Make making envelopes easier
September 15, 2016 6:43 PM   Subscribe

I've been making envelopes from old books, both for myself to use and to sell in my etsy shop. My current method often inexplicably yields crooked ones, plus I think there's a faster way to do this. Also, I've yet to track down peel-off adhesive strips that I can put on for people to close them.

I've started with a neat old photographic atlas of the moon. It didn't occur to me to look up templates, so I decided to unfold an envelope, tape it to the page, cut around it, and fold it accordingly. In the house, we only had A8 envelopes (6 3/4 by 3 5/8), so that's what I've been using. Since I'm using the same size envelope for all of them, I don't know why maybe 1/3 are coming out really crooked.

I spent way too long looking for an appropriate template, but I didn't find any. I don't know if that would help. I am open to trying envelopes of other sizes. In fact, an envelope that has a linear flap rather than a V flap would be preferable to what I'm doing now. It would have to be of similar size in order to fit the pages. Are there templates or techniques that will help me get consistent results, especially more quickly?

Another problem I'm having is figuring out how I/buyers could seal the envelope. I've been to craft stores and office supply stores that claim they have what I need, but really just seem to have a wall of other kinds of adhesives. I am hoping to find some sort of double-sided adhesive strips that have a backing that can be peeled off to seal the envelope. If you know where I can find these, please link to the product or tell me specifically what to look for.

I welcome any other envelope-making tips. I do know to sell them with blank labels since these are dark-colored. But aside from that, I'm in new territory here.
posted by mermaidcafe to Grab Bag (9 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: For the template, I've seen this product at the craft store. Here's a video tutorial to show how to use it.

I don't know off the top of my head about the adhesive though.
posted by watch out for turtles at 6:48 PM on September 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I have done this and made a photo tutorial. As long as it's within first class mail sizes (and proportions, they are fussy about that) you have a lot of leeway. Some of the first envelopes I made were form a moon atlas! As far as sealer, you can get double sided sticky tape and just unpeel and stick one half, is there a reason that won't work? I use the stuff that comes in those window-sealing packets because I have a lot of it.
posted by jessamyn at 6:48 PM on September 15, 2016 [5 favorites]

For peel off adhesive strips, Ace sells a flat double-sided tape with a peel off backing strip m made for putting plastic on windows as a temporary inner extra pane that'd be perfect.
posted by straw at 7:00 PM on September 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

Buy sheets of polystyrene (this plastic) and make permanent templates by simply cutting it out with scissors.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:16 PM on September 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

Use a straight edge and something hard but not too sharp to score all the folds before you assemble. This is what bone folders are for but a knitting needle, butter knife, etc will do fine. If you cut out a 6 3/4 x 3 5/8" rectangle out of thick cardboard or plastic, you can score through all four folds without repositioning a ruler four times.
posted by yeahlikethat at 7:51 PM on September 15, 2016 [2 favorites]

This etsy shop sells wooden stencils for different envelope sizes and they're pretty cheap.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:21 PM on September 15, 2016 [2 favorites]

I know you were thinking of double-sided adhesive strips, but Moo stickers (which you can design yourself) could look wonderful and work well as closures. Plus you could design the stickers to contrast deliciously with the envelopes. And they're really cheap.
posted by Grunyon at 3:25 AM on September 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

The best tool for creating a precise fold line is an empty ball point pen.
posted by gregr at 7:07 AM on September 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Coating and grain can make a difference to foldability. Are you lining up the templates the same way?

If you're doing more than a just a few of these and they're all the same size, a cutter like a Silhouette machine or even booking time on a laser cutter would be worth it. Cutting paper and card with a laser is a joy because it's so repeatable.
posted by scruss at 9:01 AM on September 16, 2016

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