and place it on a magazine page or big enough paper and move it around until I’m happy with what’s going to be on the front of the envelope. Then I fold the page around it, cutting it to the right size, so that the left, right and bottom flaps overlap, so I can glue them together to form the envelope pouch. The last step is to cut the top flap into a triangular shape, so that it looks prettier when I seal the envelope.
This sounds rather complicated, but there are loads of tutorials on youtube and various crafting blogs and pages where you can watch it step by step.

So far this has worked fine for me, although with my free-style folding sometimes the corners are not perfectly rectangular, which I personally don’t mind.
The only reason I have acquired that wooden template is that I’m hoping to be able to speed up the process a little and because I love such gadgets! :smile:

But when I need different size envelopes I’ll probably still do it free-style.

:green_heart: :fox_face:

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Thank you for the post, what wonderful ideas to try!
I have so many extra envelopes from stationary sets and unused holiday cards that I rarely need to make my own, but now I definitely want to try it!

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I do your #2 option, essentially. I have opened envelopes and traced them onto card stock, and then I use those as my template.

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I don’t trust washitape as the only means of sealing an envelope, I have seen it come unstuck too many times. :see_no_evil:
My favourite tool for glueing envelopes is a tape glue roller because they stick really fast, and then I often use additional washitape or deco tape for decoration.

:green_heart: :fox_face:

Agree.
Even high quality washi like mt. Got too many opened and sometimes empty envelopes which were sealed only with washi.
I use a glue roller and then washi (just for decoration).

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I use the We R Memory Keepers envelope punch board. I use a trimmer to cut scrapbook papers or magazine pages, sometimes even thick wrapping paper, down to the size I need and then use the board to create the envelopes. I use double sided tape to keep them together and only use washi as decoration.

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I have both the We R Memory Keepers mini and regular envelope punch boards. I love them. They take no time at all and I can make whatever size envelope I need to mail in or for crafting.

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for German postcrossers:
You can order different templates here:
Umschlag-Schablonen | Schablonen | Zubehör | Heindesign

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I pretty much just haphazardly fold and end up with wonky envelopes, but they work!
Might invest in a template in the future though :joy:

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I use a couple of easy envelope making ideas I found on youtube.

I have some templates I bought to trace around but then I found some I could use with my silhouette and it just cuts it out for me. Voila! So much easier and faster - I made all my wedding invitation envelopes this way.

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If you don’t have an envelope at the moment, you can fold one yourself with instructions with a picture, maybe it can be used by someone and if someone does it, give feedback on whether it worked

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