In general, I feel pretty excellent about my resourcefulness when it comes to upcycling, but there are a few items that make me wonder if maybe I'm treading a little too close to hoarder territory. Primarily, the envelopes that come enclosed with junk mail. As I rip up all those credit card offers, I can't help but feel guilty about the perfectly good envelope that's being wasted, too. So for years now I've been rubberbanding their ilk together and throwing them in a drawer. I so love this project because it finally gave me something to do with all those things! Plus, I get to use some of the remnant fabric that I have WAY too much of. Yeah, scrap fabric is totally another one of those hoarder items for me.
What You'll Need
*Steamer (or kettle)
Step 1: Steam open the flaps of the envelope.
The easiest way to do this is with a clothes steamer, but...
... if you don't have a steamer you can get the same results with a kettle. It'll just a take a little bit longer. (Be extra careful if you use this method not to burn your hand or let the envelope get too close to the burner!)
Step 2: As the steam begins to lift the edges of the flap, pull it upward. You may have to pull a little bit at a time as you continue to steam.
When you're finished with this step the envelope may look a little wrinkly, like this. That's normal, especially if your envelope has a plastic window. Most wrinkles will come out when you spray it with the adhesive, but if it's excessively wrinkled, you can lay something heavy on it for a bit.
Step 3: Lay the fabric out flat and place the opened envelope over it. Cut all around, leaving at least an extra 1/2" on all sides.
Step 4: The next step is to spray both the envelope and the fabric with adhesive spray. Before you do this you'll need to lay out some paper to protect your work surface. Also, it's important that you only use the spray in an extremely well ventilated area, preferably outside.
Step 5:Lay the envelope so it is right side up, and the fabric right side down. Spray both pieces thoroughly and evenly. (Spraying both pieces will make the adhesion permanent.)
Step 6: Gently lay the fabric over the envelope, so the sides with the adhesive are touching. Flatten out any wrinkles or air bubbles until the surface is totally smooth.
Step 7: Trim the excess fabric away from the envelope with a pair of scissors.
Step 8: Lay the envelope face down and bend in the two smaller flaps.
Step 9: Run some hot glue down the two flaps you just folded.
Step 10: Fold the large flap up to cover the two small ones. Rub your finger over the two glued areas to make sure they properly adhere.
**As an extra step you can trace the dimensions of the envelope onto a sheet of paper. Reduce the size by an 1/8" on each side and cut. This will give you a perfectly sized template, especially nice if you'd like to make handmade note cards to fill the envelopes with.