Lining an Envelope with Ease

comments: 50


Here's my good idea for the . . . decade. It will help you line your envelopes with cool paper, if you are, as I am, so inclined. (And yay Portland! We are finally getting a Paper Source whoot whoot!)

When Andy made me this stationery last year, I bought really fancy wrapping paper from Kate's Paperie to line the envelopes. But I must have forgotten how much I hate to deal with heavy paper that has been rolled into a tube, because if you are trying to trace an envelope template onto a huge piece of paper that wants to curl into a big tube, you really won't enjoy it that much. At least I didn't. So many of the envelopes remained, for the past year, unlined.

Last week I wrote about ten notes to accompany the book galleys going out this week (and then I mailed them to my editor via USPS and they got lost in the mail, still not to be seen — agh — so I'll be doing this again and next time sending FedEx — oops) and I had the idea to simply cut a piece of vintage fabric in the shape of the envelope liner template (and I see from the picture of my first attempts in that link above that I seem to be using the wrong template now, so presumably I've lost the correct one, too, my GOSH I am a dingdong) and make color copies of it.

This is a total cinch if you have a printer/scanner/copier — I've had one similar to this one for only about a year and I seriously don't know how I lived without it before. It's inexpensive, prints beautifully, and just having the ability to reduce or enlarge anything I want with the touch of a button is awesome. It's just a great tool for all kinds of crafting. In the photo above you see the fabric piece all the way to the right, the color copy on a piece of not-even-very-nice white paper, and then the envelope, lined. And you can barely tell the difference between the copy and the real thing!

So anyway, what's cool about this is that it's cheaper than buying wrapping paper, or even scrapbook paper to cut the liner out of, since you end up with a bunch of waste for every sheet (depending on how big your envelopes are), and since you are copying a copy of the template, you don't have to trace the template for every envelope! Yay! You just copy it, cut out the shape, add a dab or two of glue from a glue stick, and pop the liner in. And what's really cute is that the copy really does look like fabric — you can just make out the grain. I used fabric from a vintage pillowcase here, but it would be cute to play around with scale, and reduce or enlarge different fabrics, maybe make a coordinated set as a present or something.

There were a few other things I was going to tell you today but now I've forgotten what they were. I DO know I want to tell you that the Tanglewood Suite will be available in my web shop on Tuesday, July 15, at 9 a.m. PST. There will be a downloadable PDF pattern/tutorial available (with a full-size pattern template so that, in case you don't have a copier yet, you can just cut it out and paste it together directly after printing it out), a Precious Bundle of carefully curated, pre-cut fabric patches gleaned from my secret sources, and a few finished bags (not many, but I'll make more, now that the pattern's done and I have a bit of time). I can't tell you how excited I am about this. I've been working on all of it for so long I am just so anxious to get it out there, and I really hope you like it!


I adore the bag. It's really amazing that you can design hand bag patterns. I've been working on a simple doll pattern and know how time consuming it is to get all the measurements and instructions right. Can't wait for the pattern to come out.

Love the envelope liner! I copied my favorite antique textile for the cover of a journal I made for my Between Friends craft book. Like you, I was so surprised to see how well it worked...could see the weave of the fabric and every little thing. Yay for the galleys going out- everyone is going to love it! xoC

I can't wait for your bag and considering I live near Tanglewood and love that place to pieces I will have to make it then strut in front of the BSO and yell, "Hey, you on the cello, do you realize this bag is named after you--you need one!" LOL!!!

Ps...I was going to tell you too that I am just getting to the St. Lucia dolls-I am so lame! I hope to have a pic up on my blog in the next day or two . They have been loads of fun to paint:-)

Love the envelope liner idea, now if only I could find an Andy of my own to make me some beautiful stationery!

Looking forward to seeing the bag kits!

That idea is plumb AWESOME! I can't believe how simple it is. I don't have one of those copier/printer/scanner things, but I am going to put it on my wishlist. I sure wish Christmas were nearer!

