February 18, 2014

10 tips to DIY envelopes

Hello, everybody! How have you been? I'm still humming the song in the commercial I shared 2 posts ago, temperatures in Southern California have remained pretty high (in the 80s) and oh, yes, I've enjoyed the heck out of this long weekend :p. Ok, my kind of fun might be different from the one in your dictionary, I shall warm you. All I did was eat, watch movies on Netflix and craft a whole lotta DIY envelopes; there's something so therapeutic about going through old magazines, cutting, folding and gluing, isn't there? Hey, I'm not kidding! There is :). 

All right, so my envelopes may not be as good as the ones you see in other blogs, but I thought I could share some tips of things I've learned along the way. So, here are my 10 tips to DIYing envelopes. You'll see very little washi tape, I promise!

1.- Use magazines and why not maps, too, to make your basic envelope. Iron pages and/or maps if they're not perfectly flat (as long as there's no plastic material in them!).

2.- Embellish your envelopes with scraps from magazines, doilies, origami paper, gift tags, washi tape, label makers.

3.- Use craft punches or even a hole-punch to create your own stickers. I always keep the sticker pages that come in some magazines (these are all from Lucky and Domino).

4.- Stencils come in handy if you want to add some color.

5.- You can also use paper bags and pop corn bags if you don't feel like folding your own envelopes. I'm even re-purposing an old mate bag.

6.- Write the recipient's information on name tags, any kind of sticky paper or paint swatches.

7.- When gluing, make sure you spread the adhesive evenly and in small amounts to prevent bubbles; I always use a cotton swab. When glue won't do (i.e. when you use glossy paper), choose double-sided tape instead. If I send an envelope overseas, I typically "laminate" it with thick tape, the heavy duty one from Scotch has turned out the best for me.

If your envelope is not going too far, some regular tape on the sides should do.

8.- I sometimes don't use an envelope at all! I write my letters in cardboard or paper that's not flimsy and put the pages in cellophane bags (these are meant to protect magazines). Zip Lock bags work wonderfully, too.

9.-  If the stationery is not cute enough, you can make embellish it by adding die cuts and confetti. Stick the address label on the bag and not the stationery so that no information is accidentally covered with confetti/die cuts.

10.- Use bubble wrap to make envelopes (smooth surface outwards). 

There are so many options out there! You don't need to buy yards of washi tape or boring manila envelopes.

If you print your own mailing labels at home, make sure you read your mailing company's rules to meet their requirements in terms of size and what-not. Fortunately, USPS lets you ship pretty much anything :p.

And the most important tip: go check your local library to see if they have a book sale area, guys! Libraries (at least in America) want to get rid of old, obsolete stuff as soon as possible, so they usually let go of material for really cheap and even for free; I'm telling you because I work at a library and I'm in charge of the book sale :p. There's tons of material that is donated to us and we put up for sale - books (naturally), DVDs, CDs, journals, vinyls ... We let people take magazines for free (ever wonder why I have such a huge collection? haha). I've taken so many things out of the recycling bin! The white sticky lines on some of the envelopes and set of maps, just to name a couple. A bunch of stuff gets trashed because they don't think there's a market for them, but you and I know that we can re-purpose pretty much anything ;), so go ahead, don't be shy and talk to the librarian in your closest library to see if he/she gives you access to their "trash" and find out if there's a book sale ;). In my library, we have a buck-a-bag sale quarterly; so if you're ever in Ontario, California, come by, hehe.

For more posts about stationery and mail-related topics, you can click the following links:

Thanks for reading! ;D

Hope you all have a wonderful week!


Miss Viv said...

Wow your envelopes look so cool! you can also make easy origami envelopes as well .. the people you send mail too are lucky!

Victoria said...

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah *art attack*

CUANTAS IDEAS!!! Yo vivo comprando cartulinas y papeles y destrozando revistas para los scrapbooks y despues no hago mucho. Siempre quiero hacer sobres originales pero termino cayendo en los comerciales y decorandolos no tanto como quisiera. Pero acá hay inspiración para rato, gracias Miki!!!

ceci a. said...

Sólo una persona dulce como vos que llena de rgealos a todo el mundo puede deciarse además a ver cómo presentar esos presentitos del modo más tierno posible. =)

seelvana said...

genial, recute y reciclado!
sos la onda Miki!

Unknown said...

Great advice Miki! I love your style of 'papercrafting'. It's so you. I find a lot of today's papercraft/scrapbook lack in personalty. Also like the lack of wahi tape. It's cute stuff but not for that price! I'm always surprised by washi tape crafts that are out there. I think, you paid that much to make that!? These look great Miki. Don't underestimate yourself.

Sian said...

i love these! i've been making envelopes with the kids in work... we are going to be inspired by you!x

Lori said...

Love your envelopes - they are so fun!

Katrin said...

You are so crafty, Miki! I love it! Thanks for sharing this and always inspiring me! You rock!
Hope you are having a great week! Hugs!

Pam said...

The envelopes are wonderful!! I love them so much. Years ago I made my own envelopes,but none as cute as these. Thanks so much for sharing.

Mrs. Nancy G said...

Wow-wee! I would of never thought to put all those clever items together. I would of never guessed what all you used. Your envelopes are amazing!

uncustomary said...

Aw, I love how you decorate your mail!

Marisa Noelle said...

I can not even get over how creative you ALWAYS are. It's funny, I've always considered myself to be a pretty creative kind of gal...but you are above and beyond. Like you have some kind of creative, crafty super power..hehe. These are all adorable Miki! Talk about putting the fun back in mail :-)

Have one gorgeous week sweet lady!
xo Marisa

lisa said...

I love these ideas!! I have a giant collection of atlases and maps that I always intend to do crafts with but I have such a hard time cutting into them. It's like that with most the paper I collect, haha! Yup, it's been warm here too- the warmest "winter" I can remember here actually. Thanks for the crafty tips!

Beate said...

I'm so in love with these envelopes :) I have never thought of anything like that. It is amazing! I so need to try this out. Thank you so much for sharing this!
And I do know what you mean - I love DIY projects to unwind and to get my mind off of things - it truly is therapeutic.
I hope you're having a wonderful weekend!

vero mariani said...

sos mi diosa de lo crafty jajajaja! besos mikiiiiii lindaaaaaaaaaa

Katie Frank said...

oh, this DIY is so helpful <3 i'm glad you added that because i usually have a problem with figuring something unique out !

jorjana said...

What a creative way to send posts! These custom-made envelopes look amazing! I have a thing for maps and cartography, and I really like the design idea. Maybe I'll use them on my next scrapbook project. Awesome blog btw, and I hope you have more creative inspirations like these in the future!

Jorjana Brown @

Lula M said...

I LOVE YOUR diy envelopes and I still keep one I got from you!!!! I should start making my own!!

Corina said...

I've always liked your envelopes.
Can you believe I have at home most of the ones you'd sent me to Argentina?
The messages to the postman are the best ;)