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Turn Any Letter into a Love Note With DIY Envelope Liners

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Hand-written correspondence is so special. It's hard to imagine a way to make it even more so, but I've found one: the stunning, simple addition of a custom envelope liner.

Picture it: Your pen pal (carefully, I hope), opens a newly-received piece of mail and is greeted with a cheery floral pattern or a cool, crisp marble accent. Swoon! (Also, bunnies with maracas.)

You can make these!
You can make these! Photo by Julia Gartland

It's so easy to make this mailable magic happen at home. Sure, you can buy kits and inserts galore, online or in paper stores. But plllllllease try making them! Just look at how easy it is. The below 5-minute DIY can be repeated over and over and over again.

what you'll need

Beautiful paper of your choice.
Beautiful paper of your choice. Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Chipboard or heavy paper stock (an office folder will work, too!)
  • Decorative paper of your choice (I find the best selections are at Paper Source or, if you live in NYC, New York Central)
  • Double-stick tape or spray adhesive
  • Envelopes
  • Pencil
  • Scissors

how to make them

1. Start by making a tracer.

Cut out a template to match the shape of your envelope. Photos by Julia Gartland

Lay your envelope on a flat surface on top of a larger piece of chipboard or paper stock. Using a pencil, trace the outline of the envelope as precisely as possible onto the chipboard or stock. Cut out. You've got yourself an envelope liner template!

Tip: I like to cut 1 1/2 inches off the bottom of my tracer after cutting it out. This squattier size will make for paper insertions that are easier to slide into an envelope later on. It also saves your nice paper, as no one will see or care about paper filling all of the envelope, only the part they can actually see!

2. Make the liners.

Photo by Julia Gartland

Lay your tracer on top of your pretty paper of choice and trace, then cut out. Now you've made your liner! Repeat for as many envelopes as you'd like.

3. Assembly.

See where I'm going? Photos by Julia Gartland

Flip your envelope liner so the not-pretty side faces up. Apply a thin layer of spray adhesive (near an open window, please) or a few pieces of double-stick tape.

Photo by Julia Gartland

Carefully slide your liner into your envelope, and press firmly all over the liner to adhere. You'll want to do this as smoothly as possible to avoid wrinkles or bubbles in the paper.

Tip: If you want to be able to seal your envelope, move the liner about a half-inch farther into the envelope before pressing to adhere. Or as far as you need for the sticky adhesive on the envelope to show.

4. Repeat.

Make liners for as many envelopes as you like, insert cards in them, and mail!

Photo by Julia Gartland

Do you still send hand-written letters? Tell us in the comments.

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Tags: Art, Product Design, How-To & Diy