DIY Envelope Liners


Envelope liners can be pricey. If you're ordering your invitation suite, every additional charge is like twisting the knife in your budget! And normally, the selection of liners consists of solid colors, and depending on the stationer, the color selection can be slim.

We went for a fairly simple look for our invitation suite. No flourishes or designs other than our "monogram," and as plain an RSVP card as you can imagine. DH DIYed a map, but that was pretty plain, too. So the idea of adding a pretty pattern as an envelope liner appealed to me.

Step 1: Template
The first step, making a liner template, can and should be done before any paper is even chosen, as long as you have your envelope. Making the liner first will let you calculate how much paper you will need to finish your invitations (or STDs or whatever you are going to be using your liners for).

I made a template out of plain paper -- in the following pictures, the template is the blue paper. I just did some simple measuring of the actual envelope, took it in by half an inch or so on each side, and, well, just kind of wung (winged?) it. It's hard to tell here, because I didn't attach the template to the envelope, but the part of the liner that will be on the flap is also tapered at the same angle that the envelope flap is tapered. Here's what I came up with:

Step 2: Calculations
After I was happy with the way the liner looked, I was able to figure out how many I could get onto one sheet of the paper I would be using as the liner. The Paper Source paper I ordered came in 25"x19" sheets --  so I could get 11 full-sized liners out of each sheet. If you are looking to cut some costs or save some paper, you can also make the liner shorter than the full envelope -- I opted not to do this because you could see from the outside of the envelope that the liner was short.

Haha, doing some math! =)

Step 3: Order the Paper!
So I ordered 3 each of the patterns that I mentioned in my Invitations bio page, here they are:

Here are the sheets with our invitation.

These papers are not cheap -- I'll give you that. At $8 apiece + shipping (and only getting 11 out of each sheet), that totals to 73¢ for each liner. But this was such a great way to tie our "origami" theme into the invitations, as well as dress them up a bit, that I just couldn't resist. You can definitely use appropriately sized origami paper, if you're going for that kind of thing, or even scrapbooking paper or any other paper. (Text from a classic novel?)

Step 4: Cut the liners to size
Depending on what kind and size paper you're using, you may not have to do as much as I had to do. But I'll show you my process.

I took the template of the liner that I made (see Step 1) and lined it up with the lower corner of the Paper-Source paper, which had uneven edges, so I had to kind of adjust my measurements. I made a couple of marks on the back of the paper, then used a big ruler to make a line where I wanted to cut it. I also marked the width of each liner as I went across:

Next, since it was such a huge piece of paper, I had to cut the strips (that were the height of the liners = 6.5") by hand with scissors. When I had the strips, I used my new paper cutter to trim them to the right width (5.5"):

Step 5: Final trimmings
Next, I used my template to mark where the liner needed to taper, and marked it on the back of the liner:

I trimmed the little slivers off by hand with scissors, and was left with something like this:

Step 6: Scoring the liners
Now, I wanted to score each individual liner. I had a spare envelope that I had used previously to test out the positioning of where to write the addresses, slid a liner in (pretty-side up), and adjusted the paper to where I wanted it. Then I used my trusty plastic ruler, lined it up with where the envelope fold is, and folded the flap down to crease the liner:

Step 7: Attach the liner (optional)
Then, you're done! I chose to tack the liner in place with a bit of double-sided tape, even though it was probably unnecessary. This would probably be a good idea for you if you are making liners that don't reach the bottom of the envelope (the shortened version), to keep it in place as you stuff the envelopes.

Note: If you'll be addressing your envelopes by hand, you might want to address them before lining them.

[Ironically, I was watching "Ponyo" when I was taking the pictures for the tutorial!]

In Conclusion...
I know nothing about this tutorial is very precise or anything, but I've found that there always needs to be room for error (like when my paper cutter went slightly amiss, leading to non-perfect corners), so I just took it case by case. I found that it was faster to do them all step by step -- cut all the liners out of the big sheets first, then mark the taper on all of them, then trim the taper on all of them, then score all of them.

I hope this helps you out! It's not really too hard to do.

Cost Breakdown:
Again, this wasn't the cheapest project because I used handmade paper, and I knew that going in. This can just as easily be done with plain paper or other cheaper patterned paper for less money.

Paper-Source handmade paper: $64 (I only ended up needing 8 sheets, $8 each)
Time and energy: $0

Total: $64 / 67¢ per unit (for 96 liners)


Last Updated: August 4, 2013 at 12:29 am
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