One of my favorite ways to make ordinary events in our lives a bit more special is to make “giving” just about anything to someone a bit more stylish. I know you have given someone a card with a check in it for a wedding, graduation, or birthday. Why not take a little extra effort and place the card in a pretty envelope you made instead of using the boring one it came with to elevate the ordinary into something well – extraordinary?
I even like to do this when a friend asks for a copy of a recipe I made. I like to call this kind of giving “Creative Manners” and have written about it a few times before in these posts: A Gift of a Letter, Easy Embellished Envelopes and One of a Kind Envelopes.
I was reminded of this when I received the clock face cabinet knobs for my powder room that I ordered from Anthropologie. In the box along with the knobs that came to my doorstep was the receipt for the order in a styling sewn envelope.
It is made of paper and sewn around all edges. Grommets hold small discs in place that string goes around to close the envelope.
I wanted to make one… right then, but in an easier and more colorful fashion. I had to wait until this past weekend when I made the time to gather up my supplies to whip out a stack of Anthropologie inspired sewn paper envelopes.
How to Make Sewn Paper Envelopes
All of the supplies I used to make my envelopes are basic items that you probably have somewhere in your house already.
If you don’t have scrapbook paper – use gift wrap or maps.
No Baker’s Twine? – embroidery floss, yarn, or string will work.
Buttons? Every time I throw a stained piece of clothing in the trash, I remove all the buttons and keep them in my crafts cabinet.
No Sewing machine or Double Stick tape? A thin line of glue – it is a bit messier, but will work.
Greeting cards can be pretty pricey at $4 each. I usually search for nice ones at the dollar store so I have one on hand for any occasion that pops up.
supplies needed:Print-out of .pdfs Tape Scrapbook paper or gift wrap Sewing machine or double stick tape for no-sew version Ruler Craft knife Scissors Pencil Glue stick Buttons Baker’s Twine or embroidery floss
The size of the template/pattern will fit the average size greeting card that is about 7-1/4″ X 4 -3/4″. There are 2 .pdfs so that you could print it out at home. I needed to cut the pattern in half since the pattern is larger than 8 1/2″ x 11″ printer paper. Once you tape the two print outs together – you will have one long pattern that you simply cut out in one piece. Use this as your template to trace around. Once the pattern is cut out you fold it along the two fold lines to create a envelope. You can either sewn the sides or glue them…more on how to do that below.
If your card is taller – simply add more to the template/pattern length. Need wider? Resize the pattern before printing or make an enlargement on a copy machine. All sewn seams are 1/8″ from the edge.
1. Print out both pdfs. Cut each one out and then tape the bottom of #1 to the top of #2 to make your template. It will be very long. This is so that you can fold it to make an envelope. You can also change the size of the template by the way you fold over the flap – bringing it down to the bottom edge of the envelope or by cutting some of the length off and making it shorter.
2. To make clean crisp fold lines, place a ruler along fold line, run the tip of a closed pair of scissors against the ruler. This will gently score the paper and make folding much easier.
If you plan to make a few envelopes, use card stock or cardboard so the template will keep its shape after many uses.
I made my template using card stock. I taped it together using Washi tape.
Use gift wrap to make your envelopes. TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, and Marhalls always have trendy and fun designs.
VARIATION: You can also use scrapbook paper. Since scrapbook paper is not as long only 12″ x 12″ you will need to cut the template in two. (Using gift wrap you can fold one long piece into an envelope.) When making this envelope, I cut the template so I had two pieces that would need to be stitched on both sides and the bottom. ***If you plan to make one this way, add a 1/2″ of extra length to the envelope to account for the bottom seam.
Place the flap section pattern side down and cut piece on top.
Optional: If you want to line your envelopes, do so before sewing or taping together.
To make a lining: Trace around flap section of pattern, cut out and then glue it to the wrong side of the envelope’s flap.
To Sew Envelope: Use a binder clip or paper clip to hold the paper together so it will stay lined up when you sew the pieces together.
Stitch sides together using a large stitch 1/8″ from the edge using a coordinating color of thread.
How To make a Button and Baker’s Twine closure:
-Use a small dab of hot glue on the center back of a button. Place one button on the bottom center of flap and a second button on the body of the envelope about a 1/4″ below where flap ends.
-Cut a piece of Baker’s Twine to 8 inches. Wrap one end around top button, pushing the end of the twine into center under button to touch the glue. This will secure it. Let glue dry, and then wrap the twine “Figure 8 style” around the two buttons.
Close up of how the button and Baker’s Twine is attached.
So the next time you are giving a card to someone – make it special. If you plan ahead – you can have a stack of these envelopes made in a few different sizes all ready to go.
Variation: No Sew Version
To make a no-sew version of the envelope you will need double stick tape. This red tape is the best – super tacky and holds paper together securely. It comes in different widths. I used the 1/8″ width.
Place the tape along the side edges.
Place your card in.
Want to see more creative ways to make envelopes? I have lots :-)
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