Dress Up Those Envelopes!

8938451497 75948634ff n Dress Up Those Envelopes!

Maurine Anderson

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.

9618013482 533589a139 Dress Up Those Envelopes!

pin it button Dress Up Those Envelopes!Fun fact: Did you know that a giant paper heart can be folded into an envelope?

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pin it button Dress Up Those Envelopes!2. Decorate a plain envelope.

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.

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pin it button Dress Up Those Envelopes!3. Create a custom closure.

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.)

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pin it button Dress Up Those Envelopes!A note on USPS envelope requirements…

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Use permanent inks and not water-based ones, since the latter may not hold up to harsh weather conditions.
  3. Make sure there is a clear space for you to write the recipient address. (Decorative labels can help with this!)
  4. Be sure that there is good contrast between the envelope color and address color.
  5. 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


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22 Responses to Dress Up Those Envelopes!

  1. Gilu says:

    I’ve been thinking so much lately about making custom envelopes. Instead, I ended up making a gift bag. However, this post is going to have me go right back to try and make envelopes. Great post!

  2. Sue says:

    I like making envelopes to coordinate with my cards, as well. If you have plain envelopes you can ‘dress’ them up with a spritz of color/sparkle, add a bit of washi tape or use the same sentiment stamp in a corner of the front.

  3. Julie S says:

    I didn’t know about the heart. Great ideas here. I love to decorate my envelopes.

  4. jerri says:

    I have to make my own envelopes for my cards because my cards end up being odd sizes. I like to use 12×12 scrapbook paper – with the printed side decorating the inside of the envelope.

  5. Cynthia X. says:

    Love your envelope ideas. Thanks for the tips and tricks.

  6. Frances says:

    Oh I love your ideas. So fantastic. This post makes me very happy!!!!! Thank you.

  7. Natasha Poteraj says:

    Those are so cute! I usually just stamp something on the sealed area….

  8. Shirley N says:

    I love your envelope ideas, thanks for the great tips!

  9. B Vincent says:

    Great ideas! Thanks Maurine! I often stamp images in the bottom left corner and/or back flap from the set that I used to create the card I’m sending :)

  10. Renee V. says:

    Hi Maurine! Thanks for sharing your ideas, they are wonerful! And no, I did not know a heart could be turned into an envie, had to pin that one! Take care

  11. love to dress up envelopes… thanks for the tips.. so fun..

  12. What a fun post! You’ve shared some great ideas! I just bought the We R Memory Keepers envelope punch board, and I LOVE it!!! I’ll definitely be making more decorative envelopes now!

  13. mary ellen says:

    love the ideas for making personal envelopes, but what about mailing something out that has an embellishment (or two) on it? is there any way to protect the embellishment so that it doesn’t get crushed when mailing the card?

  14. Bonnie Isabelle says:

    Sometimes when I want to make sure the mail gets where I want it to go I put the recipient address as the return address too

  15. Helen F. says:

    I usually decorate my card envelopes with stamps that I have used on the card I am sending, but these ideas are great, Maurine! Thanks so much for the “How-To” :)

  16. Carla Hundley says:

    Fun stuff here.
    What size did you
    make the heart you
    used for the envelope?
    Carla from Utah

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  18. Thanks for the tips! I love decorating my envelopes. I like to stamp an image that coordinates with the card inside. And, I always line them with matching paper.

  19. Those envelopes are GREAT!! I just bought the new envelope maker by We R Memory Keepers which I think is great! I used to buy envelopes but, now I figure why not make a matching envelope to go with my card and save some money doing it.:) I don’t think I like making envelope as much as you do, but with this new envelope maker I might get a little more into it then I had been.

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    Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thank you, very great article.

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