Friday 16 September 2011

New Skills Festival - making envelopes with Lynsey

Today's guest is the lovely Lynsey from Swirlyarts/Cuteable. I first connected with Lynsey through twitter, actually I think it was Lynsey's daughter, the tweets went on the lines of this...

Lynsey (her daughter tweeting): bjhdfbkjnsl  nbdsjhdoifjpa jnslkdfjoi skdlj
Me: never! wbfikfnk nbkferh bsdhfuihe jnwefjh
Lynsey: jkekrjiob dsnfh njsdfh  snjdhfos nsdklflj 
Me: hbshjfe n jfheuigfh bsdbfiudf  but don't tell your mom!

and out of that stupid conversataion grew a new friendship! Over to Lynsey...

Hi everyone I'm Lynsey better known as Swirlyarts or even perhaps to some as the chicken lady as the main thing I make are chicken shaped doorstops and pincushions. I also make lots of paper goods such as stickers, gift tags, envelopes and cards. I'm a recycling/upcycling fiend and everything in my house has to be examined before it is thrown away just in case it has some use to me! 

Today I am going to show you how to make padded envelopes using things you might have lying around the home such as wallpaper samples, broken books with pages missing etc. In the tutorial I have used book pages but you could use any other paper you have lying around. If you don't have any bubble wrap handy then this tutorial can be used to make regular envelopes but depending on the paper used they might need strengthening with cardboard before posting.


Materials you will need:

Paper – something strong like book pages/wallpaper. I wouldn’t recommend magazines. Bubblewrap – I get mine free from the fruit and veg aisle at the supermarket. Just make sure you ask first! Scissors Double sided sticky tape along with normal sticky tape Paper cutter (optional)

How to do it:
Gather two pieces of paper and ensure that they are roughly the same size (you can trim stray edges later). Choose which is going to be the front of the envelope and which is going to be the back. The back piece needs to have about half an inch cut off it at the top.
Turn your back piece over so that the inside of the envelope is facing up. Don’t start with the front piece as the bubble wrap will end up in the way later! The add a small strip of double sided tape around the outside of the paper.

Cut yourself 2 piece of bubble wrap that fit inside the tape and then peel the backing off the top strip of tape and stick one piece of bubble wrap to it. You may need additional tape behind the bubblewrap near the bottom to secure it firmly.
Take your second piece of bubblewrap and place it on top of the other piece. Add tape to the back of the bubblewrap as seen

Peel off all the backing and place the front of the envelope onto the top of the bubblewrap.

You’ll need to position it carefully but don’t worry if the edges don’t match up perfectly – you can trim them later. Your envelope will now look like a sandwich

You will now need to press around the outside of the envelope to stick the 2 pieces of paper together.

And voila – you have a padded envelope made from reclaimed paper! You can have fun and use lots of different papers. The extra inch on the front piece can be folded down to make the lip of y
our envelope which can be secured by tape. I also keep scraps of plain paper to use as address labels.

You can find me over at my blog and can also find me on Etsy as Swirlyarts. Thanks for reading and go and make you postman's day brighter with some reclaimed envelopes! 


  1. I make my own envelopes from Japanese advertisements and suchlike all the time, but I NEVER thought of making padded envelopes, and if I had, I wouldn't have known where to begin. This tutorial is GREAT. Thank you, Linsey (and Jo!)

  2. I am the same, I have made regular envelopes but not padded ones!

  3. They are easy once you get started :)

  4. P.S. I'd forgotten about the conversation on Twitter :)


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