HeidiAnn says: July 10, 2008 at 08:49 AM

Oh, yes, I love the idea of scanning/copying favorite vintage fabrics to use for a multitude of things! That stationery Andy made is SO beautiful! I remember when first seeing it just admiring it so, and just going - wow. Your addition of the pink floral liner is fabulous.

Lined envelopes are so elegant! This is a great idea about how to make them easily!

i have been know to purchase some cheesy thing from the dollar store just because i love the daughters always says...scan it! we buy expensive scrapbook papers...but we don't use them....we SCAN them! i realize it's not the same as using acid free, but for kids projects or just for fun stuff it is PERFECT!

What if you took the envie template, then cut the fabric a bit smaller and put it on top of the template, scanned it & then printed it? Kind of like faux lining. I've got a 3 year old, so I'm always looking for shortcuts!

thank you so much for the tutorial - i just got a new multi-function copier, scanner and can't wait to do try this project.

but, i'm ill about tanglewood - i'll be on vacation with no computer, which was a good thing, until now. oh the humanity ;)! there's always next time though :).

Chris Howard says: July 10, 2008 at 09:31 AM

Oh I can't wait, and I really hope I snag a real bag because sadly, I still cannot sew!

Soooo excited to (hopefully) get my hands on a premade bag!

I'm really gonna need to put that on the fridge calendar. My husband's gonna think I'm nuts.

Great idea! I really love scanning fabric and using it in other ways!

Don't forget about the fabulous Oblation Papers in downtown Portland - a locally-owned paper shop that also makes their own! ;o) (no, I don't work there or anything)

Aw, honey, you really are a sunshine superstar (with a damn good sense of humor to boot)! These are lovely.

I might not be able to sleep until Tuesday!! I'm so excited about making this bag!!

very pretty, nice idea.

let me know if you ever sell swatch bags of vintage sheet scraps...I'd be on it like ducks on a june bug!

Miss Alicia i have been reading your blog for more than a year now. I rarely comment, my apologies. But it dawned on me just two weeks ago that you live in Portland... which is where I am moving in 26 days!!!!!!! And how exciting, a Paper Source is opening! oooo la la!!! I am so happy to be moving!

I love, love, LOVE this idea!

Unfortunately, I've had bad luck in the past with mailing things that I've printed on my ink jet printer -- the ink transfers on the journey. Have you seen any of these after they've gone through the mail? I'm curious how the ink holds up... Of course, your printer is much newer than mine, so perhaps mine is a relic and needs to be recycled.

Ugh. Am I a spoilsport with this comment or what? I am NOT trying to rain on your parade, because I really, TRULY love this idea (esp. because you've eliminated the tracing!) but my curiosity has gotten the better of me and I just have to ask about this.

As always, thank you for sharing so much of yourself -- you are a true inspiration!

Hi Alicia,
When I had to make favors for a boy's graduation party, I purchased Hawaiian print gift wrap on a roll to make large origami Aloha shirts. I had the same problem with the paper and it was difficult to deal with. I took a warm iron and ironed the paper flat. It became board straight very quickly and made it very easy to move onto my project. The next time you're so inclined to deal with wrapping paper for a project, give this method a try. By the way, I love the print you've chosen for lining your envelopes. Very pretty!

So frieaking cool! And what a great find that copier is,holy smokes! You are fabric-using-for-paper genius! Pairing with that liner pattern makes your gorgeous stationery look even better!

I am adding July 15 at 9am PST to my calendar, because I am in love with your Tanglewood bag and I need to make one of my own.

In other comment news, I love the lined envelope copy trick. And that stationary is just lovely too!

As I mentioned the other day...I really want one of YOUR bags. This is one I don't want to make - I want the Posie original! I would pay extra to pre-order one! Any chance of that happening? I'll be so sad if I can't get one, I've been stalking your site since May! And I've already told my mom if I can't get a bag she is making me one with your kit. :)

What a clever idea! I think I'll use some vintage French newspaper that I've been saving.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


post a comment

About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at