These envelopes add a unique, personalized touch to your decor!
Step 1: Supplies
This project is super cheap to make. I was able to make both envelopes for less than $5.00 with just a few items from the Dollar Store.
What You Need:
- Paper-covered foam board;
- Tea bags;
- Printout of a stamp of your choice;
- Thin cardboard or card stock;
- Plastic food container lid;
- White glue;
- Paint (black and red);
- Xacto knife;
- Mechanical pencil;
- Pencil and Sharpie.
- Wooden letters (large and small)
- Hot glue gun and glue.
Step 2: Prepare the Paper-Covered Foam Board
Wet a teabag and gently rub and pat it all over the board until you have the desired colouring. TIP: Don't oversoak the teabag or the foam board. The paper covering will contract and cause the board to curl in on itself or begin to form little balls on the surface.
I chose boards that were a bit damaged already (bent, creased, and wrinkly) to give my envelopes a bit of distress. In those creases, I squeezed the teabag and let some of the tea water stand a little longer than in other places. Be sure to pat along the edges to blend.
Let the board dry completely. I left mine overnight, but you can use a blow drier to speed up the process. Chances are good that your board will start to curl from being damp. Use weights to hold down the edges. If you're finding that weights aren't enough to prevent curling, flip the board over when it's dried, colour side facing down, and either wipe the back with a fairly damp cloth or use a spray bottle and wet the back. Place a weight in the centre of the board and leave to dry. This should flatten the board.
Step 3: Adding Postage
Find a royalty free picture of whatever stamp you prefer online. If you've got some design skills, you could always design your own, as well. Let your imagination roam wild!
Once you've printed out your stamp, begin cutting it out. Leave a bit of white around the edges so you can tear them off. This will give a more perforated look to your stamp; like it was torn away from other stamps.
Cut a piece of thin cardboard, like from a cereal box, or piece of card stock slightly smaller than your stamp and glue your stamp onto it. This will give your stamp a bit of a raised look. TIP: Use a very small amount of glue to prevent the card from curling. Again, if you find it curling, weigh it down until dry.
Once it has dried, glue it onto your foam board envelope. Gently pull up on a few of the edges of the "perforations" to give it a travel-weary, aged look.
Step 4: Adding Postage Marks
You can do a search online for different postage marks and create whatever you'd like, but for this Instructable, I went with something fairly basic. Find a circle shape that is approx. the size of your stamp (err on the side of larger). It must have a thin, defined edge. I used the lid from a plastic food container and snipped off some raised bits on the inside so it sits flat.
Paint around the thin, defined edge and press it onto your envelope. I found that most appear to cover parts of the stamp, but place it where you feel it looks best.
Don't worry if there are gaps in the paint or splotchy parts. It just enhances the effect.
While that dries, print out some wavy lines (or whatever design you've chosen to go with), and carefully cut them out. Line one edge up with your design, secure in place, and paint. Be sure to hold down the edges to keep your lines neat.
Step 5: Adding Lettering to Postage Marks
For lettering your postage mark, you could print out your letters, cut them out, and use the print out like a stencil to paint on your letters. Again, be sure to hold down the edges to get a clean stamp. Don't apply a thick coat of paint. Dab lightly to give it a stamped look. Using this method, you can create whatever postmark you'd like. You can even add an image, like a ship, palm tree, an anchor, hearts, etc.
For mine, I picked up two different sizes of wooden letters from the Dollar Store and made my own stamps.
To make them easier to handle, I cut round toothpicks in half and hot glued the ends to the smaller wooden letters. I applied a thin coat of paint to the letters and stamped directly onto my postage mark.
I didn't have numbers, so I simply used a month for the date.
Using the same method, I used the large wooden letters and added PAR AVION (air mail) in red for a little added colour and flair.
No limits here. Go crazy!
Step 6: Addressing
Choose an address! Where is your letter going? Have fun with it.
Type out your address in a font of your choosing. Make it large! Mine took two pieces of 8.5 x 11 sheets of paper. Print. Arrange your print outs on your envelope and secure in place.
Using a mechanical pencil with the lead retracted (or any small blunted object) trace over the letters. Use enough force to leave an indent in the foam board, but be careful! The paper covering on the foam board is very thin. Try not to puncture it.
Remove the printout.
It may be difficult to see your indented address at this point. I used the flashlight on my phone set up next to my board to highlight the impressions.
Using a regular number 2 pencil (dull!), trace the address again. If you like how it looks, cool beans. If you find it's too light to see properly, go over it again with the thin tipped sharpie marker. It will be much easier now that you can see the lines.
Step 7: Finished!
All that's left is to display your envelopes and enjoy your handiwork!
This is an entry in the Paper Contest, so if you like it, please consider voting!
This is an entry in the