06 October 2012

Weekend DIY: Recycled Newspaper Envelopes with Liners

This post is written by contributing author Angela Hamilton.

'Tis the season for correspondence! Okay, maybe not yet, but it's fast approaching. Making your own envelopes is a simple, inexpensive, and environmentally conscious way to personalize your letters, especially if you have cards that have lost their matching package. It's also a great addition to a store-bought gift to make it a little more unique. This project can take ten minutes or a whole afternoon, depending on whether you want just one or have an event that requires thank-you notes or invites.

Newsprint is popular lately and using paper bags as liners gives it that whole eco-friendly look while actually being 100% recycled. Many of the craftier types of people have made their own envelopes, but adding a liner offers possibilities with material and print. Those who are a little less of the do-it-yourselfer will find that it's one of the easiest paper crafts there is.

The best part is - this project cost me nothing to make.

DIY: Recycled Newspaper Envelopes with Liners

You will need:
  • Newspaper or other paper from your recycle bin
  • Glue (I used the bottle but a glue stick helps keep things smooth)
  • Scissors
  • A paper grocery bag (I only needed one to make several envelopes)
  • An already-made envelope
  • A pencil to trace your template
I chose to use an envelope I had in my paper stash from long ago. You could also make your own template if you don't have a particular size in mind, just as long as each of the four pieces around your rectangle overlap enough to be adhered together.

DIY: Recycled Newspaper Envelopes with Liners

Carefully undo each piece of your envelope and trace around it with a pencil. For an A1 size, 1/4th of a sheet of newspaper is plenty. Because the newspaper is so thin, you can cut multiple envelopes from the same outline. Then fold the sides over, dab some glue on their bottom edges, and fold over the bottom flap.

DIY: Recycled Newspaper Envelopes with Liners

You can use that as a template - outline the envelope with only the top flap open to create your liner. I chose to have the text/graphics face down. Using a grocery bag is great because it provides an almost card stock like paper that gives your envelopes stability.

DIY: Recycled Newspaper Envelopes with Liners
Glue along the edges of the top of your liner (the triangle), slide into the envelope, and press down.

DIY: Recycled Newspaper Envelopes with Liners

Make sure everything is lined up, smooth out unwanted wrinkles (I didn't do a great job of that), and now you have your envelopes! My favorites have the large black and white photographs and crossword puzzles.

Do you like the newsprint and paper bag combination?

[Photos by Angela Hamilton]

Angela Hamilton is a writer and crafter from the Pacific Northwest, and a recent college graduate who blogs about creativity, her adventures alongside her Nikon, and her thrift-shopping, list-making lifestyle. She is currently striving to find a balance between working full-time in an office and following those distant dreams of writing and making things every single day. Her blog is Garden & Sea, and she runs both a vintage shop  and a crochet shop on Etsy. Connect with Angela on Twitter.


  1. Very cool :)
    I will give it a try!

  2. how simple! I'll try it too. :)

  3. This is a wonderful idea and really cute too! ;-)

  4. Those look like fun to make, I love that you can use recycled paper.
    Everyday Inspired

  5. Thanks so much for this great tutorial :)

  6. My kids and I have done this with newspaper, old magazines, and old gift wrap paper. It's really fun, and they come out beautifully!
    Great post! I pinned it. =0)