Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Writing in the Quinn Book - a little envelope tutorial

When I went on my personal little art retreat during the holidays I knew I wanted to write and I knew I wanted to write a lot. You may think that I do a lot of writing already in my journals (I know you do), but I really wanted to write everyday for as long as I possibly felt like it. And since words always flow from my pen like water from a faucet I knew that I couldn't be confined by a journal spread to do so. For example, here's what I wrote in one stretch on one typical day:

At that rate if I wrote directly into the Quinn Book it would not only be filled without any art, it would even be too small! So I decided on an alternative. I wrote on simple notebook paper and would figure out along the way how to ad the writing to the final journal.

During the vacation I remembered I still had a whole stack of beautiful old folk art calendars that were given to me by my cousin. So I decided to pick one and make beautiful envelopes out of them. That was pretty easy. The imagery was gorgeous. All I had to do was cut and fold. Here's the result:

The only thing I added to them was the date of the writing in marker, so I would know when I wrote that particular entry. To keep things even more simple I just added the envelopes to the Quinn book in the left over spreads with a paper clip. I didn't feel it needed anything more than that. All I wanted was just to keep the writing and art of one vacation together and this worked fine enough for me. 

Now as a little bonus I thought I'd show you how to make your own pretty envelopes. It's really easy and fast and it really ads a little something special to your snail mail (or journal).


What you need:
- any beautiful sturdy paper you want to make an envelope out of
- one unused envelope that you want to emulate (there are also templates available online)
- a pen or pencil
- scissors
- glue
- a ruler
- an embossing pen or anything else you can emboss a fold with

The last two are not necessary, but I find they really help in keeping the folds straight.

For the Quinn book I used an old calendar, but for this tutorial I used a torn atlas page (left over from my altered atlas journals).

Carefully fold open the envelope you want to use as a template.

Trace the open envelope on the 'inside' part of the paper. Then cut it out. Make sure the right side is up.

Now with a ruler and embossing pen I like to mark the folds. It makes the folding so much easier.
Fold the envelope and glue the sides together.

And voilá! There's your brand new envelope!

If you want to make a lot of envelopes I would suggest making a more sturdy template out of cardstock or acetate before you start tracing. Ready made envelopes will not hold up to constant tracing, they are too flimsy. But for a small set it will do.

Of course you can also use your own decorated paper or decorate an envelope of ready made paper much further before you fold it. You can paint, collage, draw, stitch. Anything you like to ad a personal touch.

Hope I gave you a nice idea for your journal or mail art!

Wishing you a wonderful and artsy Wednesday!


  1. I love this idea. Thanks for including the envelope tutorial.

    1. Thank you Danielle. Enjoy making envelopes!

  2. Thanks so much for your tutorial.

  3. I love coming to your blog. Every time I visit, I learn something new.

    1. I'm glad Ms Lilypads. I sometimes assume everybody knows how to do certain things, but I guess I shouldn't assume so much, haha. These envelopes are so easy to do.

  4. Lovely idea and such cool clips to put them in your journal

  5. Not a nice idea...a GREAT idea. I love these Caatje.

  6. These are beautiful envelopes!
    Thank you for sharing your tutorial, love the idea. :]

  7. Really cool idea. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Dank je wel voor deze tutorial. Dat zijn trouwens wel hele leuke paperclipjes!

    1. Graag gedaan, Annet. De paperclipjes zijn trouwens gewoon van de HEMA. Ik vind ze zelf ook erg leuk.

  9. What a creative way to send something special to someone. Thank you for sharing.

  10. I really enjoyed looking at your journal spreads and your solution for keeping all of your writing together. The Happy New Year page thrills me again - love that design and was pleased to see it being used again.

    1. I love that design too. I still have this idea to do a series of birthday cards or something in that style.


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