How to make envelopes from calendars and other pretty papers

Perhaps you don’t need your own pattern envelopes.  But since I started drafting my own patterns–often from clothes I own and enjoy–and sometimes because I have created something from scratch and want to be able to duplicate it–I do need pattern envelopes.  There is a simple solution: re-use.  I often do this, since my workplace generates envelopes in a  suitably generous size.


But when that fails–or I feel like it–or I have paper too lovely to throw away but not capable of re-use as it is–like calendar images–I make envelopes.  Card sized, seed-saving sized, or pattern sized. DIY is splendidly simple.  You start with an envelope that works for you and either pull it apart or draw it to scale and then cut your own template from cardboard.  You can make one with the envelope shape cut out of it:


You can make one that you trace around–cereal boxes are perfect for this:


Then, the world is your envelope-making oyster.  This old William Morris calendar just became pattern envelopes, and an extremely cute zine just became seed saving/sharing envelopes, as you can see in the images further below.


Here are the steps…

Trace your shape in pencil, being sure to hold the template firmly against the paper or card:


After tracing:


Cut out:


Fold (I use my rotary cutting mat to help keep folds square-ish).  Use a bone folder if you have one, or rub your folds with the bowl of a spoon to create nice crisp folds:


Tip for seed savers: ensure that when you fold up the bottom seam of a seed saving envelope, you fold up a generous overlap, leaving no gaps that might allow tiny seeds to escape. Same again with the top flap.

Finally, glue seams, being sure not to apply glue in places where it can escape and stick the inside of your envelope together, and apply a weighty book so your envelopes dry nice and flat:



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