Thursday, November 3, 2016

Pen to Paper: Making Envelopes

Hello everyone, it feels like it has been ages since I last posted one of these posts.  Today I have one for you that I have been meaning to do for some time and it is perfect for heading into the holiday season.  Today I wanted to show you 3 different ways I use to make my own envelopes.  I have not perfected the process yet but I want to share with you how I go about it.  You certainly don't have to make your own envelopes but I find that it is often a nice way to match up your envelope with your stationery or if you can't find just the right envelope you can make one to fit. It is also a great way during the holidays to make it feel like your pen pal is receiving a little gift from you in the mail by wrapping it up in pretty paper.  So anyway, this may be a long post with lots of picture so I best get started.
I use 3 different methods for making my envelopes, depending on what I can find at the moment and how much time I have. I have the We R Memory Keepers envelope punch board (I picked it up at Joann's Craft store I think for $9.99 with a coupon), I also have a wooden template (I purchased mine on Etsy but have seen them on several of the paper goods websites but they are kind of pricey at $15-$20) one other thing to note is that these wooden templates come in multiple sizes from tiny to huge so make sure you keep that in mind when purchasing, and I also have an envelope that I really like the size and shape of so I just carefully pulled apart the seams to use as a template.
You will also need paper, I use pattern scrapbooking paper, but I think a good quality of wrapping paper would also work well, and I have seen others use maps or calendar pictures.  One thing to keep in mind is that you do want your paper to be somewhat flexible (this is where I am still struggling, sometimes the paper rips at the folds if it is too thick or stiff). These are 12" x 12" single sheets that you can buy at the craft store, just find a pattern you like or that matches the season or stationery. 
You will also need scissors, a board with a straight groove (either a scoring board or paper trimmer - more on that below) and an adhesive. I have seen all kind used but try to find a really strong one since it will be traveling through the mail. These are the ones I have found to be the best, I prefer the red double sided tape (I cannot remember the name of it but have seen it in all the craft stores).
We will start with the simple paper envelope method.  Carefully open the seams of an envelope you like, then lay it on the blank side of your paper.  Trace the envelope and cut out on the lines.
Then here is a trick I saw on youtube, I think, use the groove in a paper trimmer to score (I have struggled so much with my scoring board, I jump lines and can't get a straight score).  You need to kind of judge where the bend should be by lining up the indents on the paper and just do the best you can. Then add adhesive on the side flaps and secure. Envelope #1 is done, stuff and send to someone!
Then next method is with the wooden template, you follow the same instructions as with the paper template expect a line is drawn where you need to score instead of just eyeballing where the bend should be. Trace your template and cut out along the outer lines (the inside lines are where you score and fold).
Score along the inner lines, fold and add your adhesive.
And you have completed envelope #2.

The final method is with the envelope punch board. I love this tool as it allows you to make any size envelope you want, but it takes a lot of math (which I am not good at). I generally only use this method when I am well rested and haven't had any wine yet otherwise I make a bunch of mistakes in cutting and scoring.  Anyway first you find the size envelope you want and cut your base piece to the size indicated (I wanted the A-6 size and so needed a paper 8 3/4" x 8 3/4" - and I screwed that up so had to start again).
Once you have your paper the right size you line up the edge with the score line indicated on the size envelope. You punch and there is only a single groove to score on so you won't screw it up (just be careful if you are making a big envelope because it may go beyond the edge of the punchboard (I think the newer punch boards have an extender piece that pulls out to fix this issue))

When it is all punched and scored, just add your adhesive and you have complete envelope #3!


So there is how you can make your own envelope in three different ways, it only took me about half an hour to make all three of these, mistakes and photos included. Once you get the hang of it you can whip up a bunch to have on hand for busy times (like the upcoming holiday season).  Hope this was helpful and that you enjoyed it!


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    1. Sorry, this was me. I was trying to figure out how to make comments on my phone, but ugh! Anyway, this looks really fun, and it doesn't look too hard. I think I'll try this out sometime.

    2. Haha no problem, I can't do anything on my phone really, especially typing or posting things. It is super easy and if you are watching a show on TV it is a fun way to do something and still watch (or listen to an audio book) because once you get used to it, it is pretty simple and mindless (except the punch board and all its numbers).