I have a confession to make, everyone: I like making pretty envelopes just as much as I do pretty cards. Maybe even more so. I mean, it’s the first thing the recipient is going to see, right? So, why not make it just as fancy as the card? This week I thought I’d show you some of my favorite ways to make cute, customized envelopes.
1. Cut one out of patterned paper.
Whether you use a die-cutting machine or an envelope maker, cutting an envelope out of patterned paper is a great way to customize your envelope to match the card that will sit inside. (Double-sided patterned paper is especially fun for this because you’ll get an instant decorative liner for your envelope!) Here I used the Envelope Punch Board by We R Memory Keepers to create a lovely striped envelope that will house this floral patterned card.
As you can imagine, there are about a gazillion ways of doing this. So get creative! You could stamp a faint pattern onto an envelope by using an ink that is close to the envelope color. Or you could cut some patterned paper to fit inside the envelope, creating a faux envelope liner. You could even outline the edges of the envelope with washi tape if you wanted to (red and blue striped washi tape along the outside of a white envelope, anyone?) Here I stamped a pattern onto the front of an envelope, masking a space for the address, and then I adhered some patterned paper to the inside to create a pretty liner.
This could be as simple as sticking a piece of washi tape along the back of a sealed envelope, or stamping on the back right where some people normally put a sticker. I thought it would be a neat idea to create a custom closure using some thick card stock, a paper punch, a couple of brads, and some string. Cool, huh? (Just be sure to keep this last closure style to hand-delivered envelopes only! Envelopes like this are a tad difficult to mail.)
You can decorate an envelope to your heart’s content when you’ll be hand-delivering it to a friend, of course, but what about those times when you want to put it through the mail? Here are a few things you should know about mailing regulations according to the USPS web site:
- A standard, mailable envelope is a rectangle between 3 ½” x 5″ and 6 ⅛ ” x 11 ½” in size. Anything smaller than that cannot be mailed, and anything larger than that is considered a “large envelope” or “package,” which will cost more to mail.
- Use permanent inks and not water-based ones, since the latter may not hold up to harsh weather conditions.
- Make sure there is a clear space for you to write the recipient address. (Decorative labels can help with this!)
- Be sure that there is good contrast between the envelope color and address color.
- While it’s preferred to have the return address on the front, it’s also acceptable to write it on the back flap of the envelope.
Anyhow, those are just a few ways to play around with plain, old envelopes. What are some of your favorite ways to customize them?
Maurine, Editorial Intern