Re-sizing envelopes

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Re-sizing envelopes

Post by lyndaejane on Sun 9 Oct 2011 - 13:35

Envelopes are sometimes the most expensive basic material in cardmaking, often dearer than the card blank (especially if you cut and fold your own cards). If you have some oversized envelopes which you'll never use, you can re-size them to fit other cards using the following instructions.

1. Huge envelopes: if the envelope is really big, consider just using the front, or front and gummed top flap, to make an envelope from scratch. If it's a coloured envelope, save the back pieces to use in other projects and, if the gummed edge on the top flap (or the bit of it that you trim off) is quite wide, consider using small punches to punch out ready-gummed shapes.

2. Envelopes which need to be taken apart to re-size: if the envelope is big enough, you can re-size by just slitting down the sides of the envelope ready to re-fold - to check, see if your card is less than half the width of the envelope. This works most often when it's a rectangular card that you intend to stand upright, rather than horizontal, in the envelope. You should find that you can then trim away the side flaps and the part where they are glued to the bottom flap, without having to prise them apart, when you are re-constructing your envelope.

If you have to de-construct the envelope, use a thin, non-sharp blade and run it between the flaps to separate them - try from both ends of the joint as going in one direction may work better than from the other. Try not to make a hole in the bottom flap, as that's the one that shows, but don't worry if it gets a bit thin where the side flaps rip away some of the layers of paper. I use an old, non-serrated dessert knife for this and it's just the job.

Then proceed as follows: please remember that, to minimise the number of old folds which will show, only fold the bottom flap up if there really is too much excess envelope for the height of the card. A good tip also is to use an existing envelope of the right size as a template for measuring - if not possible, use the card itself.

2 (a) Triangle flap envelopes: where the bottom, side and top flaps are all triangles and the bottom flap is glued over the two side flaps. Take your template and place it on the inside of the opened-up envelope: if there is too much excess height, then move the template up - to the top if you are using an envelope as template or to near the top if you are using the card itself - before you fold the bottom flap up against the template in its new position. You don't need to measure or mark any positions, as you can line up the existing side folds to make sure you are getting a straight bottom fold. Unfold the bottom flap again and, placing the template centrally between the existing side folds, repeat the exercise for each of the sides in turn, remembering to leave some excess either side if you are using the card itself as your template.

If you now re-fold the envelope at the new fold lines, you may well see (particularly if you didn't do anything with the original bottom fold) that the centre point of the bottom flap no longer covers the V-shape made by the side flaps. With a pencil, lightly draw round the point/flattened point of the bottom flap on each of the side flaps, then mark a dot about an eighth of an inch below the centre of what you have drawn. Take a ruler, and draw a line which starts at the bottom of the side flap, passes through the dot and finishes about half an inch away from the side fold and half an inch below the top of the side flap. Cut along this line, curving the paper into the corner when you get to the position where your drawn line stopped near the top. Repeat for the other side flap, erase any pencil marks and re-fold your envelope - you should now find that the V-shape of the side flaps disappear below the point/flattened point of the bottom flap.

Cut away the excess in the bottom corners by trimming off the bottom of the side flaps and the side of the bottom flap, curving it round to meet up with the original edge. Glue the two points of the side flaps together, then glue the bottom flap on top of the side flaps. Finally, cut off the excess either side of the top flap, curving it round to meet up with the original edge.

2 (b) Square-flap envelopes: these have a square/rectangular bottom flap (more or less the height of the envelope), which is glued onto two narrow, straight side flaps, with a rectangular gummed top flap. Follow the instructions in 2 (a), except for the side flaps, as in this type of envelope you will merely have to reduce the width of these flaps by trimming off a straight section.

To mask the original fold lines, you may glue a strip of decorative paper over them.

Lynda

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Re: Re-sizing envelopes

Post by thriftycrafter on Sun 9 Oct 2011 - 15:47

Good stuff, I also use the freebies from mags if they have a plain back and that bloomin papermania colossal stuff that we all bought when it came out because that was all we could get, makes a pretty envelope with the pattern on the inside if nothing else. I just fold it up around the card and cut the edges for the flap.

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Re: Re-sizing envelopes

Post by Guest on Sun 9 Oct 2011 - 16:09

Thanks Lynda. Will get a few old envelopes and have a go in the week
when I have got a bit of quiet time and can concentrate.
You've written a lot and do appreciate it.

Guest
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Re: Re-sizing envelopes

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