Custom Envelope Tutorial

Yesterday, I promised you a tutorial on how to line an envelope. I love customizing envelopes for my cards. It only takes a couple of minutes, but adds lots of pizazz. When I began writing this post, I realized that this whole process sounds a lot harder than it really is. I think that’s often the case when you are trying to write step by step directions. So, I’ve included lots of photos that will (hopefully) make the process clear and simple to follow. So, let’s get down to business.

You will want to begin by lining the interior of your envelope. Insert your paper into the envelope, printed side up. The point of one corner should be centered just below the opening, and it should look like this: 022

Remove the paper from the envelope and cut out the traced design. Once again, insert this cut piece into the envelope opening, point down, printed side up. Tuck it in squarely, just below the gummed edge. Sometimes, the paper will feel a little too tight. If this is the case, remove it from the envelope, and shave just a hair off both the right and left hand corner, following the natural line of the paper. It should now fit without buckling or creasing. It should look like this: 024 Are you still with me? Looking good? Ok, then. Lay a straightedge along the envelope flap creaseHow to line an envelope blog post 001 and fold your inserted paper over the edge of the ruler. How to line an envelope blog post 002 Remove the ruler, fold the envelope flap down and use a bone folder to crease.
How to line an envelope blog post 004 Raise the envelope flap. The insert should still be folded down. That’s perfect. Now, run a glue stick lightly along the crease and around the perimeter of the envelope flap, being careful not to run it onto the gummed area of the envelope.
How to line an envelope blog post 003Fold the envelope flap down again, and use the bone folder to gently crease the two pieces of paper together.
When you are finished, the interior will be lined and should look like this:
How to line an envelope blog post 005

Doesn’t it look great? Well, to be honest with you, the first few times I tried this, I had some ugly creases and crooked inserts. I recommend practicing with an old envelope first, or one that has been smudged. (What’s that you say? You don’t ever get inky or smudged envelopes by mistake? Well, I do, but a little further down, I share a great way to fix those little mistakes.) Keep practicing, and soon you’ll be lining envelopes with ease.

Now, on to the outer flap. This part really is easy to do. Begin by placing a piece of paper under the envelope flap, print side up. How to line an envelope blog post 006 Carefully trace around the edge of the envelope flap, then cut along that line. You’ll have something that looks like this: How to line an envelope blog post 007

Using a glue stick, lightly run the glue all the way around the perimeter of the envelope flap. Then, with the envelope closed, place your cutout piece onto the envelope flap, making sure you are lined up nice and straight with the top edge of the envelope. I always use a glue stick for this job because you can “shimmy” the paper a little bit, even after it’s been laid down, just in case you are not perfectly straight. Once you are happy with the placement, open the envelope and run a bone folder gently over the entire surface, securing the liner paper to the envelope flap. Your envelope flap should look like this: How to line an envelope blog post 008 Sometimes, you’ll have little bit of overhang, because paper has a tendency to stretch a little once it has been glued. If this happens, just use a nice sharp pair of scissors to trim off any excess. Voila! A beautifully lined, custom envelope.

You can continue on to decorate the front of the envelope if you desire. I like to do this because it lets people know right away that something really special is inside this card. I like to stamp images on the front of the envelope (a great way to cover up any errant smudges) or you can tear a strip of designer paper and run it along one edge of an envelope. Or, you can fussy cut an image from designer paper and glue it securely to the envelope front. If you are sending an envelope through the mail, it’s best to just stamp the front of the envelope. Here are some photos of a few custom envelopes I’ve made recently:

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014 (2)

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I hope you’ve enjoyed this simple tutorial, and will take the time to spruce up some of your envelopes. Let me know if you’d like more ideas for making envelopes, and let me if there are other kinds of tutorials you might enjoy. I’m always happy to share the things I’ve learned along the way. If anything in this post seems confusing, contact me, and I’ll try to make it more clear.

Thanks again for reading my little blog. I so appreciate it when you take the time to leave me a comment. I read every single one, and each one fills my heart with joy. Until next time!


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6 thoughts on “Custom Envelope Tutorial

  1. ncguygirl

    You make this sound easy – thanks for the tutorial! Your envelopes are almost as pretty as your cards!

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