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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Envelope/Stationery Making (part one)

So you want to learn how to make envelopes?
I've been asked a number of times lately
so here we go -- an envelope/stationery tutorial.
This was harder to explain than it actually is to make the envelopes themselves.
Here is an array on my work table...
for inspiration.

Nothing is sacred -- I re-use, re-purpose everything I can get my hands on --
catalogs, cooking magazines, calendars, sheet music, ledger paper,
take-out menus, vintage magazines, old books, maps, comic books......
any paper ephemera that you can possibly think of.
You can also buy big sheets of decorative papers at art supply stores.

Free form envelope making
I prefer making a tri-fold envelopes. Very fast and easy. You don't even have to measure anything.
Cut a piece of paper and fold down about an inch for the "seal", then fold in half and use invisible tape to seal up the sides of the envelope. You can use decorative tape over that if you want.

Just be careful not to get over-zealous with the taping. I try to leave a small place at the top of each side to stick a knife or letter-opener in so people can get my envelopes open.
I have had to really tear some beauties that were sent to me because there was so much tape
and no little opening..

Handmade envelopes from a Japanese cooking magazine and a comic book.
It's fun to design the envelopes with the person you are sending to interests in mind.
And if you are sending them to someone in another country, chances are they
will enjoy seeing things you take for granted.

After sealing up the sides, adding decorative tape if wanted - just stuff the envelope and seal.
Et viola!
Slap a mailing label on the front, address, stamp and you are ready to rock and roll.

Or, take a walk to the post box.....

Templates for envelope making
If you don't want to do free form envelopes, you can buy clear, plexi envelope templates from Amazon

and, here in the USA, from The Paper Source. The advantage to the clear templates is that
you can position your template just the way you want it and see what will be showing on your envelope.
You use position template, trace with a pencil and cut out. Then tape or glue together.
This one was $1.50 from the Japanese Dollar Store here in SF.

Thanksgiving envelopes - catalog arrived today and I have a couple of envelopes ready to go out for Thanksgiving.

And here's a look at some great envelopes made by my pal
These are very cool - there is no end to ideas for envelope-making.

Edible SF magazine - a freebie. After reading it's envelope making time...

A lot of folks like to buy stationery and there are lots of places to do that - but I love re-cycling and re-purposing (again). I find old pads of paper in thrift shops and at
(think Korean Airlines stationery).
If your friends and family know you are into mail art and re-using they may clear out their basements or attics and offer up old hotel stationary or postcards that have been stored away.
Use rubber stamps to decorate.

I got a hold of some very old copy-right free designs and went to the copy center and got 100 great pieces of stationery.
If I wanted to get really crazy I could get out my colored pencils and color some of these in.

Charming, don't you think? And cheap!

Handmade cards
I like to make all kinds of cards as well....I found a stash of old romance novels at the thrift shop for 25 cents each and cut the covers off to make cards and postcards.
Anytime I can I pick up cool vintage photos and use them in the window cards...

These are just some of my ideas -- I will do another post about the subject  (collage cards, postcards) after Thanksgiving --so if you have any questions, please leave a comment.

And if you have any helpful advice to add, please do.
Making cards and stationery and envelopes is a lot of fun and also very "green" if you are re-cycling.

Send Good Mail (in a handmade envelope) to Get Good Mail!

Comments are always appreciated and welcome.


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