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Why make an envelope?
Envelope-making machines have been around since 1845, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make your own envelopes! Making your own envelope adds a personal touch, which the person you’re sending it to will definitely appreciate.
If you’re mailing a uniquely shaped card or letter, it’s also better to make your own envelope rather than buy one, so you can customise the envelope to the perfect size.
Here’s what you’ll need
Making DIY envelopes is a pretty simple project, but you will need some basic craft items. Of course, the most important thing you need is paper. Any kind of paper will work, as long as it’s big enough for your letter or card and it doesn’t tear easily.
It’s actually possible to make an envelope without having to use any adhesives. But if you want to make sure it’s secure, it’s a good idea to have some glue or tape handy. A glue stick is best as it’s easier to control and use than liquid white glue – cellophane tape is another good option.
Another fun alternative is to use stickers to keep your envelopes closed!
If you’re using a template to make your envelope, you’ll need to do some trimming! Use a good, sharp pair of scissors to make clean cuts. Dull scissors will give your paper ragged edges, which aren’t very nice to look at.
Make sure that you have a clean, smooth, and flat surface to work on! This will make it easier for you to make creases on your envelope. If your table isn’t that smooth, lay down a book or folder to create a flat surface.
How to make a paper envelope
Here’s an easy step-by-step guide to making a super simple, basic envelope that can be used for a card or letter:
Step one: Setting up
Take your piece of paper. It’s ideal to use an A4 piece of paper, but any other rectangular size will work so long as your folded letter or card will fit at least twice inside. For this kind of envelope, you’ll also need glue, so have some within reach. Make sure that your working space is free of dirt that can stain your envelope!
Step two: The body
Take your card and align it to the bottom of the shorter side of your paper. There should be some extra paper on the left and right sides of your card! Take these and fold them towards the centre, covering the edges of your card.
Fold up the part with the card so that it’s “inside”. You can then take your glue and spread it on the parts that touch when you fold it up – take care that doesn’t get on your card! You should have enough paper left above the card for a flap.
Step three: The flap
Take the top corners of the flap and fold them down so that it resembles the roof of a house. Glue these down as well. You don’t need to put too much, a little glue goes a long way!
Step four: Finishing touches
Fold the flap over the body. You can glue the envelope shut, or you can use a sticker to hold it closed! You can also add any flourishes to personalise it even more, making it as simple or as fancy as you want. Just make sure that you leave enough space for the addresses if you plan to actually send this through the mail!
The art of folding paper
Folding paper to create an envelope actually has origins in the ancient Japanese art of origami. Being able to make an envelope out of a piece of paper makes you a bonafide artist!
If you want to challenge yourself, try to make envelopes with no tape! A cool trick is to use the side of your nail to sharpen the creases of your folds!
Once you’ve mastered the art of envelope-making, try to make other things too! A fun and functional origami project is a box that you can use to hold small items. You can also make cute shapes like hearts and stars that you can use to embellish your envelopes or even hang them up as ornaments!
Hopefully, this article has inspired you to try out envelope-making and other arts and crafts! There’s something special about being able to gift someone handmade items, whether it’s as simple as a card or as elaborate as a figurine!
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