I’ve been making my own recycled envelopes for a long time, it’s great on so many levels.

Firstly I never run out of envelopes! No more running to the newsagent at the last minute and having to buy a pack of 50 boring white envelopes.

But really my favorite reason is re-using lots of paper that would normally get thrown out, and making really fun stationery at the same time.

I love sending mail in fun envelopes. It brightens up the day of whoever is receiving it, and I’m sure the postie enjoys a change from delivering boring old mail too.

How to make a paper envelope the easy way!

It’s very easy to make your own envelope template.

I while ago I made myself a cardboard template that fit onto A4 paper, which creates postcard sized envelopes. Now I’ve digitized it so you can print yourself out one too. Pop it onto strong card to make it durable.

You’ll need to print the template at 100% – depending on your printer it should work ok (some don’t print right to the edge). If you are having trouble, just ‘print to fit’ page, It may end up slightly smaller.

If you want to make mini envelopes go ahead and reduce the template by 40-50%

I made a big batch a while ago with Emma’s old kinder artwork. No more guilt about ‘filing’ those abstract paintings in the recycle bin, making envelopes was a great use for them.

You will need:

  • Thin cardboard
  • Glue stick
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Scrap paper

What paper can I recycle into envelopes?

Really any piece of paper large enough to fit the template can be recycled into an envelope. You probably throw tons of it away every day, or if you are like me, have a huge pile of pretty wrapping paper and children’s art work in a box just waiting to be used for the right project.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • old maps
  • used wrapping paper
  • pages from old books
  • kid’s artwork
  • paper bags
  • magazine pages
  • old calendars
  • sheet music
  • colouring book pages
  • newspaper
  • scrapbook paper
  • posters
  • product packaging
  • school work
  • junk mail

How to make an Envelope:

1. Glue the printed template onto thin cardboard (I’ve used a file divider thingy). Alternatively you can print directly onto card.

2. It out the cardboard template. Now you can use this envelope pattern over and over because it’s nice and sturdy.

How to make paper envelopes

3. Trace the envelope outline onto your chosen paper with a pencil.

4. It out on the trace line. I like a few layers of paper at a time for efficiency. You can erase any remaining pencil lines if desired.

5. Now time to fold on the dotted line. I just go ahead and do it by eye, but if you’d like to make it more precise, you can use a ruler and score it with a blunt edge tool.

6. Fold in the short sides first.

7. Then fold the bottom.

8. Add glue to the edge of the bottom flap. I’ve marked the areas in pink on the photo above.

9. Fold it up and press down firmly to secure. Crease top flap and you’re done.