Today’s sew make believe post: Caroline: recycled envelopes project

I mentioned these back when I made them, but the tutorial only appeared on the sew make believe blog today… So I lifted the post directly and popped it here for you. Enjoy, and I hope it gets your creative recycling juices flowing…

Having been inspired by Zoe W’s card recycling workshop, I decided last weekend that it was high time I got to grips with some of my own papercrafting stash. I’m a hoarder by nature, and while I’m not really one for buying craft supplies, I am one for holding on to old bits of brochure and junk mail “because they’re pretty”. This particularly applies to old calendars and diaries, which I can never quite bring myself to part with, even years after the event.

In one of my stash boxes I found my old 2008 Jane Austen quotation diary. It was a beautiful A5 diary, with separating sheets in beautiful printed paper, each featuring a quotation from an Austen novel. I’ve been holding onto it, but uncertain what to do with it. Until now…

I decided that it would make beautiful little envelopes for some of the diddy cards I’ve been making since the card workshop. I often find I have pieces of white cardboard – from tights packets for example – that are too small to make your standard size of greetings card, but make decent diddy cards to accompany gifts or bunches of flowers… These printed sheets would make the perfect diddy envelopes to partner them! (They’re also ideal for book plate gifts, as per this marvelous printable from Design*Sponge.)

There are dozens of envelope templates available online (see useful links below for a handful) but I don’t have a printer, so I created my own simple template on a piece of junk mail from the recycling box. I then carefully lined this up around the quotations to make them a focal point and traced and snipped the shape. Once the fiddly bit was over it was a simple fold and stick process to complete the job!

I can’t stress how simple these were to make, although the first couple came out wonkier than some of the later attempts, as my hand got steady and my folds, crisper…

I’ll seal my handmade envelopes with stickers – I’m on the look out for some pretty fleur de lys stickers, although I also have some flowery alphabet stickers for marking the cards with the recipent’s initials, courtesy of The Works!

Top folding tip:
Use a ruler. Line the thicker edge along the crease, then run your nail underneath the paper, firmly and flush against the ruler’s edge for a straight fold.

Useful links:

Basic envelope template

Mirkwood Designs – so many envelope templates to choose from!

Canon envelope lining printables (patterned inserts to make your envelopes pretty!)

Martha Stewart doily envelope inspiration

Design*Sponge’s inside out security envelopes project tutorial


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