Field Notes Archival Envelopes




About: I'm French and I like to make stuff.

Hi, my name is Thomas and this tutorial is going to be about making archival envelopes for the wonderful little things that are Field Notes.

I wanted a nice way to store my Field Notes for extended periods of time. An envelope seemed like a good way to achieve that, but I couldn't find any that had the right size and looked nice. So I decided to make one myself, and at that time I stumbled upon this video from Ray Blake. It was exactly what I was looking for so I based my design on it.

I tried to imitate Field Notes Brand's style but these are obviously not official products.

I took inspiration in things like the information on the inside covers and the Blue Book. The envelopes come in three size, Memo Book (standard), Signature/Dime Novel and End Papers. Notebooks form other brands would probably fit these too. If you really want a different size send me a message or leave a comment and I'll see what I can do.

Small disclaimer: On the pictures the End Papers size envelope (the blue one) has dark blue printing because I was trying to make it look like the Blue Book. But the downloadable templates are all black to accommodate most paper colors.

It's a very easy project and you probably already have everything you need to make it, just make sure you read the entire tutorial before starting.

Here we go!

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Step 1: Plans

Here are the different plans you are going to need to make the envelopes.

The Memo size fits on one A4 page, but the Signature and End Papers sizes require two A4 pages (So two files to print).

Go ahead and download the zip file, you'll find all the templates inside.

Step 2: Paper

You are going to need some paper, what a surprise right?

I recommend using some nice and thick paper because ordinary printer paper is not going to give you a great result (I suppose that anything above 120g will be fine).

Edit: As stated in the comments, perfer the use of acid-free paper to prevent damage to your Field Notes. Obviously this is not an archiving tutorial but you should also be careful about sunlight and humidity when storing your archives.

For this tutorial I will be using 170g Kraft paper bought on Amazon and two different colors of Clairefontaine 160g paper. If you don't have access to thick paper you can try to use thin cardboard like a cereal box.

Step 3: Printing

For this step you are going to need a print... Ok ok I know it wasn't even funny the first time.

So before rushing to your printer you need to be careful about scaling. Most printers are going to scale down whatever you're trying to print, but the plans for the envelopes need to be printed at a 100% of their original size, otherwise the notebooks won't fit!

On the last picture you can see an example of how to achieve that with Preview (Mac OS).

If you plan on making different sizes I recommend to start with the Memo since it's a little easier to make (Don't worry none of them are hard to put together).

Step 4: Scoring

Achieving straight and clean folds can be challenging, especially on thick paper. To make that easier we are going to score the paper where we are going to fold it.

To do that you are going to need something with a round tip that won't damage the paper. I have a nice little tool for that but you can just use an empty ball pen or something similar. If the tool you are using is likely to leave visible mark, score the back of the page.

Make sure to use a ruler to score the paper in a straight line (like in the picture) and just go over every line where there will be a fold. It will mark the paper and when you try to fold it it will naturally follow the line.

(If you don't see where the folds are, just look at the pictures in the next steps)

Step 5: Cutting

Grab your favorite cutting tool and a ruler and please, don't cut yourself.

This step is pretty straight forward, pick what you're comfortable with and take your time to cut carefully.

Pro tip: when cutting with a ruler, always try to position it above the part you intend to keep. That way if your blade goes out of track you won't cut into the important part.

On all templates, you only need to cut the outlines, nothing more. Look at the pictures to make sure you are cutting the right parts (It's pretty straight forward).

Step 6: Gluing

Last step!

Now we need to glue everything together. You can use any paper glue for that, I prefer liquid PVA glue (You know that white stuff you tried to eat in kindergarden) but stick glue is fine.

If you go with liquid glue just make sure that you only apply a very thin amount. Otherwise it will look messy and take ages to dry.

The parts that need to be glued have stripes on them.

For the Memo size you first need to glue the two big flaps together to form the back, then the little flap on the bottom. You can then put your Field Notes inside and glue the top flap to close the envelope.

For the two other sizes it's pretty much the same thing. First glue the back to the front, then the bottom flap and finally the top one after filling up the envelope.

Step 7: Conclusion

I hope everything went well, if you have difficulties I'm here to help.

Don't hesitate to try out other colors and if you want to reuse/modify the design, please go ahead and share a picture!

That's all for me (this already took a while ahah), if you liked this tutorial please let me know!

I might make other small accessories like this in the future, I have a few ideas. If you have some suggestions please leave a comment.

A good day to you and to all my fellow FieldNuts!

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18 Discussions


4 months ago

Awesome!! I'm a big fan of Field Notes so having something like this for all my old memo books will come in handy. Is there enough room in the memo envelopes to fit more than one memo book? Probably wouldn't be hard to make some modifications to do so. Thanks for sharing this one!!

1 reply

Reply 4 months ago

Hey, my pleasure.
You could probably fit 2 memo books in the signature size envelope if you want to do that ;)


Question 5 months ago on Step 1

Thanks for sharing your project.
Please can you tell me what the name of the font is you used (e.g. for "ARCHIVE")?

1 answer

Answer 5 months ago

Yep, it's Futrura :)
It's the actual font used on every Field Notes product.


5 months ago on Step 7

A neat project, but needs one major fix: Regular paper degrades, is frequently acidic, and can damage things stored in it. Also non-archival paper in the object stored can acidify and cause further damage. Acid free and/or acid-buffered archival paper (from tissue to card stock) is available. Amazon, or or similar. ...

3 replies

Reply 5 months ago

You are obviously free to use the paper you want, I just provide the plans that's it.


Reply 5 months ago

Mmm. Given that the project is termed "Archival" I would strongly suggest one mention that not just any paper *is* archival, and some papers are likely to actively damage paper products stored in them. (Many, although not most, field notebooks are acid-free archival quality, so to store in regular paper would be a tragic choice.) Consider an edit to a cool project otherwise, rather than shooting the messenger.


Reply 5 months ago

Sorry I was rude and you are totally right, I edited the "Paper" step.


Reply 5 months ago

Rasy-Peasy! I used an old Kleenex box for my 3x5 cards.


5 months ago

This was a nicely done and presented project. I have to concur, though, with rogerpasadena that archival paper should at least be recommended for use for those truly interested in the long term preservation of their important notes. Obviously, anyone is free to use whatever paper they choose, but Mr. Pasadena offered a courteous and helpful suggestion that deserved a better consideration than he received.


5 months ago

I agree with Audrey, great design work! If you're ever looking for an excellent source of heavy weight paper check out Frenchpaper. They have a phenomenal selection of high quality papers and even offer a sample pack so you can find exactly what your after!
Mr. Ham

2 replies

Reply 5 months ago

Hey, thank you! It's funny that you would recommend Frend because most Field Notes are actually made from their paper ^^
I will think about it next time I need some nice paper, thank you for the tip!


Reply 5 months ago

Anytime GurdilCB!
It's always a life win when you can put your art degree to use!
Mr. Ham


5 months ago

This is an excellent idea. I'm just planning to make some of my own notebooks in a similar style to the field notes books, I think this would really enhance them, thanks!

1 reply