Picture of Envelope Book
This instructable was created as an entry in the Esty and Instructables collaboratory Sew Useful contest. This book is constructed with twelve vintage envelopes instead of paper. That might not sound like a lot, but you need to remember you'll be filling it up with stuff. The idea is that you can fill it up with all sorts of things you want to keep safe. It has a ribbon marker and would be perfect for organizing monthly receipts, check stubs, coupons, extra money and basically any other flat objects you might want to file in an attractive manner.

Step 1: Gather you materials

Picture of Gather you materials
You will need the following:

1. Decorative paper (18" X 24")
2. Inner paper (8.5" X 11")
3. Book cloth (9" X 12")
4. Permanent spray adhesive
5. Illustration board (9" X 12")
6. Envelopes (twelve)
7. Thread
8. Needle
9. Pin
10. Pencil
11. Bone folder
12. Craft knife
13. Metal ruler
14. Cutting mat
15. Binder clips (2 medium size, 2 large size)
16. Ribbon
17. Glue

NOTES: You can make this book as thick or as thin as you want. Feel free to use different size envelopes. You will see later in the Instructable that I derive my measurements from the envelopes I happen to be using at the time. You're all smart kids and I know you could figure it out.
mm200M7 days ago
neo9 made it!1 year ago

My new everything notebook.


漂亮!So beautiful!

So cute! Definitely doing this weekend
For pro mine crafters
mtoothman2 years ago
This is a wonderful tutorial. I did not have book fabric so I had to supplement some black electrical tape for the spine. :)http://www.instructables.com/files/deriv/F92/W6I6/HJUWS7AZ/F92W6I6HJUWS7AZ.THUMB.jpghttp://www.instructables.com/files/deriv/FQR/P6C7/HJUWS7BR/FQRP6C7HJUWS7BR.THUMB.jpghttp://www.instructables.com/files/deriv/F11/6N58/HJUWS7BV/F116N58HJUWS7BV.THUMB.jpg
Sorry about all the picture repeats. I uploaded once and it multiplied it by 5 for no apparent reason. :(
aya_m2 years ago
i've been searching for a while now for a great gift for my best friend , i absolutely adore this !! very good job !
very very cool!
Mme PiNat2 years ago
Absolutely awsome project ! I just love it and thank you so much for all the details and the photos, you are very talented !! Thanks again.
cosarara2 years ago
Have you tried to put a rubber band on the cover? Do you think that it might work?
donovanbeeson (author)  cosarara2 years ago
It would, probably. Or an elastic of some kind. The problem I run into with rubberbands is that they degrade over time. I have an awesome book bolero from cleverhands.net that I'm using right now.
Finaly! I did it today, with a lot of alternative material that i had arround my home:

WOHA! that's awesome!
jlunsford24 years ago
this looks amazing! I wonder if you could make a book with both envelopes and paper. so maybe 12 pages, then the 12 envelopes and just make the spine wider to compensate? I might try!
twinklemama4 years ago
It's very pretty and well made. Thanks for sharing!

I've made a simpler version! Check it out here: http://twinklemama.com/2011/06/08/craft-project-easy-envelope-book/
Twinklemama's version is cute, but it won’t hold up the way the hand bound one here will. If you want a book that will last, do the work and make this one.
pooo4 years ago
This is the most superb instruction list ever. How did you present it so perfectly? I will definately use this site all the time. Thank you so much for telling me how to make an envelope book.
donovanbeeson (author)  pooo4 years ago
Thanks for the kind words. Glad you liked it.
wow! sorry if you get offended but is there possibly and easier way to do this? I like the , everything and my time is sort of ltd. could u estimate how long it took u?
donovanbeeson (author)  misssweetie2u4 years ago
You're welcome to give it a try yourself and see if you can simplify it. This is what works for me.
WhyHello4 years ago
Cool :3
A good trick to knowing how much thread to use is, wrap it 6 times around the "bound" edge. then take that length of thread and double it thru the needle. :)
piper12345 years ago
 aah great that method I was looking for 
many thanks ; )

