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How to Make an Envelope from Letter Size Paper

Origami Envelope Instructions

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Origami envelopes are some of the most practical projects around. They can be sent through the mail or used around your home to store small items such as coupons or newspaper clippings.

There are many different ways to make an origami envelope and the envelopes can be found in several sizes. The envelope in this tutorial measures 5 1/2 inches x 2 3/4 inches, so it's a bit smaller than a typical origami envelope. It is made from a single sheet of 8 1/2 inch x 11 inch paper. Plain white printer paper will work just fine, but you can used colored copy paper or patterned scrapbook paper if you want to make a more decorative envelope. The paper I used in this tutorial is made by Astrobrights and has a lovely pearlescent finish. The wide variety of available colors makes Astrobrights a great choice for origami projects.

1. Make the Preliminary Creases

Small Envelope
© Dana Hinders

To begin, fold your paper in half horizontally. Crease well, then unfold. Fold the bottom left and right corners in to meet the center crease. When you are finished with this step of the project, your origami envelope should look like the one in the photo to the left.

2. Fold to the Middle

Small Envelope
© Dana Hinders

Fold the left and right sides in to meet the center crease.

3. Make Guide Creases - Part 1

Small Envelope
© Dana Hinders

Fold the bottom point of the paper up to meet the center crease as shown in the photo to the left. Crease well, then unfold.

4. Make Guide Creases - Part 2

Small Envelope
© Dana Hinders

Make creases along the thick black lines that are indicated in the photo to the left. (You don't need to draw any lines on your own paper, they are for demonstration purposes only.)

5. Create the Base of Your Origami Envelope

Small Envelope
© Dana Hinders

Now, it is time to create the base of your envelope. Using the creases you made in the last two steps as a guide, open the paper and flatten it as shown in the photo to the left.

6. Create the Top of Your Origami Envelope

Small Envelope
© Dana Hinders

Fold the top left and right corners of the paper in as shown.

You can tuck the top flap into the bottom opening to close the envelope. If you plan on mailing the envelope, however, it would be best to use a letter seal or a bit of tape to close the flap. You don't want it to come undone before it arrives at the intended destination.

7. Your Origami Envelope Is Complete

Small Envelope
© Dana Hinders

The origami booklet fits nicely inside this envelope. Consider using the booklet as the base of a fancy birthday card. Find a saying or short poem that you like and write a few words on each page of the booklet. Decorate the front of the book with a tiny origami pinwheel or heart.

If this envelope is not large enough for the item you wish to mail, try folding the envelope featured in our Easy Envelope Pattern tutorial. When folded with 12 inch x 12 inch patterned scrapbook paper, this envelope is big enough to mail a card made from an 8 1/2 inch x 11 inch sheet of paper that has been folded into fourths.

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