DIY Upcycled Envelopes

A few months back, I was primed to sell a family organiser on eBay when I stumbled across an Etsy seller who had created gorgeous envelopes from the book’s beautifully illustrated pages. Immediately I knew that I had to follow in her footsteps and give DIY upcycled envelopes a go!

Upcycled Envelopes

You can download envelope templates of all shapes and sizes from the web, however I used actual (used) envelopes as templates, by carefully opening them up to their nets. Once you’ve found an envelope style you like, and that fits on the page that you want to upcycle, it’s easy peasy!


You will need:

  • A used envelope (to use as a template), or a downloadable template
  • Paper that you want to turn into an envelope (mine was from The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady, however you can use pages from magazines or wrapping paper etc.)
  • Double-sided sticky tape
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Ruler

How to make recyled envelopes:

  1. Start by carefully opening up a used envelope net to use as a template
  2. Make sure your envelope net fits onto the paper you want to turn into an envelope – if it’s too big, you’ll need to find a smaller envelope template, or find a bigger piece of paper
  3. Trace around the envelope with a pencil to mark the outline
  4. With a pair of scissors, cut around the pencil lines to create your new envelope net
  5. Using a ruler, draw on lines where you want your envelope to be folded, and fold neatly, flattening the edge with your nail (I used the side of a steel rule to help me get a straight edge)
  6. Cut some strips of double-sided sticky tape, and adhere to the tabs to stick the sides down
  7. Write your letter / insert your card, et voila! Use a glue dot or further double-sided sticky tape to secure the envelope, pop it in the post, and Bob’s your uncle!

The results:

You may have seen these envelopes featured in my Easter bunny card blog post. The best thing about these being upcycled from a diary, is that I now have envelopes that are fit for all the seasons – nesting birds for spring, flowers for summer, berries for autumn, and robins for Christmas!

I really enjoyed making these little envelopes – I hope you do too!

6 thoughts on “DIY Upcycled Envelopes

  1. Pingback: Shelley Makes… Easter Bunny Cards! | Shelley Makes

  2. Shelley this tutorials fantastic 😀 i am a big lover of old botanical or bird books ( so much so i couldn’t quite cut into them lol) however seeing this gave me the idea that maybe this is something i could do with my inky illustrations 😀 . I love doing little DIY posts myself bringing my inky side to something crafty and fun ( most recent DIY was a inky egg cup tutorial 🙂 ) . Look forward to seeing more shelleymakes posts from you ! kate x

    • Hi Kate, thanks for your comment and for the follow! I know exactly what you mean – it does feel somehow wrong to cut up an illustration and fold it, but then the results do look great! I think you could make some great envelopes from your ink designs! If you give it a go, let me know =)

      • I’m super excited to give it ago 🙂 I recently bought a lovely epson printer a3 size so i’ll hopefully get to print out some of my inky drawings, give your lovely tutorial ago and do a little post to show you how it went :). kate x

  3. Pingback: DIY Mouse-Hole Cheese Card | Shelley Makes

  4. Pingback: Upcycling Christmas Envelopes | Shelley Makes

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