Padded Envelope Tutorial

Every time I go to the post office to mail an Etsy order I get comments on my packaging. More specifically, my padded envelopes. They seem to love them, although I haven’t heard any feedback from customers. Hmm…

Since my blog and online business name is Restyled Junk, I try to carry that through to the packaging. I haven’t figured out a clever box idea, but I like to use wallpaper scraps for my envelopes. I can never pass up wallpaper at yard sales, so I have a lot. To make them padded, and to keep the cheap recycling going throughout the process, I use bubble wrap that my husband brings me from work. It’s headed to the trash anyway, so I figure I am saving the landfills. I’m also saving my money.

I’ve made these in several different ways depending on the order size and weight,wallpaper sizes I have on hand, bubble wrap I have on hand, texture of the paper…well, you get the idea. Different elements may change the construction slightly.

Cut a piece of wallpaper that is at least twice the size of your order, plus an inch ortwo on all sides. I like to cut it too large. It can always be cut down as I go.

Choose a piece of bubble wrap that is larger than your cut wallpaper. If your bubble wrap isn’t large enough, you can piece it together with packing tape. Just keep in mind that you do not want the tape to be along the stitching line. The sticky will yuck up your needle.

Fold the wallpaper in half with the pretty side facing out and crease the fold. The folded edge will be the bottom edge of your envelope. Well, the “bottom” edge for explanation purposes. I actually used a wallpaper border for this tutorial and the folded edge is one of the sides.

Fold the bubble wrap in half with the bubbles on the inside. Slip the folded wrap inside the folded paper.

Now it’s a matter of squeezing and holding with your fingers to keep everything together and lined up. Straight pins won’t work for this project. I have used clothespins to hold the sides together, but I think they get in the way. I’ve also used hot glue between the bubble wrap and the paper, but I really don’t think it’s necessary. Do what works for you.

Starting on one side of the envelope, sew from the folded edge to the top using a long sewing stitch about 1/2 inch from the edge. Back stitch at the beginning and end of the seam. Repeat on the other side of the envelope.

Trim the seams to approximately 1/4 inch.

Fill the envelope and sew the top closed in the same way. Trim the edge.

The address labels can be pretty much any blank paper you have around. Sticky-backed labels can also be used. After addressing the labels, place them where you want them on the envelope. Using clear packing tape, tape over the labels and continue all the way around the envelope. I do this even if the labels I used weresticky–backed. This prevents the labels from lifting off. Vinyl wallpapers and different humidity have proven to be unreliable in holding the sticky. I would hate for the order to go missing because the label peeled off.

There you go. A unique envelope that took less time than going to the store to buy one, and you didn’t spend a thing.