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Make snail mail envelopes from scrapbook paper

I recently joined the Pretty Postal tropical snail mail swap and decided to make snail mail envelopes from colourful tropical scrapbook papers. It is an easy and fun project for the beginner to intermediate crafter. I was able to make six in about an hour’s time so this can be an afternoon craft. You can further decorate the envelopes as you’d like with doodles or drawings, labels, stickers and washi tape.

I started with square 12 inch by 12 inch pieces of scrapbook paper. The paper I used had only one side printed, but if you use paper that has coordinating printed colours or patterns on both sides you can make envelopes that look like they have a lining. When finished the envelopes measure 5 x 8 inches which are big enough to send along most standard size postcards, photos, and cards.


  • 12 x 12 inch scrapbook papers of various designs
  • Long 15 inch ruler
  • Scissors
  • Pencil for marking folds and cuts
  • Glue stick or washi tape to assemble the envelope
  • Optional bone folding tool for scoring the paper before folding (I didn’t use one but if you have one it makes it a little easier)

Fold the paper for cutting

First, we are going to fold the paper so that it is easy to tell where to cut the pieces off to fold and glue the envelope. Below is a diagram of where to fold the paper with the top fold of the envelope at the top of the paper.

  1. Mark the paper 2 inches from the top. Double check that your pattern is the right side up or the pattern will be upside down when the envelope is finished.
  2. Fold the paper down and then open it.
  3. Fold the bottom of the paper up to meet the 2 inch area.
  4. Mark the paper 2 inches in from the left and right side. Repeat the process of folding the paper and then unfold it. Use a ruler on the inner side of the fold to keep the folds straight or use a bone folder to score the paper before you fold it.

Cut the excess pieces off

The top two squares and bottom two rectangular areas are an excess of paper that needs to get trimmed before you glue the envelope together. I like to trim these pieces on a bit of an angle to make it look a little more like an envelope.

  1. Trip the top two and bottom two pieces of paper off.

Assemble and glue the envelope

You’re almost there, just a few more steps to go.

  1. Fold in the sides of the envelope and add glue to them.
  2. Fold up the bottom of the envelope and press firmly to ensure the glue adheres.


Add extras and finish

Once the glue is dry add extra additions like labels, stickers, washi tape and fun postage stamps. Write notes to your favourite people and send them off in your colourful handmade snail mail envelopes.

Now go get some more paper and make more snail mail envelopes, because once you make a couple you will be hooked. Happy snail mailing!

If you want to join in the next Pretty Postal swap, sign up for their newsletter and they’ll notify you of the next swap theme and deadlines.

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Written by:

Hi, I’m Tara, a Graphic Designer, and Illustrator that works Full-Time in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. My weekends are spent illustrating adorable characters wearing glasses inspired by our unconditionally loved household pets, creating handwritten mail for friends, family, and strangers, and being motivated by other artists and designers scrolling through my Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram feeds. All opinions are my own unless clearly stated. I am not endorsed or paid for my opinion on anything appearing on my website.

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