A Tutorial: On Envelopes and Old Calendars

I was a weird kid. There was a time when history homework got turned into a sewing project and when a social studies project transformed into an illustrated essay. It’s no great surprise that there are craft projects I’ve been making for so long I’m not even sure when they started. This is one of those projects.

Once upon a time, I got a Far Side Wall calendar for Christmas every year. It was bittersweet. I’d excitedly read through the freshly unwrapped calendar but was then immediately faced with changing the guard and removing my year-old companion.

At some point, as a means of preservation, the homemade envelope was created. Ever since, I’ve always kept few old calendars around the house to add a nice touch to any outgoing mail.

Finished Envelopes

What’s better than getting a letter? Getting one in a kooky envelope. So let’s get to it!

What you’ll need:
A calendar or extra-large magazine made of heavy paper
An envelope
Double Stick Tape
A marker
White mailing labels (nice to have but not necessary)



1. Find an envelope whose shape you dig. I’d recommend the boxier shaped one, like the eastern standard envelop without long triangles. Carefully pull the envelope apart at the glued seams until it’s unfolded and can be laid out flat. Try not to rip the paper. TRY. But if you do rip the paper, fear not. You’ve got two options: one, try again with another envelope or two, fold a bit of tape over the flubbed edge.

blank calendar

2. Using the unfolded envelope as a template, place over a spot on the calendar you’d like to feature. Go ahead and pick something nice and pretty or just frame something cool. Since the teapot and cupcake is obviously the most prominent thing on this calendar, that’s what I’m squaring up to look pretty.


3. Holding down your template with one hand, trace the unfolded envelope with the marker so that the envelope shape is transferred onto the calender paper.

Traced calendar

4. Cut the envelope shape out of the calendar paper. Make sure to cut inside of the line you traced so that there aren’t anyΒ  marks on the finished envelope.


5. Flip the calendar page wrong side up so that the date portion of the calendar is exposed (in most cases there is a date portion but not apparently this one). Fold in the same 4 creases as your original envelope template. Make sure that the side you intended to show is on the outside. You should now basically have an envelope, granted it wouldn’t really hold anything just yet. Go over each crease with something sturdy like the back of your scissors to make sure that it is a crisp fold. Go ahead, dig in. Those stiff papers can be stubborn.


6. Using the double stick tape, cut a strip to adhere the back to each of the side flaps. Those short little arms on the right and left of the above picture, see em? Those are the flaps.

7. Press them together, making sure that no double stick take is showing. If it is, trim them with your scissors! When the time comes for you to mail a letter, you can either use a piece of regular tape over the outside seam to seal it shut or use double stick tape again on the underside flap.


8. If you have a mailing label, stick it to the front of the envelope so that there is space to write the letter name name and destination. If you don’t have a mailing label, write the address on a piece of white paper, cut it out and stick a bit of packing tape over it. That goes on the front of the envelope. Do the same for your return address.

Mailing Label

And dude, if you’re not much of a letter writer, there are plenty of other ways to use these envelopes. And if this shape doesn’t fit your purpose, you can make many other types of envelopes. There is nothing stopping you from making them for Christmas cards, to jazz up gift cards, or maybe, JUST MAYBE, you need an award envelope for the Academy Awards. Or to hold your cut coupons. Or to participate in the Write A Prisoner program. Ya’ll get the idea.

Because its natural for one to get bored with oneself and one’s own craft projects, I’m extraordinarily interested in what you do with it. So GIVE IT A TRY! And then LET ME KNOW what you made! Seriously want to see what you did.Β  Send me to a flickr link or an emailz and I’ll update this post later with your ideas and successful (or CraftFail?) results.

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