A year or so ago, I got an envelope full of tea in the mail. I’m always happy to get tea in the mail—tea is one of those things that make life so good—but what really caught my attention was that the sender had made the envelope from a magazine page. A week or so letter I got a letter in an envelope that had started life as a pizza ad. I had to try this.
Since then I’ve made dozens of envelopes from magazine pages and old calendars. It’s very easy to do. I have one template from a card-making kit, but I’ve also carefully opened up store-bought envelopes to get patterns for other sizes. I choose the pattern that best fits the page I’m using, trace around it, and cut. To get crisp folds, I score them first with a paper-scoring-thingy (I have no idea what it’s called. Wait, I’ve just looked it up and it’s called a “scoring tool.” You would think I’d have guessed that). Then I make the folds and rub them with a . . . wait, I’ll find it . . . bone folder (now I sound like I know what I’m talking about). The flat side of a butter knife would probably work just fine. Then I glue the sides with a glue stick. When I’m ready to send it, I glue down the back flap and use either a sticky label or a label made from plain paper for the address.
For some reason that has nothing to do with the word pack-rat, I have a stack of old calendars. I was obviously thinking ahead when I saved them. Now I can make envelopes with themes ranging from nature and wildlife to astronauts, from knitting to beautiful destinations. It’s fun and free, saves a bit of paper, and makes a nice surprise for the receiver.