09 October 2010

Tutorial: Basic Envelopes

This is my very first tutorial, and I'm so excited to share it! Please leave a comment if you use it, and especially if you have any suggestions about how to make future tutorials awesome (what do you like, what could be improved, what kind of tutorial would you like to see?)

These basic envelopes are a favorite mini-project of mine, and I like to use them to spice up mail I send to family and friends. They're perfect for coordinating with a special gift or shop order that needs an extra touch of fancy in its packaging. This simple, one-afternoon project is a good way to make the most of magazines and catalogs that would just go in the recycling bin, too.

Supplies you'll need:
scissors or an x-acto knife
glue or tape (I'm lazy, so I like tape)
old magazines or catalogs - particularly good candidates have clothing, food, or nature photos
an envelope in a size and shape you like
[[optional: a pen or pencil, paperclips, paper-folding tools]]

1. Very carefully dismantle the envelope you have chosen to use as a model.  Expose all the edges and unfold it until it is flat.  You can use the envelope itself as a template, or, if the paper seems a little flimsy, trace and cut a more sturdy version from cardstock or cardboard.

2. Go through your catalogs and magazines, selecting pages that appeal to you. Ideally, you can find full-page photos without lettering. Be sure to check that your template fits on the page!

3. With the right side of the catalog/mag page facing up, line up the template on the page, taking care to center it as much as possible over the part of the image that you want to have on the front of the envelope. Sometimes this means rotating the page upside down before you start. If desired, use a paperclip to keep your template in place for tracing and cutting.

Extra tip: If you line up the template against one or more edges of the page, this will save on cutting.

4. Trace (if desired) and cut around the template.

5. Put your template aside for future use. With the wrong side of the catalog/mag page facing up, begin folding and creating creases, copying the original fold lines of the envelope.  You are creating the back or pocket side of the envelope.

6. Fold left and right side flaps down, and then fold the bottom back flap up. Secure the bottom back flap to the side flaps with glue or tape.

7. Fold down the top flap and create a crease. Do not glue or tape yet. Your envelope is now ready for stuffing!

8. Make a few more and mail sweet notes to your best friends. I recommend using white stick-on labels when you address the envelopes, so that the post office employees can read the addressee's info.  Try sealing with tape, stickers, or a glue stick.

That's it! I hope you enjoyed reading, and I hope you'll share links to any photos of envelopes you make. I'd love to see your creative take on this easy but satisfying project.
Happy Saturday :)


Deer Little Fawn said...

Hi! I'm a new follower to your blog, I like it! :)
x Beth

Allison said...

Thanks, Beth! Glad to have you reading :)

Kim W. said...

yay! awesome tutorial!!

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