Thursday, September 20, 2012

I like to recycle - especially paper. So I've put these catalogs to a great use - I've recycled them into fun, hand-stitched little envelopes.  This project is quite easy to make (just some simple folding and a basic stitch). I use these envelopes for my business cards that I place in all my Etsy orders. They add a fun little flare and are of course reusable for any of your own organizing purposes!


-Thick recycled paper



First, fold two sides of the catalog page long ways - so that you have about 1.5 inches (or more or less) folded over. You can vary this size to create longer or shorter envelopes.


Next, fold the bottom up to meet the top, but not so that they are equal. Leave about 2 inches of space so that you can fold the top over.


Third, fold in the corners of the exposed top portion, so that you have a little triangle. This is your envelope flap.


Now your basic design is finished! Time to do some stitching.


Apply a simple loop stitch (overcasting or overhanding stitch) to both sides of the envelope. Start at the bottom and work to the top. Tie off the thread when finished. Don't worry if you have little exposed knots or thread, it adds to the look! (If you have a sewing machine, utilize it! It's faster and gives the envelope a more sophisticated look, like the top images!)


Optional Part 1: Stitch along the triangle envelope flap to add a border. I like to utilize the same basic loop stitch used on the sides. If you choose not to do this part, then simply add a small piece of transparent tape (or perhaps colorful washi tape?) to each folded interior piece of your triangle flap. This will keep those edges secure.


Optional Part 2: Add a fastening loop to tuck your envelope flap to the back of the envelope. This is not difficult. With the flap pressed against the back of envelope, determine the position of your fastening thread. Reach inside the envelope and bring your needle through the back of the envelope so that the hole is next to one side of the flap. Bring the thread across the flap to secure it, and draw your needle back down on the other side of the flap. Tie off the thread on the inside of the envelope. Now you have a secure piece to keep your envelope closed!


You're done! Now you can look through your catalogs with a creative eye and find those pages you think will make beautiful envelopes.


--Chelsea, from Sea, Field & Tribe


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