DIY: Easy Paper Envelopes Using Wall Calendars

Do you have any old wall calendars that have images too beautiful to toss into the paper recycling bin? Turn them into colorful envelopes that will delight any recipient!

My mom had a wall calendar in her elementary classroom that she was getting rid of when the calendar year changed, so a few weeks ago I snatched it up for some snail mail fun.


All you need are scissors, glue, a pencil/pen, an envelope, and the paper you’re going to transform into envelopes.


Carefully open the envelope on all seams so that you have a template to trace around. Any envelope works for this—junk mail too! If you have no envelopes in the house, you can print out a template from online.

Below you’ll see that the envelope I used (from a card I’d received) ripped when I first opened it. Since we’re only tracing this envelope, the rip doesn’t matter—use what you have.

Place your envelope template over the colored paper and trace around the edges.

If there’s some wiggle room in your placement of the template, try out different angles and think about what images will appear on the front of the envelope. For example, take a look at this envelope I made with a page from Flow Magazine, whose placement I hadn’t thought about before tracing and cutting.

diy envelope snail mail

The flower image ended up being upside down—which totally still worked—but I started to become more thoughtful after that with my template placement.

Once you’ve traced your template, cut it out.

diy snail mail envelopes

diy snail mail envelopes

Fold in the edges on the same seams where your template envelope is folded.

Glue the two side flaps to the base to form your envelope.

diy snail mail envelopes

Now pop in a quick note or take a few moments to write a thoughtful letter to a friend and seal it up. I closed my envelopes with a glue stick and also put on some decorative washi tape.

diy snail mail envelopes

For all three of these I painted a light layer of white acrylic on the front, in the area where I was going to address the envelope. When the paint dried I wrote on top of it, and the pen absolutely popped over the whitewash background, making the address much easier to read. (You can see this effect in the upside-down flowered envelope I showed earlier in this post.)

DIY envelopes are such a simple paper craft, especially considering how festive your resulting snail mail goodies are!

Have you made your own envelopes before? If this inspired you to try it out, I’d love to hear how it went!