Making stuff from scratch is really cool. Be it a doorstop or a lava lamp, the projects you can enjoy are endless. And with paper by your side there’s a wide variety of things that you can do. Create your own bookmarks for example! Are you an origami-enthusiast? Or just looking for creative ways to personalise holiday and birthday greetings? If you answered yes to either of those questions, then you’re definitely in the right place. Making your own envelope is an excellent way to up your origami game and make your greeting cards stand out. What’s more, there are multiple ways you can do it, and the entire process is easy on the wallet.
So, whether you’ve run out of DIY projects or want an easy DIY to envelope making – we’ve got everything you need in this article. All you need to do is scroll down and choose the method to create your very own handmade envelope!
Table of Contents
How to make a pouch paper envelope
Just like all great quests begin with strong characters, your paper crafts tutorial should kick off with a robust materials list. And, don’t worry, it’s not extensive or problematic at all. Here are the supplies you’ll need to make a pouch envelope:
- A sheet or piece of paper twice as big as the size of the desired envelope (for instance, pick out an A4 sized printer paper for an A5 sized envelope)
- Sticky tape
- Glue (clear or white)
Right, now that our diminutive supply list is out of the way, let’s get on with the step-by-step instructions to create the perfect pouch envelope.
Fold the paper over in half vertically to get two even-sized rectangles. Next, tape the right and left sides of the envelope together. Make sure to leave the top open – because that’s where you’ll insert your card or message.
Hint: Try using matching decorative tape (i.e. washi) to seal the sides and make your envelope look even more festive.
For step two, measure around 1.3cm from the top of the envelope and fold it down on the open edges. This top flap will help keep your card from sliding out of the envelope.
Gently bend the small flap back to slide in your card or letter. Once the contents are in place, fold the flap down again.
Glue the flap closed with the help of a glue bottle (with a nozzle) or a glue stick. Make sure not to use the glue too enthusiastically to keep it from spreading inside the envelope. Seal the flap closed and add whatever embellishments you choose.
Hint: If you feel plain white or coloured paper won’t be exciting enough, search the internet for A4 paper printable pattern templates that you can print via your printer for a theme-based result.
How to make a taped paper envelope
Next up, we’ve got the traditional taped envelope tutorial lined up for you. We won’t include a supply list for this one as it’s exactly similar to the one mentioned above. So, let’s get right to instructions.
Lay down an A4 sized paper lengthwise (horizontally) and fold it in half. Make sure to line up the edges of the paper exactly for an even fold and firmly run your fingers down on the closed edge to make a crease.
Turn the paper so that it’s lying vertically and fold the upper right corner. When the edge of the fold touches the centre crease, press down on the fold to leave a line. You should end up with a triangular shape in the top right corner of the paper. Repeat the step exactly for the left corner to have two triangles on top of a rectangular shape.
Measure and mark 2.5cm on all three edges of the rectangle. Next, fold the 2.5cm markings on the sides and bottom edges toward the centre crease. These flaps will help hold your message or card inside the envelope. Before moving on to the next step, ensure your paper is lying lengthwise, and the triangles on top of the paper are pointing left.
Gently lift the bottom edge of the paper facing the right and fold it towards the bottom of the triangle. The edge of the paper folded from the right should be aligned with the edge of the triangles, leaving them completely visible. Make sure the edge line is straight, and then press down on the fold with your fingers. Once a crease has formed, unfold the paper.
Now’s the time to add your message to the envelope. If you’re using a card, make sure it’s the right size to fit in there. If you’re planning on adding a message, fold the paper until it’s small enough to fit in the envelope without overlapping the side or bottom flaps. Arrange your card or paper in a way that the flaps lie over them.
Once you’ve arranged your card inside the envelope, begin closing it. Fold the right edge of the paper towards the left as described in step 4. Next, fold the triangle top towards the centre of the rectangle and voila – you have a traditional envelope. Use the sticky tape to secure the sides, and don’t forget to tape the flap shut too!
How to make a square origami envelope
We’ve selected the easy origami envelope for our last and final DIY tutorial. You can choose to make this one with origami paper or regular paper. Also, while there’s no glue required for the construction of the envelope, you can use glue right at the end to secure it if you wish.
What’s more, you can change the paper type to suit the occasion—for instance, swap origami paper with wrapping paper for birthdays. Or you can even use scrapbook paper if you’re feeling adventurous. Other options also include something simple like a brown paper bag or printer paper.
The only thing you need to keep in mind is – whatever paper type you use, be it for scrapbooking or wrapping – it needs to be a square piece of paper. The choice of dimensions is entirely up to you as well. With all that in mind, let’s move on with our origami tutorial!
The first step of the DIY origami instructions involves figuring out which side of the paper you want as the inside of the envelope. If you’re planning on sending the envelope to your loved ones via mail, it’s best to leave the outside plain. If you plan to take your envelope out to hand-deliver it – the choice is up to you.
However, we recommend leaving the colourful side facing out for your first try – so you have an idea about how a bright version would look.
To have the colourful side of the origami paper facing out, start with the plain side facing up. Next, arrange the paper so that it looks like a diamond shape instead of a square. Lift the right angle of the paper towards the left, align the edges, and pinch the paper right in the middle to leave a small crease.
Repeat the process for the bottom corner by dragging towards the top and pinch the paper in the middle again. When you unfold the paper this time, you’ll notice a small X-shaped mark in the centre. Carefully fold both side corners to meet the X in the centre of the paper.
For step two, fold the top corner of the paper to the centre and pinch the fold in the middle to leave a light mark. Next, fold the bottom corner until it reaches the upper crease mark and pinch the bottom fold lightly. Unfold the paper before moving on to the next step.
Fold the right edge of the bottom area inwardly. Make sure the fold aligns with the crease you made at the bottom. Repeat the process for the left edge of the bottom section and unfold the paper. Next, fold the very bottom of the paper until it touches the bottom crease created in step 2. Now, refold the lower right section of the paper so that the top right point of X marked on the lower flap is aligned to the top left corner of the top flap.
Unfold the bottom section and create a mountain fold by folding the right and left sections (created in step 3) underneath the central flap. Next, fold the lower flap back upwards, and insert the edges of the right and left flaps inside the mountain fold on the central section of the lower flap. You can add some glue in this step to ensure the right and left flaps stay in place within the fold. Now fold the top flap down, and your DIY envelope is complete.
Decorative ideas to make it better
We promised you three easy paper envelope tutorials and some helpful pointers to make your creations look more appealing. Here are some tips to make your handmade envelopes stand out.
If you’re planning on making an envelope to hold cards – be it a birthday card or seasonal greetings – it’s best to measure your card to ensure the piece of paper you use is large enough to accommodate it, right in the beginning.
If you want to go one step further in personalising your greetings, try pairing a handmade card with a DIY envelope. You can use cardstock to create your own version of a greeting or birthday card and embellish it any way you choose.
There are no limitations on decoration when it comes to DIY crafts. So, you can use just about anything to decorate your envelope – from markers to stickers and even scrapbook cut outs.
Another great idea to add a unique touch to your gifts is to look out for free printables for envelopes, gift cards, and even gift boxes. You can create an entire theme for your presents this way.
Honing your paper craft skills is an excellent way to boost your creativity. And, creating your very own line of envelopes can help take your gift-giving style to another level entirely. That’s why we’re hoping you’ll definitely utilise our easy origami envelope instructional (along with the others) for some extra credit from your loved ones. Also, don’t forget to look for those handy gift templates we talked about for customised gift boxes too!