This instructable will show you how to make a customized standard No. 10 size business envelope out of an 8.5"x11" sheet of paper. This instructable is useful in many different situations. You can use it if you want to:
- Make a custom envelope with printing on the flap, front and back sides, and even the inside. Great for greeting cards, invitations, promo mailings, or just for the coolness factor.
- Make envelopes that match stationery with special colors, patterns, or paper types.
- Print addresses on your envelopes instead of handwriting them, even if your printer doesn't handle envelopes.
- Just have a plain envelope. You've run out, and you don't feel like going to the store (or can't).
- Be uber frugal. A piece of paper costs less than an envelope, and a minute of cutting and folding is worth the satisfaction of saving money (and notching another instructable in your belt).
Estimated Time to Complete Plain Envelope: Approximately 1 minute (once you know the process)
We'll go over how to make a plain envelope first. A double side printed envelope uses the same template and process, but you need to edit the template with a graphics program.
Step 1: Materials
This instructable uses very basic materials. You will need:
- The attached PDF files
- Scissors (or hobby knife suitable for cutting paper)
- Glue stick (preferred) or white glue
- Letter size (8.5"x11") sheet of paper. Heavier bond paper makes for a better feeling envelope.
- Ruler (optional: can help with folding)
Please save or open the PDF files now.
Step 2: Print Out Templates
There are two different templates.
One is entitled envelope_template.pdf : this file is best for making a basic envelope as it includes visible folding lines. You fold inwards and the lines are no longer visible. Please print this one out now.
When you go to the print dialog box, ensure that there is no page scaling, or your envelope will be the wrong size. Choose the option to auto-center. Print. This screen shot is from Adobe Acrobat 3D.
The other one is entitled envelope_template_no_fold_lines.pdf . If you do custom graphics, you will have to fold outwards, thus making the fold lines visible and undesirable. You can use this one later.
Step 3: Cut Out Template
You'll notice that when you print out your template, the cut lines stop early. This amount will vary based on your printer's printable area (most printers have a margin where they are unable to print).
All of the cuts are straight lines, so you can just imagine the lines extending to the edge of the paper.
Cut out the sections as shown. When cutting, make sure to remove the printed cut lines with your cut so that they are not visible on the finished product.
Step 4: Fold Cut Templates
Next step is to fold the template. Since we want to hide the fold lines, fold inwards. I recommend folding the side flaps first.
Then, fold the bottom flap upwards.
The last fold is the top flap that you use to seal the envelope. There is no fold line (it would be visible), so imagine a line going across from the very top corners of the side flaps. Make sure to line this fold up well as it is apparent if it is crooked.
Step 5: Glue Side Flaps and Bottom
Open the top flap back up, and the bottom flap back down.
With your glue stick, apply a line of glue near the sides of the bottom flap from the fold to the angled corner. This line of glue will adhere to the side flap, which conveniently is approximately the width of a glue stick.
When you have a line of glue on both sides, fold the bottom flap back up and smooth to bond the glue joint.
Congratulations! You just finished your plain envelope. All that is left is stuffing it with whatever you are mailing, and closing the top flap. You can either use a thin line glue stick line (hold at an angle and use the edge) or a piece of tape or a sticker to close the flap.
Proceed to the next step to learn how to make exciting graphics on your envelope.
Step 6: Step 0: Optional Graphics
The real fun in this instructable is making creative and graphically pleasing envelopes in a way that no other method will allow you to. Import the envelope_template_no_fold_lines.pdf into your favorite graphics program (we used Adobe Photoshop CS), and add graphics as you see fit. Try dragging and dropping the icon for the file if you can't figure out how to import, many programs will work automatically.
Note: If you really need fold lines and custom graphics, you can print the envelope_template.pdf on one side of the paper, flip, and print the edited envelope_template_no_fold_lines.pdf on the other side.
Things to Remember:
- Flipping the paper and printing the template twice can also allow you to have printing on the inside of the envelope.
- The flaps fold, and thus their graphics must be upside down. Try working with the right side up graphics first, then rotating the whole image 180, and then working with the upside down graphics.
- When you print your edited template, it must be to scale or your envelope will be the wrong size. If your graphics program presents a problem and forces an autoscale, try printing to a PDF file first, then printing the PDF file using the method listed in step 2.
The sky is the limit, take an artistic license and let your creativity run free.
Thanks for reading, and we hope that you use this instructable many times in the future.