Friday, September 2, 2016

Making Custom Envelopes for your Pen Pal letters

I have many pen pals and I love to write/receive letters. I recently started to correspond with a wonderful friend named Marilyn and her letters are packaged in a very striking manner. I asked her if she would be interested in contributing to the blog as making envelopes is definitely in tune with the analog experience. Take it away, Marilyn!

Hello, my name is Marilyn.  I love the idea of sending color through the mail.  We already know how much fun it is to get a handwritten letter, but I want to add a personal touch to the envelopes those letters come in.  It is my hope that they stand out among the plain white of bills and junk mail, and make their recipients smile.

Making Envelopes:

Pictured here are all the tools I need to make homemade envelopes:  they include a paper cutter, a scoreboard and bone folder, scissors and double-sided tape.  My scoreboard conveniently came with a guide for some standard envelope sizes - it tells you what paper size to start with, and where to score that paper.  Then as you can see, you get a template that is intuitively simple to assemble!  The scoring makes creasing the paper very easy.  These templates were cut from big nautical maps that were given to me.  I got about twenty envelopes of assorted sizes cut from a map that originally measured 5 ft x 4 ft.

WWII Envelopes:

Maps are a very common thing to make homemade envelopes out of.  Usually they are big enough and interesting.  This very large book was headed to the thrift store, but with just a little creativity, it could be repurposed into many, many envelopes.  I have used several of these with penpals and friends and they often get commented on!  The paper in this book was of good quality, which translated to sturdy, impressive envelopes.  And, since they are pages from a book, they are double-sided!

Flower Calendar Envelopes:

These envelopes were re-purposed from a simple wall-calendar.  Some calendars have such pretty artwork or photography; it would do great justice for them to be sent to someone's mailbox.

Dr. Seusselopes:

This is one of my favorite series of envelopes I have made.  I found a copy of Dr. Seuss's Oh, the Places You'll Go at a library book sale for fifty cents, and I had this intention for it immediately.  Oh, the places these envelopes will go! 

Making envelopes lets me express some creativity and add personalization.  I have many scrapbook paper pads of all different designs and colors.  Like Steve, I am big into fountain pens.  Whenever I write a letter, I choose the paper and pen and ink very intentionally.  But beyond that, I also choose the envelope.  I think about what kinds of things, colors, the intended recipient likes, and then, go to work!

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