Making Envelopes from Magazine Ads

Making an inviting envelope from a Four Seasons ad

4seasons1Goal possibilities:

  • Repurpose magazines for fun
  • Create an envelope that says, “Open me!” with its inviting exterior; then write a positive message to place inside and send to anyone you’d like to cheer up or cheer on
  • Create an envelope to be part of a series to sell at a craft fair

Creating delight for others can be done in many simple ways. My cousin Julie taught me that an intriguing envelope exponentially increases curiosity about what’s inside. Who wouldn’t enjoy getting mail (post office or hand-delivered) that essentially says, “The fun is just beginning”? (That assumes of course, that you are using it to enclose an encouraging message, not an invoice!)

Here we took an ad for the Four Seasons hotel chain found in a travel magazine and used a long envelope template found through Google images. We lined up the template for maximum exposure of the pillars, then cut and folded. It almost seems a shame to put a label on it, doesn’t it?


Here’s an idea for an envelope from a jewelry ad:

jewelryadj-ad2We started with this ad, and created a long envelope that looked fine when held vertically, but seemed less attractive when we held it horizontally as it would have been if addressed normally. The beauty of using old magazine ads is that you have zero money invested, so it’s easy to change your mind. We tried a different template, and like the second result better. (Shown both front and backside.)



Fashion works, too

fashionWe also made envelopes using fashion images. Because we wanted the yellow hat to be at the center of the front of the envelope, we had to adjust the size of the back flaps, but it was easy to do.


For the glittery shoe, we were able to find a paper template that allowed us to maximize its curves on the front. The backsides of these envelopes were less interesting than the fronts, so the next step would be doodles.


monetThis was a jewelry ad, but it featured a Monet painting. Below is the front and back of the finished envelope. We added a pretty gold seal for the closure.

This brings up another range of possibilities – printing out favorite works from the online gallery of your favorite museum and making envelopes from those. If you know the favorite artist of your intended recipient, that’s another way of personalizing your good wishes.



More ads for making interesting envelopes


Notice the placement of the label on the glittery city scene; we didn’t want to spoil the effect, but for US postal mail, sometimes you have to.


Article intros

articleintroWe also found that the intro pages to articles sometimes worked. This was the intro for what to see in New York City. We kept the name of the illustrator, to give her the credit she deserved, but cut off the rest of the headline.



For envelope templates, click here.