Personal snail mail is a joy to send and receive, especially if there is a colorful handmade envelope made from paper that would normally be thrown in the recycling bin.  This week I got to make envelopes for thank you notes for my very special book group friends.  We exchanged gifts last weekend.  On Monday I made envelopes from the wrapping paper one of my gifts was wrapped in, from an old calendar page with a quilt design, and from a damaged children’s book page that I bought for 25 cents at the public library.   Here’s how I made the envelopes and note cards.Years ago I bought a book called The Envelope Mill.  Unfortunately the book is out of print, but some used copies are available.  The most important part of the book is the three plastic templates. They are translucent plastic that allows the areas that will be the envelope to be seen before tracing around the template and cutting out.  (Note of caution if buying a used book, make sure the templates are part the sale, otherwise don’t bother).  I used the medium sized template and found an area of the wrapping paper that would work for the envelope.  I traced around it with a heavy marker and cut out around the edges.The sides, top and bottom can easily be folded along the edges to form the envelope shape.

Double stick tape holds the side and bottom flaps together.  I punched some snowflake designs from the wrapping paper and added them to a green sheet of paper cut the fit the envelope.  Once the note was finished and inside, I sealed the back with scotch tape. Use tape or very strong stickers for the back.  Make sure both labels (return and where to send addresses) are on the front along with an adhesive backed stamp.  I used to put the return address on the back, but then I would have the envelopes delivered to me.  By putting both labels on the front that doesn’t happen anymore.  For my friend who is an artist with her sewing creations, I used an quilt design from an old calendar to make her envelope. And for my friend who loves the color blue and its etherial qualities, I used a page from a damaged children’s book with snowy winter images.

Before finishing, I decided that instead of the usual white return and address labels that are put on the front, I wanted more color coordinated labels. A quick wash with watercolor paints worked for that.

My son and his girlfriend helped make some envelopes last night.  They were so inspired by the beauty of the envelopes and labels, that a get well letter was sent to a friend today.  Normally they would have sent an email or text.  Yeah for the joy of sending beauty via snail mail.

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3 Responses to The Joy of Snail Mail – Handmade Envelopes

  1. Lydia says:

    Yes! And we loved getting the envelope in the mail!

  2. Jen says:

    I’ve been making my own envelopes for years (since college in the mid 90’s). I love your work… so creative & so beautiful 🙂

    • Linda Wiggen Kraft says:

      Thanks for the comments Jen. I’d love to see your envelopes. It is such fun to make them, and my friends tell me what a treat it is to get one in the mail. LINDA

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