The Forgotten Art of Letter Writing and Simple DIY Envelopes

 Make DIY Envelopes from any Paper - cute for weddings, invites or gifts!

Remember the excitement of waiting for the mailman?

Looking out the window hoping he’d deliver an letter with your name neatly written on the envelope.

DIY Envelopes from any Paper - the world's simplest way to make them!

Birthdays were the best.

Far away relatives would tuck a crisp dollar bill inside the card that floated to the floor when I ripped open the envelope.

DIY Envelopes from any Paper - the world's simplest way to make them!

While the art of letter writing is almost extinct, I still love getting a good old fashioned hand written letter in the mail.

I’m starting a new tradition this year.

When the mood strikes and I’ve got lots to say, I’ll sit down, put pen to paper, carefully fold the letters in half and place them into beautiful envelopes.  I’ll prop the letters on my girls’ pillows for them to find when they are alone in their rooms.  I know they’ll rip open the envelopes with the same fervor that I did many years ago.  I hope their piles of letters grow and that they tie them up with discarded pieces of ribbon and place them into boxes tucked safely away.

One day, when they are old and gray, they can open the boxes and I hope my handwriting, while not as perfect as my grandmother’s, will bring back a flood of memories and they’ll smile and one of my girls will pick up the phone and call her sister and they’ll laugh until they cry remembering how much their mother loved them.


DIY Envelopes with any Paper

1) Deconstruct an envelope by ungluing it until it lays flat (I used a flat spoon handle to help loosen the glue from the paper)

DIY Envelopes from any Paper - the world's simplest way to make them!

2) Find a beautiful piece of paper (scrapbook, map, newspaper, music sheet …) and trace the flattened envelope onto the paper

3) Cut out the traced shape (I used deckle edged scissors)

4) Lay the paper so the nice side faces down and fold in each side of the paper (use the original envelope as a guide of where to fold)
Tip:  Use a piece of cardboard or a thick piece of card stock to help make a crisp fold

DIY Envelopes from any Paper - the world's simplest way to make them!

5) Fold the two side flaps in and run a glue stick along the bottom edge of each side fold

6) Fold up the bottom flap and press onto the glued sides

DIY Envelopes from any Paper - the world's simplest way to make them!

7) Tuck a hand written letter inside the envelope and give it or mail to someone you love

DIY Envelopes from any Paper - the world's simplest way to make them!

A love note to my daughter.

DIY Envelopes from any Paper - the world's simplest way to make them!

My girls were beaming from ear to ear when they found the letters.

And I didn’t even have to tuck a dollar bill inside!
DIY Envelopes from any Paper - the world's simplest way to make them!
Here’s to keeping the art of letter writing alive and making wonderful memories.

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  1. What a cute idea! Love the bright colors! Now I need to start working on my hand writing….it’s not the best….and definitely not on par with those envelopes.

    Happy day to you.

  2. This is sweet.
    I do write and receive letters from my brother. I write notes to my kids.
    I’m always glad to hear that others still do this, appreciate it, and know that it’s becoming extinct, but still preserving the beautiful art of handwriting.

    ps – My little girl will love making these envelopes.

  3. I so agree with you — it really IS a forgotten art. I still always send a hand-written thank you note and my dad and I still exchange hand-written letters. My girls are pretty good while away at college at sending little notes too. I like the idea of the pretty envelopes — this generation sadly will never know the joy of pulling out old, faded letters and reliving the past through them.

  4. These are so pretty! Thanks for reminding us of the beauty in a hand written letter or note. I love writing out notes…it’s one of the things I used to do non-stop. It would be fun to renew that lost talent!

  5. “BRAVO !!!!” I remember receiving all kinds of cards, letters from friends and pen pals when I was young. Saved quite a few – love the idea of such use of beautiful types of paper for envelopes. Your kids will remember the memories of your notes !! Sincerely, Linda B.

  6. Love the idea of this DIY project…Thumbs up! Writing letters to your loves ones, relatives and friends are the most memorable moment and with this gift letters will be the perfect way of making this moment to be unforgettable.

