As a paper crafter and also as a card crafter, I have been struggling for many years to find the best way to DIY easy envelopes for my greeting cards. The card format I usually work with is the most traditional – A6. And because my cards are always layered, which makes them thicker, I need the envelope to be a bit bigger than A6 size to fit the card. If you are also making greeting cards, I am sure you understand exactly what I mean. It is difficult to find an easy way to supply yourself with interesting, unique looking envelopes, which are not crazy expensive and also creating them doesn’t leave a mass of leftovers.
Of course, talking about shapes, the WRMK envelope board gives me lots of great options and I like it very much, but for the sizes I need the most often, it requires unwieldly and odd shaped sizes of paper that leave lots of leftovers.
So, in search of original looking, cheap and comfortable size envelopes, I found my own way.
The envelope paper design
Did you realize that almost all the paper designs you can buy (digital or not) are offered in a square shape? This is because a square shape makes it very easy to create a seamless pattern. Which is logical since most designers are trying to work as smart as possible and make things as easy for themselves as possible. Unfortunately, square shapes don’t fit rectangular shaped pieces of paper like A4 or letter size. Actually, a friend from a scrapbook group “opened my eyes” to this when I asked for opinions on my first paper design which was square. “I am a card maker”, she said, “and they don’t fit the shapes I need. So when I take the part I need, I have a big leftover piece which very often I don’t need and don’t know how to use”.
I am a person who believes that the best gift we can give someone is something made by us, spending our precious time. So, I support all DIY gift ideas, especially around Christmas, because this time of year is meant for being with the people we love and to show this love.
These days almost every paper crafter has a colour inkjet printer at home along with other gadgets. The problem is most of them work on rectangular not square paper. And most people don’t have the time, or the knowledge needed to adapt a square design to a rectangular shape.
So, acknowledging that square designs don’t suit rectangular paper, I recently started drawing and assembling my own rectangular designs into envelopes, following my own inspiration and they work great!
First, I printed an A4 size, 200 gcm sheet full page with two of my “Christmas in Summer Australian inspired” paper designs. You can also use 80 gcm paper or something different to suit your needs. My suggestion is not to use too thick paper (over 200 gcm), because the envelope will not look elegant.
Making the envelope template
Leaving this printed sheet aside for a while, I next took a simple sheet of A4 copy paper (you could even use an old document).
Fold it in half as shown (2).
Then fold in from the open side about 7/8” of an inch or 2.2 cm (3).
Then fold the top part down to a bit less than 1/3 part of the whole length (4).
Fold the rest of the shape in a half as shown (5).
The open shape (6) shows the parts which have to be removed to achieve the envelope shape.
Cutout the bottom outlined area (7).
Then cutout the top outlined area (8).
Now it is time to decide the shape of the envelope flaps.
I made the side flaps and the bottom simple, only with round corners (9).
And gave a light arabesque shape to the top flap (10).
Then opened the template to test how it works and looks (11).
Stick it lightly to the printed sheet (12) using a weak tape or not very strong washi or paper tape. First, only stick the two sheets together where absolutely necessary – the smallest possible area. Second, to reduce the strength of the tape, stick the piece of tape on something else before using it on the printed sheet. I do it by sticking it on the table or on my jeans to reduce the stickiness. Minimizing the areas stuck together and the strength of the bond is to avoid any risk of damaging the printed design when you remove the template.
Outline the template shape onto the printed sheet and then carefully remove the template. Cut around the outlined shape on the printed sheet.
And here is the result!
The really easy DIY envelope 🙂
The next step is to score the printed shape along the envelop fold lines and to put glue on the side flaps…
As you can see, I prefer my envelope to have a longer bottom flap.
This gives me the opportunity to add extra decoration, which could be an unexpected message, or – as in this case – a little Christmas tree.
This envelope idea is not the only thing I am planning to share with you over the coming days, but also my whole Christmas card collection.
Enjoy your craft time!
If you are curious to see my “Christmas in Summer” floral paper designs, you will find them in the Etsy shop I am creating some designs for. Or you can click on the banner link to visit my blog shop: