Lately, I've been really into making patterns. Like, really into it. My usual style of painting things rather than scenes easily lends itself to pattern-making.
For example, I was able to quickly whip up this pink prettiness, featuring a flamingo I painted months and months ago:
...and I thought to myself how pretty it would look as gift-wrapping paper. It's fun, it's a little kooky, a little different. It would work for nearly any occasion.
But, when I received the samples from the printer, the colors weren't nearly as vibrant.
Since I couldn't sell the papers I had, I decided to cut them up and make envelopes instead.
If you want to try making your own envelopes, you can use thin card stock, magazine pages, store bought gift-wrapping paper...the options are really almost endless. Depending on how thick your paper is, you may need to use a bone folder (or butter knife) to get sharp creases.
I could have used an envelope template, but the few I own didn't have options for a 5" square version. I was stuck on making square envelopes because that's what I use to hold my thank you note, business card (!), and receipt for orders that I send out.
Since I didn't have a template, I deconstructed a square envelope I already had:
I traced the shape onto the back of my womp-womp gift-wrapping paper.
If you plan to make a lot of envelopes, it's probably best to trace your pattern onto a piece of thin cardboard (think: cereal boxes) and use that as your template.
I cut out the envelope pattern:
...then started folding.
Side flaps first.
It was at this point that I imagined how much prettier my envelopes would be with a colorful liner. So, I raided my paper stash and found a few sheets of origami paper that matched the shades of pink in my flamingos.
I cut my liners from the same pattern that I used to make the envelopes -- but I only needed the middle and the top flap.
Unfortunately, I was only able to get one liner per sheet of origami paper.
I positioned the liner slightly below the envelope edge. I know it's kind of hard to see in the photo. Think about how a real envelope has that strip that you lick -- I glued my liner just below that strip.
Glue the back of the liner paper to the inside of the envelope.
...then I finished folding the envelope, liner and all. I used paper glue to adhere the bottom flap up against the two side flaps.
Cell phone photo I posted on Instagram. :)
Not a revolutionary DIY, but I managed to recycle some crappy gift-wrapping paper into adorable envelopes that I'll actually use so...I'm happy.