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Make Custom Envelopes

In the early part of the 19th century, letters were not mailed in envelopes. Instead, they were folded and the addresses placed on the outside of the sheet. A homemade card certainly calls for an envelope that's equally as special. It's easy to create one that's customized to the size and shape of your card.




  • Paper or card stock
  • Card
  • Triangle or ruler
  • Pencil
  • Bone folder
  • Scissors
  • Scalloped scissors or French curve, optional
  • Glue stick


  1. Step 1

    Start with a piece of paper that is approximately 3 times longer than the height of your envelope and about 2 inches wider on each side.

  2. Step 2

    Place your paper, design-side down on your work surface. Place your card centered, right and left, and about 3 inches down from the top edge of your paper. If you are using patterned paper, be sure the design is positioned how you want it on the front.

  3. Step 3

    Use a triangle or a ruler to trace around the card, about 1/8 inch out from each side so that your card can slip easily into the envelope. Extend the lines outward to the edges of the paper. You will use these lines as guides for making the flaps of your envelope.

  4. Step 4

    Use a bone folder to fold along the line at the bottom of your card.

  5. Step 5

    Cut the bottom flap about 1 inch shorter than the height of your card. Keep in mind that your top and bottom flaps must overlap so that your envelope can close. Don't cut either flap too short.

  6. Step 6

    Cut out the corners of your paper along the intersecting lines. Trim the side panels to about 3/4 inch wide, cutting the corners at an angle.

  7. Step 7

    Double check that the top and bottom flaps before you cut the flap. Cut the top flap using scalloped scissors or a French curve to make a decorative edge. Or use regular scissors to cut the flap into a point.

  8. Step 8

    Fold the side panels in, fold up the bottom panel, then glue them together with a glue stick. If you are making many of the same envelope, it is a good idea to make a reusable template from card stock. The post office won't deliver envelopes of certain shapes and sizes, so check postal regulations before dropping your envelopes in the mail. Also, if you're mailing your envelopes, keep in mind that certain papers are better to use than others. Post-office machines cannot "read" envelopes made from dark-colored or patterned paper, so envelopes made with these types of papers will take longer to be delivered.

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Reviews (4)

  • QuirkpodNC 8 Aug, 2014

    Impossible to follow without illustrations! Better off tracing an envelope that you want to copy by opening it up, tracing it and cutting it out. I want to make them for resale. No mention of what glue to use for that.

  • Patersod 22 Nov, 2008

    I think Step 1 means to say "3 times the height of your CARD..." instead of "3 times the height of your ENVELOPE..." It made more sense to me that way.

  • cats4judy 22 Sep, 2008

    I tried this and the instructions are a little confusing to me. I wish there was a detailed illustration to follow for dummies like me. Is there an easier way to explain it?

  • dianneme 26 Feb, 2008

    I make a lot of greeting cards and this technique makes them a bit more upscale and fun to receive.