Introduction: How to Fold (and Lock) a Letter

About: My reality is living in a fantasy

In this Instructable, I am going to show you how to fold a sheet of paper into a letter than can be posted through your mail service. In the olden days, the recipient of mail had to pay the postage, therefore the people of the time got creative in turning their letter into its own envelope to reduce the weight. These folded letters ranged from practical and simple to very unique pieces of arts with intricate locking mechanisms. Although being made of paper, these locks worked more as a tamper seal alerting others if the letter was opened or not. If you would like to learn more about letter locking, I suggest you check out the YouTube channel Letterlocking videos. You could use this tutorial to add an extra touch to that letter you are sending to someone special. It would surly make their day c:


  • Letter size (8.5 x 11 inches) paper.
  • Writing instrument (pen, pencil, crayons, etc.).

Optional supplies:

  • Ruler or bone folder.
  • tape and siscors or stickers.

Step 1: Write Your Letter

It is easier to write your letter before folding it. If the paper was folded before writing, the various creases would get in the way. Write as much or as little as you want.

Step 2: Fold in Half

Fold in half so the short edges meet and the writing is inside. Try to match the edges as evenly as you can. Then open the letter back up.

Step 3: Turn 90 Degrees and Fold the Edges In.

Turn the letter 90 degrees towards the left or right. Next, fold one of the short edges (left or right end) towards the center crease made in the previous step. Feel free to use your ruler or bone folder to crease the edges of the folds. Repeat with the other edge. The result will be both of the short edges coming in towards the center to conceal the writing within.

Note: The long and short edges are now reversed.

Step 4: Fold Upwards More Than a Third.

Now fold the 'new' short edge (the bottom end closest to you) upwards a little past one third of the length. You do not need to use the ruler to measure this, just estimate the length needed. If the bottom fold is difficult to make because of the bulk of material, use your ruler/bone folder to get in there and pull it back flat. Then crease with confidence.

Step 5: Fold the Top Flap Down.

Fold the top flap downwards about one fifth of the length and crease. At this point it will look like an envelope.

Step 6: Tuck and Seal

Now for the tricky bit. On the underside of the top flap there are some pockets perfect to fit the bottom flap into. Therefore that is exactly what we are going to do. Gently raise open the pocket and tuck the bottom flap into the corner. If its difficult to get it in there, use your ruler or bone folder to poke it in. Repeat with the other pocket and bottom corner.

You can stop here, but as it is right now anyone could open and reseal your letter. If you want to make sure it reaches untampered, add a sticker/tape seal. Add the tape or sticker to the top and bottom flap to secure.

Now all you have to address your envelope and attack your stamp. Have fun mailing this c;

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