  7. I so love a handwritten note. I am firm believer in them. I try to send out one or two notes or thank you notes to people every week. It is a dying art and I am trying to keep it alive. I am pinning this and doing with it youngest. She is the crafty child and will love this one.

  8. What pretty little envelopes! I love to write letters and send cards and always think a text or email just can’t replace a sweet handwritten note!

  9. This is what I love about Blogland — great ideas that would NEVER have occurred to me. While I’ve wanted to try making envelopes, I never thought to A) trace existing envelopes or B) use decorative scissors to do so! I will definitely be a copycat! I so treasure the letters my mom saved that I wrote home while in college and as a young mother.

  10. @ Importance of letters on DOWNTON ABBEY x 2 !

    Thats my favorite thing of ALL on that show!!! Lord Grantham gets a stern look after a silver tray-ed letter is presented to him>>> cue the DRAMA!!!

    I still have an older aunt who likes to write letters…in CURSIVE! So I have taught my boys cursive….so they can write her beautiful replies to the letters she writes to them. She always includes a single stick of chewing gum and I have resolved that this tradition will live on long after she is gone.

    I write two letters a week as a promise to myself, and I get the most fun replies. My friend won a special award at the University where she is a distinguished professor….so nothing would do but a hand written congratulations although she lives only four miles from me and we text all the time. YOU WOULD HAVE THOUGHT I GAVE HER A GOLD BAR. She goes on and on about it STILL — at least two years later—how I took the time to write her on beautiful paper with a wax seal.

    All that is old is new again.

  11. I love to see posts like this. Getting a letter or car in the mail still makes my day happy! I still have letters and cards from my grandma (now gone) and I kept them. They are treasures to me 🙂

  12. I like this idea. People seem to have forgotten that writing is a special kind of communication. I send homemade cards for all occasions but never thought of making my own envelopes. I will try this, thank you.

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  14. I love this so much! I found quite a few penpals on Instagram and I’ve been looking for cute envelopes to mail their letters in. I can’t always buy them, so I’m going to make them! Thanks for this tutorial. 🙂

  15. I love the envelopes! The more that I’d make the more letters I’d write I’m sure. Sadly though not so many people seem to have the time to write back in the same way so they just pop an e-mail back to me thanking me for the nice letter. ahhhhhhh Thank you for the share. Dee in Oregon

  16. I love letters also. Thank you for sharing with us. The bit about hoping your girls will call each other one day, tie letter with ribbon etc just made me cry , happy cry,but it pulled my heart strings for some reason but I loved it .

  17. Letters on hand dyed and decorated papers coordinating envelopes, as well as handmade cards with decorative envelopes. I love to make and send them!!!

  18. I thought this was such a beautiful thing to do, love the idea of giving to your children and them saving them
    Yes mobile phones and texting has sadly made us lose the art of writing.
    I am today going to make some envelopes and post them to my family living in the North East of England and let them know how much I love them…will even make a little card too.
    Thank you for your inspiration and lovely thought.
    Much appreciated.
    Helen x

  19. I loved the ever-so-easy DIY of making paper envelopes. I’m looking forward to more simply ideas. Many thanks.

  20. This is such a lovely a and personal touch to add to a message to someone. Thank you for the inspiration ~ Your daughters surly know how special they are to you, they are lucky ladies!

  21. How to make an envelope when the size of the card is large a12x12 piece of card stock/scrapbook paper is too small?

      1. Did you hear me smacking my head? Italian joke. Plus I have been using the brown envelopes from my stash and never thought of that Thanx

  22. I love this idea of good ole fashioned letter writing, something you can look back on many years from now. Love your envelope designs ❤️

  23. Yes! to starting a lovely tradition. My grandmother kept the letters I wrote to her, and I now have them back. What a sweet treasure of memories from 50+ years ago.

  24. Hi, I have taken apart envelopes to reuse the paper to make a smaller ones. I use steam from my kettle or a pot of simmering water to loosen the glue and gently pull it apart with minimum or no tearing.

  25. Handwritten letters are always special to give and receive. Reading old letters from family and friends are always heartwarming.

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