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. Love these, I’m a letter writer and these are so much more fun than a plain white envelope :)

  2. Letter writing is a lost art — I adore this project, Kelly. :)
    xo Heidi

  3. Now that my daughter is in Brooklyn…sigh….

  4. I love this idea, I am going to start doing it for my good friends and family! Thanks for this lovely tutorial xxx

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Beautiful envelopes and notes that your daughter’s will treasure forever!….pretty, pretty Kelly!

  8. Every time I watch Downton Abbey I’m struck by how important letter writing was (and how unimportant it is now…) Let’s bring it back! These envelopes are the perfect start! :)

  9. 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.

  10. These are adorable!!!!!

    I have a little gift on the blog for you today :)

  11. 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!

  12. “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.

  13. 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.

  14. Who doesn’t secretly love getting an unexpected personal letter in the mail? I love to write notes thanking people or telling them I am thinking of them. It is such a treat these days. Handmade envelopes make it even more so.

  15. This is SO sweet! I love how you made those envelopes and now I’m inspired to write letters too! Beautiful project! 😀

  16. 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.

  17. Great idea for cool envelopes! I always have a few more handwritten notes I can send.

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

  20. So cute! Thanks for sharing!!!

  21. @ 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.

  22. Where did you buy that lovely paper?

  23. 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 :)

  24. 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.

  25. Great envelopes!! I love snailmail and you inspired me! :)

  26. 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. :)

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