Thursday, January 1, 2009

Make Your Own Envelope (SYFY Tip #9)

I find I tend to make cards to fit the envelopes I have, because if I make anything non-standard, then I'd have to make the envelope to go with it, which sounds like work. But I really, really wanted to make a 6x6 card, so I knew going in the envelope would be a problem.

I started out by lamely putting the card into a bubble envelope, but I bagged that idea because it looked pretty stupid that way. Plus, it was a cop-out. So today, after I finished the card, I set in to make the envelope, and I decided to document it for posterity. Thus was born SYFY Tip #9, and we'll call it a tutorial, too, so I get a double-duty post out of it. ;-)

(Please ignore the mess surrounding the central object in these photos. I was too lazy to clean it up. Also, I am not showing the card front on purpose; the card itself will be revealed once its recipient has it in her hot little hands later this month.)

Disclaimer: I am not an expert envelope-maker, and I do not even play one on TV. I just make up this stuff as I go, and it works for me, so I thought if you ever wanted to try it, I'd show you what I did.

Phew. Now that that's out of the way, let us begin.

Step 1. Lay the card in the center of a turned-sideways 12x12 piece of card stock. I used double-sided card stock, so the inside has a pattern and the outside is plain and can be written on easily. Also, you could use paper instead of card stock, but I have a funky thing on the front of the card I wanted to protect, so I went with the thicker card stock.

Step 2. Score a line along one side of the card, about 1/8" to 1/4" from the edge of the card. You need to have the envelope a tad bit bigger than the card so it will fit.

Step 2a. Do this on the other three sides, too.

Step 3. Cut a 'V' shape where the score lines meet. This is what will allow your sides to fold in nicely.

Step 4. Fold on all four score lines to get nice creases. Then just fold in the two sides. We will work with those first.

Step 5. Observe how the edges of the folded sides meet up with the top and bottom edges of the card. Or in my case, how they do not meet up very well. You need to learn from my mistakes. This is one side...

and this is the other side. Ugh.

Step 6. Decide which is the top and which is the bottom of your envelope. Draw a line along the top edge to give the card some room to slide in and out. This also conveniently serves to straighten our your bad cutting and folding.

Step 6a. Draw a line along the bottom edge just enough to straighten it out and let the bottom flap fold over without too much effort. Do not cut off too much like I did here. In fact, you might want to angle the very edge (where the flap meets the card) in a little bit and leave it attached. You will see why momentarily.

Step 7. Trim along your lines. This is how my new bottom edge now looks.

This is what it looks like with both edges trimmed and the sides test-folded in.

Step 8. Put red sticky strip along the edges of the two sides. This takes a bit of futzing. You will need to figure out what overlaps (touches) and what does not. You only put tape on the 'touching' parts of the flaps.

Step 9. Stick the side flaps together.

Step 10. Put red sticky tape on the bottom flap. Do not get too close to the crease or you might leave exposed stickiness inside the envelope, and the card might stick to it or something equally as nasty. Oh, and I would have used more tape, but I am running out.

Step 11. Fold up the bottom flap and make it stick real good. We are now three quarters of the way to an envelope, people! Almost there!

Observe the messy corner. This is the result of my poor trimming job back in Step 6a. Always err on the side of caution and trim less; then you can go back and fix it later. You cannot add it back on once it's been trimmed off. This is also why leaving a bit of the edge untrimmed might be a good idea. Yes, I have made this mistake before, and I never learn (or remember).

Step 12. The top flap. We have choices here. You can choose to leave the funky flap like this and you'd be done. Or, like me, you can never learn when to stop, and I tried to make it look even...

... like this. I used the right edge of the flap (see above photo) as a guide, measured it, and cut the left side to match, or match as closely as I could. I like the cleaner lines of this top flap, and I think it will make it more obvious to the recipient how to open the darned thing.

Word of caution: Do not trim off too much. You want to make sure it overlaps far enough to cover the other three flap edges.

Step 13. Test card insertion. Mine fit fine, but I was not liking that little center 'V', so I decided to 'fix' it.

Step 14. I punched a half-circle with my 1" circle punch to make card removal a little easier. It nicely cleaned up that little 'V' problem.


I know it looks like a lot of work, but I tend to put a lot of words around things. If you just try it with a piece of 12x12 paper (and I know you must have some), you'll see it really is pretty easy.

Okay! I am off to create my January birthday cards (LOL, yeah, right), plus I need to make up some more projects for next weekend's workshops. Me being out of red sticky tape has eliminated one of the planned projects from the running. ;-( I'd also like to finish the other 11 pages of my 2009 calendar so I can take it to work on Monday. LOTS of stuff going on here, so I'll be back later this weekend to show you what I've managed to accomplish.

Happy New Year!!!!

1 comment:

  1. AMEN, Sister Leslie :) I try to always use the envelopes I have, because making one sounds like work.

    I did make an envelope for an oversized gift card for my mom last year. I used a ds 12x12 also, much like you. And it was too much work, and I ran in to similar snags like you (mine was a large rectangle...crazy angles!) But, like you, it finally worked. My mom had no idea I'd even made it, because it coordinated so well with the spa gift card. But I am not anxious to ever make another one!!!


I'd love to hear what you really think! :-)

PS: I've had to disable Anonymous comments, because the spammers were killing me. If you are unable to comment, please email me your comment and I'll get it posted for you. Sorry. (stoopid spammers)