Wednesday, February 25, 2015

DIY Envelopes From Used Children's Books

Thanks to Pinterest, a few weeks ago I discovered how to do make the most vibrant, colorful, awesomely illustrated envelopes; and it was even easier than I ever thought it would be! All you need is a decent, mostly scribble-free children's book full of large and interesting illustrations.

 Lucky for me, almost all of the children's books at Goodwill are just 99 cents. I was surprised that most of them were in like new condition! Plus, the paper had a nice weight and gloss to it unlike the big stacks of printed scrapbook paper I usually use. Like I said earlier, it's important to get books as large as you can find so that there is enough material to make a good sized envelope. With this Disney Princess book (about 11x14) I was able to make envelopes large enough to hold a 5x7 card.

Once you arrive home and are ready to desecrate/upcycle some beloved children's books, the real fun can begin! Step one is to remove the pages from their binding. None of my books were exactly tomes by any means, but even for being pretty thin some of the pages were sewn and others were glued. The glued pages could be gently peeled out, but the sewn pages needed to have a few threads snipped before coming loose. Overall, it was quite easy and I managed not to rip any of the pages.

 The template I used was more or less like this one. I wanted to have large rectangular flaps to include as much of the image as possible on the reverse side of the envelope.Looking at the template, you can tell you'll want to find images that have the focal point slightly above or below the center of the page if you want it to line up with the front panel of the envelope. Since I am lucky enough to have a Cameo, cranking out all of these envelopes took no time at all. However, even before my Cameo days, I discovered the time goes right by if you cut them out while watching an episode or two of LOST. ;)

My cost per envelope was 8 cents each for polar bears and 12 cents each for Disney Princesses, and will vary depending how many good pictures you can pull out of a book.  If you pay full price for a "The Stack" of printed scrapbook paper, you'll come out somewhere around 11 cents per envelope. (But who pays full price?? With my most recent acquisition of scrapbook paper, I'm at about 4 cents per envelope). You can probably do even better than that on the used books if your thrift store does special sale days too. Even though it does cost me roughly double, the envelopes, in my humble opinion, turn out more than doubly awesome than the usual printed paper variety.

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