Envelopes and cards are traditionally given to loved ones on holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and baby showers.
Occasionally, you may even buy a card to simply let someone know that you are thinking of them or to offer condolences after they’ve experienced a loss.
If you have a creative streak, you may have the desire to decorate or personalize the envelope.
Surprisingly, this may be tricky, especially if you are mailing out the envelope.
These tips will help you to bring out your artistic side and decorate your next envelope without compromising it or blurring the name and address.
How to Decorate an Envelope
The traditional way is to draw on the envelope with pastel-colored pencils and stencils or add a few stickers. Alternatively, you can create your own envelope liners with wrapping paper or write the address in calligraphy. Stamping is another creative way of decorating an envelope. When painting an envelope, it’s best to use lighter colors and allow the paint to dry before addressing it. If you are hand-delivering the envelope, you can be really artistic and add ribbons and lace.
Decorating an Envelope with Colored Pencils and Stencils
Although you can draw on an envelope with gel pens, you would need to leave enough space blank for the name and address, which is why colored pencils are the best medium for decorating an envelope.
If you aren’t skilled at drawing, you can purchase stencils to guide you in designing your envelope or simply use the pencils to add a little color to the envelope.
Stickers are a Popular Means of Decorating Envelopes
If you want to add a little flair to a blank envelope but can’t spare the extra time for a mini-art project, you can buy a set of stickers to place on the envelope.
This is a great way to personalize a blank envelope as stickers are available in many designs, from Hello Kitty to birthday themes to flowers.
Either choose stickers in a theme that the addressee likes or just go with the theme of the enclosed card.
Making Your Own Envelope Liners
Of course, you can buy envelopes that are already lined, but this can get expensive when you are sending out multiple cards.
Alternatively, you can make your own liners out of gift wrap. All you need is wrapping paper, scissors, and a glue stick. Voila! You have your own handmade envelope liners.
Sure, it does take a little extra work and a few measurements, but it’s budget-friendly and provides the opportunity to get creative with the envelope.
You can make liners that are holiday or birthday-themed or stick with solid colors, such as gold or silver.
You could also cut up pieces of colored tissue paper and overlap the colors as you glue them on to create a unique envelope liner.
Writing the Address in Calligraphy
Sure, you will need to have calligraphy skills to achieve this, but calligraphy is a simple way to make an envelope appear fancier.
If you aren’t confident in your ability as a calligraphist, you can still try faux calligraphy, which only requires good-quality pens, changing fonts, and drawing straight lines.
Basically, you will just need to use a little creativity in your penmanship.
Stamping is a Great Way to Decorate an Envelope
No, this has nothing to do with postage stamps, even though themed stamps can juice up an envelope.
Stamping involves purchasing rubber stamps and ink pads from your local craft store and stamping the designs onto an envelope or sheet of paper.
While this is a very simple way to decorate an envelope, you would be surprised at the variety of rubber stamps that you can choose from.
If crafts and drawing aren’t really your thing, stamping is an excellent alternative method of decorating an envelope.
Painting an Envelope
This envelope decorating method isn’t highly recommended for obvious reasons.
Paint is a liquid that could potentially destroy the envelope, and darker colored paints may make it difficult for the postman to read the address.
However, if you want to take a chance and try to paint your envelope, choose acrylic paints, use the least amount of water possible, dry out your brush when switching colors, and use lighter-colored paints, especially if you plan on mailing your envelope.
It’s also wise to have an extra envelope handy and artist masking tape to avoid tearing the envelope.
Decorating Envelopes with Ribbons, Bows, and Embellishments
If you plan on hand-delivering your envelope, you have the opportunity to get extra creative.
You can decorate your envelope by gluing on strips of ribbon, embellishments, and even a small bow on the back.
Additionally, you can add patterned paper and an embossing folder to add texture and color to your envelope.
If your kids want to get involved in the envelope decorating project, cut paper envelope designs and glitter glue can make this a fun project for the entire family.
You can use stencils or cookie cutters to draw designs on construction paper before gluing them to the envelope and accent the finished piece with glitter.
Frequently Asked Questions About How to Decorate an Envelope
Are you allowed to decorate an envelope?
If you are hand-delivering the envelope, you can go ahead and decorate as extensively as you desire. However, if you intend to mail the envelope, decorations should be minimal, and the name and address should be clearly written and legible for the postman.
Can you draw on envelopes that you mail?
As long as the name and address are clear and your drawing doesn’t interfere with the postman’s ability to read the delivery information, then your illustrations shouldn’t render your envelope non-deliverable, at least in the majority of cases.
Can you write things on the back of your envelope?
While most people write the return address on the top-left corner, some people actually write it on the back of the envelope, which is fine. Writing or drawing on the back of an envelope shouldn’t prevent it from being delivered.
There are many ways that you can decorate an envelope, but the extent of your creativity is dependent on whether you plan on mailing or hand-delivering the envelope.
Hopefully, these tips will bring out your artistic flair the next time you send out a card or letter.