A few years ago, my sister and I took on the challenge of making our own envelopes. It seemed so fancy and unattainable – your own cards? maybe – but your own envelopes? gasp! However, with the encouragement of our Paper Source sales woman and a few trusty little tools, we found that it was surprisingly simple. Since then, it has been one of my favorite ways to personalize my snail mail. My husband and I decided to do Christmas cards this year, and I decided to make envelopes for each and every one. Because we always have so many of them on hand, I chose Trader Joe’s paper bags for my envelopes and picked up a few pieces of particularly jolly holiday paper for my liners.
Lights, winter owls, mistletoe, gnomes, and holiday chalkboard.
I used these envelope and liner templates from Paper Source which make everything a cinch!
First, remove the handles and disassemble your Trader Joe’s bags so that you have one long piece of paper to work with; you probably won’t use the bottom as it’s thicker and harder to work with, but I usually leave it attached in case I need it.
Place your envelope template on the paper, strategically planning it out so you can get the most envelopes out of each bag. I was able to fit three 4 3/4″ x 6 1/2″ envelopes.
Trace and cut out your envelope stencil.
Fold in both side flaps, apply glue to the inner, lower side of the flaps.
Fold up the bottom flap and adhere to folded side flaps.
Voila! You now have a functioning envelope, and you can certainly leave them as is; but you can also jazz them up a bit…
Which is where my fun Christmas paper comes in! Use the liner template to trace out your envelope lining on the back side of the paper so no lines show. *Tip: you can shorten the length of your liner which will allow you to get more out of each piece of paper.
Cut out your liner and apply glue.
Glue side down, slide your liner into the envelope, leaving approximately one inch of the envelope exposed and smooth out. Crease and fold the top flap of the envelope and liner.
Look at these little guys all in a Christmasy row! They are only slightly time consuming but so easy – I know you can do it! Especially with some hot cocoa and a holiday movie playing in the background, eh? You can seal your envelopes using glue, tape or stickers. You can also certainly use other grocery store bags or craft paper for your envelopes, just make sure the paper is thick enough to hold the shape. I just love the Trader Joe’s bags because a) I already have them and b) they make special holiday ones with squirrels wearing mittens and such – can we beat that? I also plan on wrapping my Christmas presents with them this year, but that’s another day!