I recently got a perfect little Valentine’s Day card for my brother and his wife. Only it didn’t come with an envelope. Rather than go out and buy a whole box of over-sized envelopes which I’ll probably never use again, I decided to get crafty. Typically you can make an envelope using your run-of-the-mill 8.5 X 11 sheet of paper but because of this awkward big shape I had to figure out how to artfully pull together two pieces of paper into some kind of pocket. I modified some instructions from eHow.com to produce the big envelope below.
- Your card, whether store bought or homemade
- Two sheets of 8.5 x 11 inch construction paper
- Tape or strong adhesive
Step 2: Draw a rectangle or square on a piece of construction paper matching the dimensions of the card. Add an inch of excess paper to each side. Using a ruler, draw out lines you can use as a guide for cutting the paper to correct dimensions.
Step 3: Once you’ve got your paper cut in the shape you need, place the card on top of the paper. Use the pencil and ruler to trace lines around the shape of the card, leaving half an inch on each side. This excess half an inch will be used to create tabs for folding around the card later.
Step 5: Now, pull out your second sheet of paper. Lay your first piece of paper with the folded edges on top of the second piece of paper. Use the edges of the first sheet as a guide to draw lines on the second sheet.
Step 6: Move your first sheet out of the way. Then draw the triangle for the top of the envelope on the second sheet of paper. Along the top horizontal line, take a ruler to find the halfway point of the line. Make a mark at this point with your pencil and draw a vertical line upwards from this notch. Then take your ruler to draw diagonal lines from the corners of the horizontal line up to the top of this vertical line to form a triangle.
Step 8: Return to your first sheet of paper with the folded tabs. Apply your adhesive to the outward face of the tabs. You can fold packaging tape into rectangles and stick them on the tabs, or use double-sided tape. Alternatively you can use the ultra-strong glue used for scrap booking but since I didn’t have that lying around the house, and I’m on a budget, I had to make due without it. Riley says you could also experiment with watered down wood glue although I haven’t tried that myself.
Step 9: Lay the second sheet of paper with the triangle top on top of the first sheet with the folded tabs. Press along the edges to ensure sides are stuck together. You can reinforce with more tape along the side or staples but of course, that won’t be as pretty. You could use decorative stickers to coverup the staples however. If you do go the staple route, you’ll want to leave more than a half an inch of excess paper along the sides of the card so that there’s enough room to move the card in and out.
Step 10: Trim any excess paper on the bottom and edges and fix any unsightly tape poking out. Erase any pencil marks or coverup with decorative swirls, stickers, etc. Slide your card into the envelope. Fold the triangle over the edge of the backside of the envelope. Use tape and/or a sticker to adhere the triangle to the backside of the envelope.
Now pop your DIY envelope in the mail and wait to hear from your relatives about how cute your art project is!
Okay, it definitely has a DIY look but this is actually only my second time making an envelope from construction paper, so I figured it was alright if it was a little rough around the edges.