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.
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  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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