How to: Make Cheap Envelope Liners

envelope liners.jpg

Alright friends, this is going to be a quick and easy one this week. This is decor execution week for a shower I'm hosting in our backyard this weekend, so I thought I'd keep this one as simple as possible. 

Two years ago, I sent this suite (see image below, photograph by Katelyn James) to a style shoot in Virginia for a friend. Ever since then, I've been getting emails from (mostly) brides asking where to get those wood liners. Well, it's not exactly a practical solution the way I did it. I figured it'd be okay though since it was a style shoot (fake wedding shoot), and it would pull off the look exactly how I wanted it. I used an actual piece of thin wood for that liner that cannot be folded and put in the mail. If you tried to fold it it'd look terrible, not to mention the splinters you'd probably get!

So my reply to those brides? A tip as to how to achieve something close to that look, which I'm breaking down step by step in this post.

For the DIY-ers out there, I want to show you not only how to make your own envelope liners, but how to make them on the cheap if you're willing to do the work. I can't tell you how many times I've done this project for my own mail-outs, and the impact it makes upon opening the envelope makes it worth it every single time.

Here goes!

SUPPLIES: Double sided tape runner, scissors, pencil, envelope liner templates, envelopes (I used an A7 from Paper Source for this project, a common size for wedding invitations), and a roll of wrapping paper. My favorite place to pick up wrapping paper is Home Goods/Marshall's. You can't beat $2.99/roll and they usually have a pretty great selection too. If I find one I really like, I'll come home with everything they've got in that pattern. The most rolls I've scored in one trip is 7. So, that's only a $21 investment for what could be a pretty HUGE envelope order. Wiiiiinning! So Home Goods wrapping paper is what keeps this project so cheap. You all know gift wrap can range from cheap to expensive, so it really depends on what you find. If you stick to Home Goods though, you should be golden. 

For example, you can buy pre-made patterned liners for about $8 for 10 of them in the A7 size. However, you can make about 25-30 liners for $2.99 if you do it this way. You can either pay to do next to no work (you still have to insert every single one), or you can save your pennies and do the work yourself. You do the math. 

Let's dive in.

First, start tracing. When tracing on wrapping paper, it helps to put weights on the corners to keep it from curling while you trace. It just helps you to not get frustrated with the process :)

TIP: You can get more liners out of your roll if you do one row of liners all pointed one direction, then the next row will be fitted in the groves of the first row if the template is flipped 180 degrees. After one set like that, I'll cut the 2 rows off the paper and start tracing the rest. The wrapping paper is easier to manage and cut when in sections like that since it curls so much. 

So get to cutting! It helps to go ahead to cut all your liners out at one time, rather than cut one, tape one, insert one, and so on. The worst part of this project is cutting that curled up paper, so just knock it out in one swoop :)

So now you have a custom liner. Next is inserting the liner into the envelope. 

I prefer to use a tape runner for this part, since it seems to be the quickest and easiest. You could use a glue stick, but I just don't want to deal with that sort of mess over here. Okay, so it's only necessary to do the taper runner on the outer edges of the top part of the liner. If the liner were a house, you'd only line the roof. Make sense?

When you insert your liner into the envelope, it makes the liner have enough room to accommodate the fold without buckling from tape being in the wrong places. So insert, press down when in position while envelope is open all the way, then do your fold as if closing the envelope. 

It should look like this:

And there you have it. Easy enough, right?

Having the liner makes quite the impact overall on an envelope, and can really turn up the volume on presentation for a party invitation, baby announcement, or even thank you notes. Hence why it's one of my favorite impact makers that can really be done on the cheap!