DIY: Make Your Own Envelopes

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Let’s be real: I have a serious problem with paper. That stuff is' everywhere. Organized in fans across the top of my desk, stacked on top of nightstands, filling trunks and stashed in between pages of books are sheets of paper from spiral notebooks, magazines, graphic novels, flyers for shows, postcards, envelopes containing: more paper! Fortunately, I always have a project going which is how I can justify having multiple file cabinets full of magazine clippings, advertisements, tissue paper, note cards, left over wrapping paper, cardboard from Japanese toys'I’m a flippin’ fire hazard.

Trace. Cut. Rocket Science.

This is a version of a trick I picked up from The Big-Ass Book of Crafts (aka book I “liberated” from the library). It’s especially good for people, like me, whose lives have been taken over by paper. Why buy stationary? You have paper; you can at least take five minutes and make an effort on an envelope. And hey '“ some postal employee might get a kick out of it.

Fold. Glue. Perform Brain Surgery.

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First, you’ll need a template. I used an old invitation because I liked the square shape, but there should be a variety to choose from in the junk mail. Steam that baby up good and proper then pull apart gingerly. Alright, now find a cool lookin’ sheet of paper '“ construction paper, comic books, regular old magazine print, fashion mag ads, your roommates thesis, whatever '“ lay your flat template envelope on the back, trace, cut that sucker out.

Grandma's gonna love that Kate Moss envelope

Next grab a glue stick, fold it up, and glue the tabs on the side.

Done-zo! You can add address labels or '“ since I apparently am a packing tape addict '“ lay down a strip of packing tape and write across that so your pen doesn’t bleed through.

Hella Lazy Alternative

Secure on the back with a sticker or just tape it up.

Hella lazy alternative: paste or tape images directly to an envelope.

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Amber Bouman - Crafty & Cashless

Amber Bouman - Crafty & Cashless

A freelance writer, blogger and poet based in San Francisco, Amber has written for PC World, InfoWorld, and the 16th & Mission Review. She has performed at City Hall, Litquake, the Brainwash, 16th & Mission, BlueSix, and SFSU among other places. Amber is also consummate fan of swearing, organizational freak, yoga practitioner, music geek, caffeine addict, and tattoo enthusiast who enjoys platform shoes, making out, thumb wrestling and fighting the good fight. She owns a bicycle named Gretel, a motor scooter named Elroy and a cat named Simon. She can be found in various virtual locations all over your interwebs.


  1. […] to another, and everyone always thinks I’m some crazy hoarder until I use the pages to make them envelopes…or wrapping paper…or saint candles….or decorative lighters….you’re seeing my point, no? […]

  2. […] are a lot of things I refuse to spend money on (envelopes, stamps, stencils) and one more to add to that running list is hair sticks. Not because I don’t […]

  3. January 11, 2012 at 10:09 am

    […] We’ve already talked about how to make your own envelopes but you can also reuse those security envelopes with the swirly patterns on the inside by turning […]