Basic 5×7 Handmade Envelopes: Tutorial


Since I just took some senior pictures for my sister I wanted to send a few 5x7s to our family with our Christmas cards this year. Unfortunately (or fortunately, since it gave me a craft project to work on?) the cards I already had were smaller than 5×7, so the pictures wouldn’t fit in the envelopes that came with them. I decided to make some.

I spent some time looking around for a pattern or a template online, but I didn’t have much luck finding ones I liked that were the right size. I decided to just do what seemed logical to me in the scheme of envelopes.

First, I found some cardstock I had around (standard 8×11 paper size). I realized later I probably had some colored construction paper somewhere, but the white made the stamps show up better anyways. The first one wasn’t as awesome as it could have been, mostly because I was using it for trial and error. Turns out I wish I had more stamps! If we’d had some potatoes I might have tried to make one.

Let's mail some holiday cheer, yo.

Supplies you will need: scissors, heavyweight paper of some sort, your choice of decorating supplies, a pen or pencil, and glue or tape. And postage, if you ever want your mail to get delivered.

Alternatively, you could use two thinner papers (wrapping paper and regular weight, for example) and glue the two pieces together to make a regular weight envelope. I wanted these to be heavier, to protect the pictures from our trusty postal service’s ungentle hands.

Step 1: Decorate the paper however you want. I used a stamp with silver and then red ink, repeating it all over one side of the paper. I tested another on the inside but decided to leave it alone. You could also use some fancy wrapping paper or anything else you have and glue it to the back, if you want the inside to look pretty also.

Stamp (or whatever else you want to do to decorate) your paper first.

It's a little easier to see in red.

Step 2: Put your 5×7 card or whatever you’re putting in the envelope flat on the paper. Use it as a guide to fold the bottom and top around it (the top flap will be smaller), making sure your decor is on the outside. Then unfold it and mark along the edges of your 5×7 photo or card. This will be your guide when you start cutting.

Fold top and bottom like so, then mark in the skinny margins so you know how far in to fold the sides.

Step 3: Cut along each fold until your cut reaches/is level with the mark you made. You will have a total of 4 cuts. Then, on each flap, you will cut toward your original slit– this is cutting off the excess so that it can be folded.

This is what it should look like when you're done cutting. And now you can see the star stamp I tried and decided was ugly. No harm though, it's the inside!

Step 4: The part you didn’t cut off will be folded inward to form your sides. I once again put my photo in there to make sure I didn’t fold it in so far that my stuff wouldn’t fit inside it.

Fold the large flap in toward the top/small flap, then fold your skinny sides closed over it.

Step 5: I made small diagonal cuts on the bottom of the side flaps so that it would lay flush with the body. Then, you will put a small amount of glue (or tape, if you’d rather) along each skinny side and glue them closed.

Diagonal cut. You can make one at the top as well. Then glue. don't use too much, or it might smear your stamp ink.

Step 6: Last but not least, put your stuff inside, and either glue or tape it shut!

Back of #1

Back of #2

Front of #2

I didn’t get a good picture of #1 because I had already put my Granny’s address on it and the whole world doesn’t need to know where she lives! The first one is for my mom, but I was still figuring out the mechanics of envelope building and didn’t take many pictures of it.


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