Sometimes, I get a postcrossing request to send a postcard in an envelope. I don’t know what size I’d actually need to have on hand to accommodate a 4 x 6 inch postcard, but I don’t have them. So, when I get the request, I just grab a common sheet of 8 and a half-inch by 11 paper.
In the first photo I show things I use to make the envelope. I used a letter, instead of a postcard, for folding this one. I also routinely use a glue stick, scissors (forgot to put them in a few of the photos) and washi tape. The washi tape is not a necessity seeing as how you will be gluing the envelope, but it’s lots of fun to add. It’s such a fun little product for mail art and other arts. I get my washi tape on etsy.com. I could easily get into trouble buying this stuff! You’ll notice that I have the letter sitting cattywhampus on the sheet of paper. I fold it around the letter sitting just as it is here. Then I fold each side.
Now is when it gets interesting. Third fold brings the bottom up. You don’t ever have to use scissors when making an envelope, but if you want to get rid of corners (I did) or bulk in the folds, this is when you would start to use them. Depending on your paper, getting rid of the bulk might just keep the cost of mailing down.
Now on to the last fold and the paper is transformed into an envelope. Voila! The great thing about making your own envelopes is that you can use any paper that is large enough. I’ve used paper bags, old damaged book pages, art work and maps. My favorite right now are maps. I try to pick them up when I stop at the visitors centers in Texas and Oklahoma when I’m driving. I wish I had photographed an actual postcard on map paper. I’m sorry if this is difficult to see.
Now, you can glue it shut, being careful to only glue areas that will touch the envelope and not the actual letter or card. Then you can add the washi tape as a decoration and added security in keeping it sealed. After that, all that’s left is to address the front, stamp it, add your return address and mail this baby! Making envelopes is a lot of fun! It’s simple mail art. Give it a try.