Monday, 17 August 2009

Upcycle Tutorial: How to make little envelopes from used envelopes

So I finally figured out what to do with my envelopes. I made little envelopes! I wish I'd figure out what to make of plastic bags. But until then I'll help you to make your own dinky envelopes! :)

1. Start with collecting and preparing old/used/unused envelopes: rip carefully off any windows and cut open all sides. You can tear off the glued sides - it will be easier to draw the envelopes later, but don't rip the top flap off (if it was glued on). I used envelopes that had had bills, junk mail envelopes and the ones they provide with addresses on and everything, only we rarely use them, do we? So give them a new life!

2. Carefully take a small envelope apart and copy its outline onto a stronger paper - old magazine cover works a treat. Or - just download this file: envelope It's a pdf file, so you'll need Acrobat reader.

3. Sort out your envelopes. You'll need A5 sized envelopes with windows or thin envelopes without windows for the template to fit. Naturally, if you have big envelopes without windows, use them, they are the best! :D

4. Lay out your envelope, preferably on some paper, not just on hard table, white side up. Place the template on it, so that the line between top and everything else is lined up with the fold on the envelope. (Sorry for the blurry photo, but I hope you see what I mean.)

5. Draw carefully around the template. Now you should have nice envelope outlines on the paper. Repeat with all your envelopes. Cut them out. You can now recycle the leftover bits, or keep them for other projects - I used some for making tags.

6. Now, the easiest way to fold your dinky envelopes nicely and neatly is to use a ruler. Take the envelope template and place a little thin ruler on one side, edges exactly lined up with the corners. Using your preferred index finger, fold the flap down and slide up and down the ruler. That should leave you with a nice straight fold. Repeat on all sides.

7. Now you'll have something like this:

But these are just guideline folds and you'll have to reinforce them. Preferably on hard surface, fold all the flaps down one by one and slide your finger on the fold. I'm sure you'll know how to do that! :) You'll envelope will look like this:

8. Put some glue on the edges of the bottom flap, about 2/3 of the way. Stick it on top of the side flaps.

9. And there you are - your own little envelope! And since you only glued 2/3 of the sides, you can slide the tip of the top flap under the edge of the bottom flap.

Thanks for looking! If you find any mistakes or a way to make explanations easier, please tell me!


P.S. You can buy a pack of 10 of these dinky envelopes in my shop.

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