Easy Envelopes for Handmade Cards

It’s easy to make cus­tom envelopes for your hand­made cards — per­fect for those non-traditional sizes! You can get cre­ative with unique papers and dec­o­ra­tive lin­ers, too. Kids will catch on quickly since they don’t even need to mea­sure their paper.… they just need to under­stand the con­cept of start­ing with a square that’s a lit­tle bit larger than the card.
(Note: I’m giv­ing spe­cific mea­sure­ments for those who want them, but the beauty of these envelopes is that you can make them with­out mea­sur­ing! Even the lin­ers can be made just by ‘eye­balling’ the size needed. You don’t need to be exact.… close enough is good enough here!)
1. Start with a square piece of paper that’s just a lit­tle larger than your card on each side. Turn the square so its cor­ners point up and down, and right and left (like a dia­mond). Then cen­ter your card on the square. (If you make your card from an 8 1/2” x 11” or 9” x 12” paper folded in half, then a 12” x 12” square will work per­fectly for the enve­lope. For a small 4” x 5” card, a 7” x 7” square will work well.)
2. Fold each cor­ner over the card, begin­ning with one of the shorter sides and end­ing with one of the longer sides. If you lightly “score” your enve­lope (with your fin­ger­nail or a paper clip) along the edges of the card it will make it eas­ier to fold.
3. Remove the card and unfold your enve­lope. Cut away the tri­an­gles where the fold lines cross.  You can round the top cor­ner with scis­sors if you want.
4. Now fold the sides in and fold the bot­tom flap up over them. Cut the point off the bot­tom flap (if you want), and glue the edges of the bot­tom flap to the lower edges of the side flaps.
5. To fin­ish, put your card back inside and glue the top down or seal it closed with a sticker.

To line your enve­lope (optional)….
(Note: Once again, you can totally do this with­out mea­sur­ing, just by lay­ing the liner on top of the fin­ished enve­lope and eye­balling the amount to fold back and cut!)
1. Mea­sure the width of your enve­lope, and sub­tract about 1/4 inch so the liner will fit eas­ily inside. For the length, open up the flap of the enve­lope, and mea­sure from the bot­tom fold of your enve­lope to about ¾” below the point. Cut your lin­ing paper to this size. (To line an enve­lope for a 6”x9” card, cut your liner paper to 8 ¾” x 10 ¼”.)
2. Next, slide the lin­ing paper into the enve­lope, and fold down the upper left and right edges of the liner about ¾” inside the edges of the enve­lope flap, to allow a space for glu­ing your enve­lope closed. Crease well. Remove the lin­ing paper and cut along the fold lines.
3. Insert the liner into your enve­lope and fold it down along the flap fold. Place a piece of scrap paper between the liner flap and the body of the enve­lope to pro­tect the back of the enve­lope from glue. Finally, glue the back of the liner to the inside of the enve­lope flap.
4. Fold the enve­lope flap over the liner, and rub well. Lift flap and remove the scrap paper.
Col­laged card with a cus­tom enve­lope, inspired by the art of Haiti!


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14 Responses to Easy Envelopes for Handmade Cards

  1. Kathy August 11, 2011 at 6:28 pm #

    Those are great tips for mak­ing envelopes! I like the fact that the square works for rec­tan­gu­lar cards. It’s won­der­ful that no tem­plate is needed.

  2. Krissa August 21, 2011 at 8:35 am #

    Yay! This is just what I needed…

  3. Semi`nin Mutlu Elleri August 23, 2011 at 1:55 am #

    Thanks a lot, great! As soon as pos­si­ble I‘ll try this with my kids:)

  4. Rizwan Ali October 15, 2011 at 3:16 am #

    This is very unique idea to make cards like this and also nice info has been shared.
    Hotel Key Card
    mem­ber­ship card

  5. Janice October 28, 2012 at 7:06 pm #

    I just started mak­ing cards, this is what I have been look­ing for, thanks

  6. Kate December 6, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

    Thank you — you made it easy.

  7. Carrie December 12, 2014 at 6:45 am #

    I have to admit, I was look­ing for a tem­plate but decided to try this any­way — LOVE IT! I’m so excited to fin­ish my project! I do have one ques­tion, would it be eas­ier to line the envelopes before glu­ing together? Thanks for sharing!

    • Cheryl Trowbridge December 15, 2014 at 9:01 am #

      Car­rie, the rea­son I don’t offer a tem­plate for envelopes is because you would have to have a sep­a­rate tem­plate for each size card. But when you custom-make your envelopes, they will fit any size card per­fectly! And it’s eas­ier than it sounds! I just re-worded my direc­tions for the liner to make it a lit­tle more clear. Some­day I’ll do a photo tuto­r­ial for this, but until then I hope this helps! It’s actu­ally eas­ier to glue the enve­lope before mak­ing the liner. The way I make the liner, it just slides in and stops at the bot­tom of the enve­lope, so it actu­ally requires less paper, too.

  8. Jill H. May 1, 2015 at 5:20 am #

    Hi! Does this idea work for square cards, too? Would you use just a big­ger square for the enve­lope?
    Btw, thanks so much for sharing! :-)

    • Cheryl Trowbridge May 1, 2015 at 9:56 pm #

      Yes, Jill, the same prin­ci­ple applies to square cards! It’s adapt­able to any size or shape!

  9. Alyssa May 7, 2015 at 5:31 pm #

    This does not work!

    • Cheryl Trowbridge May 12, 2015 at 12:41 pm #

      Alyssa, I’m sorry you’re hav­ing trou­ble with this… what part isn’t work­ing for you? If you’re refer­ring to the square card, the only thing you do dif­fer­ently is that you don’t need to trim the bot­tom cor­ner before fold­ing it up, so that’s one less step! Let me know what you’re hav­ing trou­ble with and I’ll try to help… it really does work!!


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