How to Fold a Piece of Paper Into an Envelope

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Things You'll Need

  • Standard copy or printer paper (8.5 by 11 inches)

  • Scissors

  • Pencil

  • Ruler

  • Glue

Whether for a special occasion, an unusual item, or just because you are short on envelopes, homemade envelopes are easy to make. Making your own envelopes allows for infinite variety and self expression, a cost-conscious solution for sending mail, and can be as easy or complex as you wish. All envelopes stem from the same basic idea: folding one flat sheet over itself in such a way that it completely covers what is inside it. As such, after making this basic envelope you will have the skills and insight necessary to attempt more advanced styles.


Step 1

Lay the paper out flat in front of you, with one of the long edges near you. Label the left edge "A," the top edge "B," the right edge "C" and the bottom (closest) edge "D."

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Step 2

Measure along Sides B and D, marking 9 1/4 inches from Side A. Using your ruler, draw a straight line connecting the two marks. Using your scissors, cut along your line, removing 2 inches from side C. Discard the paper you have removed. You should have a piece of paper measuring 8 1/2 by 9 1/4 inches.


Step 3

Measure along Side A, starting from Side D, putting small pencil marks at 3 3/4 inches and 7 3/4 inches. Do the same along Side C, also starting from Side D. Starting from Side A, measure along sides D and B and put marks at 1/4 inch, and again at the 3 3/4-inch and 7 3/4-inch marks. Do the same on the other edge, this time starting from Side B.


Step 4

Connect the dots along each edge from Side D to the 3 3/4-inch, and Side B to the 7 3/4-inch pencil marks, and then to side A. Do the same on the opposite edge, starting from Side C. You should have drawn four narrow boxes at each corner of the paper.

Step 5

Cut out each of the four boxes. When done, the paper should look something like an uneven plus sign, each of the sides are now tabs. Tab D will become the back of the envelope, Tab B will become the top, and Tabs A and C will hold the sides shut.


Step 6

Fold Tab D up to the 7 3/4-inch marks, and crease sharply. Sparingly apply glue to the 1/4-inch Tabs A and C and, fold over top of Tab D, crease sharply, and hold until glue sets. Fold Tab B down and crease sharply, but do not glue until your envelope is ready to mail. You now have a standard-size envelope.


You can make envelopes easier to seal by putting double-sided tape on Tab B. Any kind of paper can be used to make envelopes more attractive.


Use adhesives that are suitable for the paper you are using. Improper adhesives will allow your envelope to come unstuck, resulting in possible loss or damage.


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