Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Calendar Envelope Tutorial

Wait! Don’t throw out last years calendar! Use it to make a gift set of 12 envelopes! I learned how to make calendar envelopes from another friend on Ravelry and want to share a step by step process so that you can have fun making them too. You may want to add paper, stamps, and blank address labels and give this as a gift to anyone-perhaps someone who is injured in the hospital, as a way to write notes, or for a graduation gift-a fun way to do thank-you notes, you get the idea! Don’t have any of last year’s calendars? No problem-use any of the months of this year’s calendar that have already flown by!

Step 1: Gather your supplies. You will need: an old calendar, scissors, double-sided tape or stick glue (or regular tape), letter opener, an old envelope (medium sized), pen or pencil, address labels (blank or your own), stamps.

Step 2: Make your pattern. Take any envelope you can find-a piece of junk mail, or a card you received and use the letter opener (or a butter knife) to carefully unseal all the edges, so that you your envelope becomes a flat sheet. (see photos below) Use the very back page on your calendar (this is usually stiff like card-stock and will have no picture on it-so it works great to use to as a pattern) and trace around your envelope to make the pattern piece that you will use to lay on the calendar pages. Cut along your tracing lines with your scissors-and you now have a pattern piece!

Step 3: Trace your pages. Lay your pattern on the calendar page so that it contains the part of the picture you like most (large envelopes don’t give much choice) and trace around the pattern with your pen/pencil. For illustration purposes I show this being done on the picture side, BUT if you don’t want your ink to show on the envelope, you need to trace on the numbers side of the calendar page-try holding it up to the light to see how to center it. Pencil can be used on the picture side, and will be virtually invisible-but it is also hard to see where to cut out. Do this on all or as many of the pages as you want, then remove the calendars pages from the wire binding (carefully-this wire would work great as a hanger for other craft projects-instead of wrapping wire around a pencil-or as a string art project) or remove the staples in the center binding.

Step 4: Cut out your pages. Following the lines you traced around the pattern-cut all the envelopes out of the calendar pages. I have used and X-acto cutter to cut straight lines (like on the smaller envelope) and then use scissors to cut the triangles on the sides out-speeds up the process a bit.

Step 5: Fold all flaps. I always start folding from the bottom, sides, then top-but do it however it works for you. Fold and make a crease along where you see the dotted lines on my pattern pieces.

Step 6: Apply double stick tape. Apply double stick tape (or use a glue stick) along the insides of the flaps where the bottom & sides will meet; I have marked these with little sticky-notes in the photo below. As you can see on the bigger envelope the tape is applied to the bottom flap, but on the smaller envelope the tape is applied to the side flaps (bottom part only-you don’t seal the top until you are ready to mail it). You may need to refer to your original envelope to make sure you tape the correct sides & bottom together. 

 Step 7: Add address labels & stamps. If you are making a gift set-you may just want to add some sheets of blank paper (that fit your envelope-an 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper can be folded to fit most), blank address labels, and some stamps. I typically will use the cover page of the calendar-the one that is stiff-to make an envelope that is slightly larger than the one used on the pages & use this envelope to hold all 12 of the envelopes, paper, labels, & stamps.  If you are making these for your own personal use, then use the address labels & stamps to seal the top flap down-no additional double sticky tape needed. Put the labels on the flaps side, so that you leave the pretty picture on the “front” side as a pretty picture.  

 That's it-you're done! Hope you have enjoyed making these-make some and brighten someone's day today! I would love to see what you make and hear how you used them :)

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