I am always trying to find practical ways to use my fabric scraps. When I design a new fabric and order samples, I don't want any of it to go to waste. I also happen to love letter writing so this little craft was the perfect way to both use my scraps and create something I would definitely use. Fabric envelopes! I found several different ways of making these and each has its pros and cons.
Method # 1: Start by getting out some fabric scraps, a couple of envelopes to use for your templates, and some Mod Podge (ignore the kind in the picture, it's for glass! I actually used a fabric Mod Podge.) This is easily acquired at your local craft store or online. You can also substitute watered down school glue and it is essentially the same thing. You may also want to use some wax paper to protect your working surface. It's ideal since the glue will not stick to it.
Roll out a piece of wax paper to work on. Mine was a little curly so I just rolled it in the opposite direction to flatten it a little or you could put something on the corners of the wax paper to weigh it down a little. Lay down your scrap of fabric. The size you will need will depend on the envelope template you will be using. You will need to unfold your envelope completely and lay it on top of your fabric to see if it fits. You can wet the glue on the envelope with a sponge to make it easier to pull apart if you need to but I just tore mine gently. Once you have determined the size of the piece of fabric you need, put your envelope template aside for later. Get an old paintbrush and dip it on the Mod Podge. Next, generously spread the Mod Podge all over the surface of the fabric. Keep the piece of fabric flat to dry. The Mod Podge, once dry, stiffens the fabric and makes it easy to cut and fold.
Once your fabric is completely dry and stiff, get out your envelope you put aside earlier. (Sorry to keep switching fabrics on you. I hope it's not too confusing.)
Use your envelope template to trace around the wrong side of the fabric (the blurry side). Be careful to use something to trace with that will not bleed through the fabric. I used a pencil.
Carefully cut the pattern you just traced.
Use the envelope as a guide to help you make creases. You can lay it on top of the fabric and then make your folds. I used my fingernail to get a sharp crease.
Now there are two ways you can secure the envelope. You can glue it with the mod podge or sew/embroider it shut. If you want to to glue it, slip a piece of wax paper inside to prevent it from being glued shut and let it dry.
You can use a cute clip to close the top or you can attach some velcro. Now let's move on to METHOD #2
In the second method, instead of using glue to stabilize the fabric, you can use fusible interfacing. This is a medium or lightweight polyester that has a textured surface. When it is ironed onto a piece of cotton fabric it gives it a structure. In clothes making, interfacing is used for things such as collars and pockets for structure and detail. You can find this at any craft/sewing store and online. HERE is an example.
Line the wrong side of your fabric with the textured side of the interfacing (the textured side of the fabric is the glue that will fuse when heated by the iron) and press to fuse the two together.
Once the interfacing and the fabric are fused, get your envelope template and trace lightly around the envelope on the interfacing side.
Use your envelope as your guide, as in the first example, and crease. To seal it, you may either glue it shut, as in the first example or sew/embroider it. I like these because they are a little softer but thin enough to embroider if you want to go that route.
METHOD # 3 starts out the same as method 2. Fuse your fabric to the interfacing then trace around the envelope template onto the interfacing side. This time when you are tracing around the template leave 1/2 inch border for a seam allowance for sewing. See in the above picture how I traced 1/2 inch away from the actual envelope?
Use the piece you cut out to make a liner piece in the same shape.
Pin the liner piece and the cotton piece right sides together. Sew around the perimeter leaving a 2-3 inch opening for turning.
Pictured above is the piece sewn around the edge with the opening at the top for turning.
Turn the piece inside out and use a chopstick to gently poke out the edges, then press.
Once you have pressed the piece (For the opening, curl the edges under to match the piece and press) then topstitch very close to the edge.
Press with an iron to make a your creases and sew/embroider shut. What I love about this envelope is how soft it is. It is rather thick to it is a little more difficult to sew shut but the overall effect is so charmingly tactile and hand-made.
Make up a bunch to use as gift card holders, personalized birthday and/or thank you cards, or for any special occasion.
If you wish to buy any of the fabric you see pictured, it is available on my Spoonflower shop HERE.
Thanks so much for stopping by!