mm we need some smilies here  0_o
CellyOneill5 years ago
 This is great ! Thanks so much !
munchkiin885 years ago
where do you get those types of envelopes??
donovanbeeson (author)  munchkiin885 years ago
wenpherd6 years ago
where did you get those envolopes?
donovanbeeson (author)  wenpherd6 years ago
Ebay! They were in a lot of vintage envelopes. I lucked out.
sedruce6 years ago
This is fantastic, I'm about halfway through (I just cut my spacers, though I'm going slightly out of order since I discovered my glue is missing so I haven't been able to cover the covers yet), and I'm finding the directions really really easy to follow. I used a drill press to drill my holes, since I couldn't for the life of me get the holes to work with a pin nor a hammer and nail, but other than that, I'm finding this very simple, if a tad time consuming. Thanks for the great instructions, I'll be doing this again and again! Incidentally, it makes a great gift filled with little keepsakes (I'm making one for my boyfriend, with ticket stubs and little notes and suchlike).
nolachic306 years ago
This is really cute, and would be a great idea to use for your cash if you use the envelope system.
1nstru6 years ago
What a beautfiful book, and with such great attention to detail! And the explanations are easy to follow as well, thanks a lot for this! One suggestion: although my book projects are far from beeing as beautiful as this (i am more the "if it works, it's fine type ) i find my own way of making the spacers more practical: placing thin spacers between the envelopes and then sewing the whole pack, instead of only two thick ones around the allready bound envelopes. I find handling the book way more comfortable this way, especially when there's rather much bulk, and it's easiert to make. I'm deffinitely gonna use your sewing pattern on the leather notebook i'll make today!
Very well done 'ible. Will be making one in the future. Faved+.
Miss World6 years ago
I love it :)
SMRUDOLPH6 years ago
This is a first rate instructable. I wish they were all as well done. Clear pictures, detailed text that refers to the pictures -- and each step's text lists the items you'll need for that step. Brilliant! This should be an instructable on how to write an instructable.
Excellent instructable! Some questions: - what kind of inner paper should I buy? - What kind of glue should I use for the inner ribbon and spacers? - where can i get book cloth? any suitable alternatives. Once again thank you for the beautiful instructable. zoila
donovanbeeson (author)  lifeonholidae6 years ago
Thanks! You'll want an inner paper that is a little thicker than regular paper- maybe a 24lb rag stock. I normally just use scraps I have laying about. I use regular Elmers for the spacers and ribbon. Book cloth can be purchased at any art store, or you can make your own by ironing on sizing (buy it at fabric stores) to any sort of cloth. Cheers!
ax896 years ago
Very impressive. Thank you for putting together such a nicely detailed instructable. I think I will use this to make one of my Christmas gifts this year. Where do you find all the antique envelopes, wallpaper, etc that you use in your projects and the stuff you sell on Etsy?
donovanbeeson (author)  ax896 years ago
Library sales, antique stores, paper stores, eBay... anywhere that I can really. Plus, a lot of people just give me stuff because they know I'll use it.
Thank you.
IamTheMomo6 years ago
I am a digital scrapbooker, and you've just taught me how to make the covers for my layouts without having to buy the expensive (and boring) ones I see. Scrapbooks of all sizes - from mini to maxi - I'm excited at the prospect and can't wait to begin! My 4 year old grandson LOVES them! I can't thank you enough!
solo.card6 years ago
Fantastic! I look forward to making one
grebz6 years ago
OH! You're repping Pittsburgh!
donovanbeeson (author)  grebz6 years ago
My significant other grew up in Mt. Lebanon; that stub is from our last visit.
nevic7 years ago
This is so cool! Can't wait to try it! Great instructions.
swagata7 years ago
its a very good n illustrative site.i hv got a good help from it.thanks a lot.
Hi, I'm really interested in trying this out; it'll be my second instructable to date, if I do. :D I don't have spray adhesive though; what can I use as an alternative? Also, can canvas cloth be used instead of book cloth? Hope you can reply soon! :)
donovanbeeson (author)  black_solstice7 years ago
You really should get the spray adhesive. It applies as an even coat and won't cause your paper to buckle. I suppose you could try thin layers of PVA or bookbinders glue, but I only ever use the spray adhesive. As for using canvas, I suppose you can. The theory of book cloth is that it has been stiffened with sizing making it easier to work with. You could make the canvas into book cloth by ironing sizing onto it. Sizing can be found at fabric stores. Since you aren't planning to use the spray adhesive though, I'd be hesitant to use the canvas straight for fear the glue might seep through. If you were to use the adhesive, you wouldn't have that problem. I wish you the best of luck!
Well, I've found myself two cans of spray adhesive (I bought one and my dad accidentally bought another); is there a certain kind I need to use? They're both Sprayway, one is 'super flash' (flash curing?) and the other is permanent or temporary bonds. Totally clueless about spray adhesives. x)
donovanbeeson (author)  black_solstice7 years ago
I'd go with the permanent one. I use Super 77 permanent. You just want to make sure it has a nice even spray so that you don't have spots on your paper/fabric. There should be some directions on your can about how to spray to avoid spotting. The number one rule is not to spray directly downwards. Instead, prop the paper against something [I use the inside of a trash cardboard box] and spray it with the can held right side up about 6 inches away from the paper.
kirnex7 years ago
Wow! What an awesome instructable. I also perused your Etsy shop and your blog and I'm astounded. How do you find the time to do it all? You must be extremely organized--which is uncommon in someone so (obviously) creative. I'm in awe. You're my hero today. :-)
donovanbeeson (author)  kirnex7 years ago
Thanks very much for the kind words. I was feeling awfully overwhelmed and your comment really perked me up!
jpix8 years ago
I have read a lot of instructables and I have to say that this one has the cleanest and most professional finish. Very cool instrucable. Thanks
barbanne8 years ago
What a great idea and so well presented!! Bravo! I teach art and plan to try this with my kiddos. They will love it!!!
KelliShaver8 years ago
Wow, what a great idea, and the instructions are fantastic.
karen6088 years ago
Wow, detailed instructions and professional end result. Good use of wallpaper sample too. Love it.
daniboi19778 years ago
This is a great idea, and a great instructable! Thanks
HamO8 years ago
Cool and very well done! Thanks for sharing.