DIY Tyvek

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Tyvek is so good, it just might be evil. Known mainly for its use in FedEx envelopes and house wraps, these “flashspun high-density polyethylene fibers” make for a light, flexible material that’s resistant to tearing, pretty much water resistant, and breathable. It’s basically a perfect base material for a ton of things from mailing your mom her Mother’s Day present (May 8th, relax), to coveralls (I mean, if you’re Devo), or hell – covering entire houses. It’s the kind of thing that exists in DIY utopia because it’s matchless material for DIYers and crafters – it even says so in the Wikipedia entry. So, what can you make from this sturdy stuff? Let’s get busy:

Image courtesy of

• One to two envelopes should cover your entry-level cut, color and tape type stuff: book covers/journals, placemats, wrapping paper, cut out butterflies. If you’re handy with a thread and needle try a lunch bag/stuff sack – all you need to do is cut down and fold the edges of the envelope over and sew, then pull a chord (or ribbon or whatever you got) through and tie it off. You can also go for a Tyvek wallet, with a few cuts and a few folds.

Image courtesy of

• With 3 – 4 envelopes you can make a laptop sleeve – you’ll need padding of some sort, but the rest is just tracing your size and sewing up the sides.

Image courtesy of, skirt by ConceptualClothing

• 5+ Envelopes: If you’re say, a really bored FedEx employee working the night shift and have a lot of envelopes and time you can get super crafty: room dividers, window covering, post-industrial folk wear, shower curtain… it’s a world of Tyvek possibilities.
A few quick disclaimers: while it’s easy to score an envelope here or there, obviously you’re gonna get some negative attention snagging stacks of FedEx envelopes – and USPS ones are technically government property. Also, just to keep in mind: Tyvek is recyclable – but not in very many places.

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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.