If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ll know that I love writing letters and using pretty stationery. One way to elevate your stationery is with custom envelopes, whether that’s lining existing envelopes with patterned paper, or making your own! My recent favourite is fabric envelopes. I am definitely not the first person to think up this idea, but I thought I’d share a mini-tutorial with you today because it’s so simple to do, it looks amazing and also because Valentines is coming up soon. This would be a lovely way to dress up a simple DIY or store bought card for your loved one! So without further ado, here is how to make fabric envelopes.
First, choose some fabric; I picked several cotton scraps, and some lace cut off of a curtain. Make sure to iron your fabric, to eliminate any wrinkles.
I first tried using a cornstarch laundry starch, but it wasn’t stiff enough, so I switched to using this fabric stiffener I bought years ago. It’s basically glue, at least that’s what it smells like. You could easily DIY your own stiff corn starch for this project; I just used what I had on hand.
Lay down a piece of tin foil, or plastic wrap. I’ve used both, but I found the tin foil a little bit easier to smooth out. Place your fabric on top of the foil and pour some starch onto the fabric. I tried to pour mine across the fabric, but it whooshed out quickly into a big puddle, oops!
I used this old, stiff bristle paintbrush to spread the starch around, thoroughly soaking the fabric since the foam brush didn’t work as well. If that’s all you have, it will work, though. I also used my hands, flipping the fabric to make sure it was evenly coated. If you have a lot of starch, you could also submerge the fabric.
Once your fabric is fully saturated, smooth all the wrinkles out, place another piece of foil on top and then place a book or box on the top to weight it for a couple of hours or so. I did this so the fabric wouldn’t pucker and the edges wouldn’t curl up as it dried. You can see in the white envelope what happens when you take it out too soon!
After the fabric is mostly dried, peel the top layer of foil off, and let the fabric dry further. When it’s almost completely dry, and the danger of bubbles and curling edges is past, you can remove the other piece of foil and hang the fabric to fully dry from both sides.
Take an envelope of your desired size, and trace it onto card stock (I used a manila folder). You could use the envelope itself as a template, but I find it much easier to trace with thicker paper.
Using this template, trace with a pencil onto the back of your fabric. Cut out the envelope along the lines.
Place the template inside the envelope and then fold along the lines. Use your thumbnail or a bone folder to crease the edges well.
Assemble the envelope with narrow piece of double sided tape or glue. Be careful not to use too much glue, or it will soak through the fabric and glue your envelope shut! For the lace envelope, I actually used a thread to stitch it in place, because the tape and glue would have shown.
And then you’re done- now you can make a Valentine, or any other card, and then give it to someone special!
To send your envelope in the mail, write the address on a label and tape it to the front of the envelope. Place the fabric envelope inside a clear cellophane sleeve, and affix your postage stamp to the outside of the plastic, and you should be good to go! Of course, you could always place the envelope inside a regular paper one, if you don’t mind if the envelope is hidden.
Well, there is a quick and easy way to make fabric envelopes. Now that I know how easy it is to do, I’m going to start making one every time I have a large enough scrap of fabric!
Have you ever tried to make fabric envelopes before? Do you like to send letters and cards?