DIY Colorful Envelopes and the Art of Letter Writing

on January 16 | in Crafts, DIY, Tutorials, Uncategorized | by | with 13 Comments


Remember anxiously awaiting the mailman?

Birthdays and holidays brought anticipation knowing I’d soon get a letter in the mailbox from far flung relatives.

My Abuelita’s perfectly composed penmanship laid out on thick watermarked paper asking tons of questions and filling me in on the hot Miami weather.

Of course, I always enjoyed the dollar bill that floated to the floor when I ripped open the envelope.  But I’d always go back and read her words and run to tell my parents the big news.


While the art of letter writing is almost extinct, I still love getting a good old fashioned hand written letter in the mail.

I’m starting a new tradition this year.

When the mood strikes and I’ve got lots to say, I’ll sit down, put pen to paper, carefully fold the letters in half and place them into beautiful envelopes.  I’ll prop the letters on my girls’ pillows for them to find when they are alone in their rooms.  I know they’ll rip open the envelopes with the same fervor that I did many years ago.  I hope their piles of letters grow and that they tie them up with discarded pieces of ribbon and place them into boxes tucked safely away.

One day, when they are old and gray, they can open the boxes and I hope my handwriting, while not as perfect as my grandmother’s, will bring back a flood of memories and they’ll smile and one of my girls will pick up the phone and call her sister and they’ll laugh until they cry remembering how much their mother loved them.


How to Make Custom Envelopes with any Paper

1) Deconstruct an envelope by ungluing it until it lays flat (I used a flat spoon handle to help loosen the glue from the paper)

2) Find a beautiful piece of paper (scrapbook, map, newspaper, music sheet …) and trace the flattened envelope onto the paper

3) Cut out the traced shape (I used deckle edged scissors)

4) Lay the paper so the nice side faces down and fold in each side of the paper (use the original envelope as a guide of where to fold)
Tip:  Use a piece of cardboard or a thick piece of card stock to help make a crisp fold

5) Fold the two side flaps in and run a glue stick along the bottom edge of each side fold

6) Fold up the bottom flap and press onto the glued sides

7) Tuck a hand written letter inside the envelope and give it or mail to someone you love

A love note to my daughter.


Do you save old letters and pour over them on occasion?

Here’s to keeping the art of letter writing alive – beautifully.

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13 Responses to DIY Colorful Envelopes and the Art of Letter Writing

  1. Julie Taylor says:

    Love this idea. I refuse to let the art of letter and card writing die. There is still nothing so wonderful wonderful as getting something pretty in the snail mail. Not to mention it helps people keep their jobs. We need the postal service. Everything can’t rely an technology. Thx for reminding me to get back to the old ways with a special twist of whimsy.

  2. Lynne says:

    I have almost all of the letters I received from my British pen pal from 1963-1970. we recently found each other on FB and miss the girlish letters we sent each other as we shared our hearts,dreams and fears. I love this envelope idea. I still cherish snail mail. thanks for the encouragement.

  3. Love these Kelly, so beautiful! My Mekenzie girl would love making these, I can’t wait to show them to her. Also, thank you for the sweet reminder of the importance of the handwritten letter. In the age of email we’ve forgotten this lovely art.


  4. Carole says:

    Love this idea. In the past I’ve even made small boxes. There’s so much you can do with beautiful paper (other than scrapbook). Now I can make matching envelopes for the cards that I create. Thanks for this lovely idea!

  5. This is such a lovely idea! I’m especially loving that you’re sending these letters to your own daughters! How cool… taking notes here! (pun totally intended)

    Lovely post! I adore the envelopes trick! I’m going to try it with newspaper or sheet music! Neat…

  6. Pam says:

    Love the envelopes. I have letters from my grandmother that I treasure. This gave me an idea to write my children and grandchildren letters that they too can keep and look back on, when I’m no longer in this world.

  7. Barb Tilton says:

    If you want to make your envelopes ahead of time, there’s actually a glue called Lick & Stick that you apply when you make the envelope, let it dry and then lick it as you normally would when it’s time to seal up your sweet notes. I too am a letter saver and I cherish the ones I have from my grandmother!

  8. Debbie says:

    What a sweet idea! And really very easy to do.
    Debbie :)

  9. I love these envelopes, but I LOVE the thought that goes behind them. I teared up at your description of one of your daughters calling her sister many years from now. Bravo for keeping the handwritten note alive! :)

  10. [...] good letter needs a cute envelope and I’m sharing how I made these Simple DIY Envelopes on the FOLK [...]

  11. I am “old fashioned”..maybe ‘cuz I am old!!…anyway…I love the “written word”…I love to write thank you’s and send cards “just because” …. my pet peeve … I hate E-VITES….There is nothing like a handwritten invitation…for whatever the occasion…I am teaching my granddaughter that one of the most thoughtful things she can do is to send a written thank you note…it’s like adding an extra bow on a gift…So I applaud you for wanting to keep the tradition of letter writing…Your daughters are going to treasure each and every note and letter you write to them…and then they will hopefully in turn carry on your tradition to their children…Great post Kelly!! Your envelopes are beautiful!

  12. Denise says:

    I still write letters and love to send and receive them. I recently started making envelopes and today experimented with decorating one with smash tape. Oh, be still my heart!

    I haven’t tried Lick & Stick yet but it’s on my list of things to do very soon.

    Thanks for this wonderful entry. It’s always marvelous to run across others who still enjoy the written word, especially sending it. ;)

  13. Just tried this. Love it! Looks like I bought an expensive fancy envelope!

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