diy wednesdays: envelope book

tax time is fast approaching, which means many of us are busy kicking ourselves (once again) for our lack of financial organization. every year we swear we’re going to keep track of all our expenses and hold on to every receipt. well, it’s our belief that if you create a system that is simple and aesthetically pleasing, you can trick yourself into forming smart money-managing habits. we recently picked up a box of airmail envelopes from the dollar store and transformed them into this handy receipt organizer using a hole punch and some binder rings.

happy organizing!
derek & lauren

CLICK HERE for the full instructions after the jump!


here’s what you’ll need

-26 envelopes
-3 binder rings
-small hole punch

1. punch 3 holes along the bottom of one of the envelopes and use that envelope as a template when punching the rest, so the holes line up when they’re all stacked together.


2. insert binder rings into the holes.

3. label the envelopes, a-z. (we file our receipts alphabetically after entering our expenses into our bookkeeping program, but you can also label them by expense category if you prefer.)

4. file! file! file!

  1. Ingenious. A classic “Why didn’t I think of that? project.

  2. deanna says:

    I love it! What a simple and clever idea.

  3. Kristan says:

    Omigosh, what a cute, genius idea!

  4. rachel says:

    so charming! i just love this

  5. Wow, what a great idea, I am going to have to try this out for next year!

  6. Karla says:

    What a cute idea! My mother-in-law would absolutely love this! I’ll have to pass this post along to her!

    ~Karla @ It’s The Little Things…

  7. Erin says:

    Darling…and useful.

  8. melly says:

    woah this is smart!

  9. wayne pate says:

    Love this! Do you have a version using a inner office envelope that has a clasp for
    easy opening and closing?

  10. what a simple but effective idea!

  11. maya*made says:

    so simple, but so very clever. love it!

  12. shing says:

    so brilliant and simple!

  13. shannon says:

    wow! i am so making this.

  14. alex says:

    Wow! I’m a big believer in snail mail, so I use airmail envelopes as often as possible. I can’t get enough of them and this is a great idea. Thanks


  15. cindy says:

    I am making this for my husband asap! hes going through a pile of reciepts as I write..HA!

  16. Emily says:

    oh man, i’m so doing this to deal with my husband’s expense receipts… all of which are important, all of which are crumpled in a plastic grocery store bag next to his desk, unless they’re on or under his bedside table. thanks for the fun tip!

  17. what more can I add…great idea!

  18. Darcey says:

    I love this idea! Does anyone know where you can find those loose Binder Rings?

  19. Alyssa says:

    My dad is going to love this!
    I think I will make it today.

  20. I use the envelope system to budget each month, which really helps us stick to our goals, so these lovely envelopes will be a great way to “beautify my budget” – thanks!

  21. kate says:

    nifty & it looks great! I hate tax season too!

  22. erin says:

    i love anything made with airmail envelopes!

  23. harshey says:

    Inspired by this, i made today with colored envelopes, from christmas, it looks lovely and color coding the contents helps aswell :) great idea..kudos!

  24. Tina A. says:

    Where on earth can I get a set of those amazing envelopes?

  25. Tracy says:

    Darcey, you can find loose binder rings at office supply stores like OfficeMax.

  26. sarah says:

    i just love your organising ideas.. i’m such an organisational freak… this is great!

  27. Chelsea Rose says:

    genius idea. I love it!

  28. Nancy says:

    This is so adorable. I think I’m going to have to borrow this idea. Hey, yay for local Petaluma Market!

  29. Botany's says:

    I am so doing this on the weekend but using a bit larger envelopes. Thank you so much. I think I am going to make mine using 4 colors with each color representing a different aspect of my business. I love this!!!

  30. omg!! this is brilliant!! thanks for sharing Grace!

  31. Tonni says:

    This is such a clever idea, which I think could be used many ways. I’m making one this weekend. Thanks

  32. Lucia says:

    is a great idea but I particularly use filers…..for everything!!! …

  33. meredith says:

    Just had an idea: to make these easier to open & close, maybe use some peel & stick Velcro dots? I think you can get them at Staples.
    P.S. I am going to make one of these ASAP!

  34. MicheleB says:

    How timely this is as i’m entering (belatedly i might add) receipts into Quickbooks…so cute!

  35. Debra says:

    WOW….love that idea!!

  36. brand-eye says:

    i just did all my quickbooks stuff last night!
    i have been using those cd holder pages, to organize my receipts. it’s working quite well. but doesn’t look as pretty as this. but you can put them in binders and it works great.

  37. Hudson says:

    Good idea! I seriously need to get organized!

  38. Shelley says:

    What an amazingly simple & effective idea!

  39. Miss B. says:

    You both are so flippin’ creative it’s outta control!

  40. Mouse says:

    BRILLIANT idea! Well done!

  41. Anne Blumer says:

    I love this idea–great way to repurpose envelopes and rings! Could also sort/categorize by month January-December if you think chronologically. Or, by store and use it to store receipts for items you might return.

  42. Bethany Rose Hildenbrandi says:

    My boyfriend will love this!

  43. Lindsay says:

    OOhhh…I like it! I’m going to do this for grocery store coupons.

  44. Kim says:

    Just yesterday I was thinking to myself that there must be a use for unused envelopes! this is great!!

  45. TRYP says:

    I love it !!

  46. courtney says:

    i literally JUST bought this envelopes when i was at home for super cheap & i was looking for a way to organize my receipts when i stumbled upon this. how perfect!!!! still applicable even a few years later ;)


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