DIYdiy projects

diy wednesdays: fabric envelopes

by Grace Bonney

we’re always making all sorts of stuff out of fabric, but can never bring ourselves to toss any scraps. this project is an easy and smart way to repurpose even the tiniest leftovers. by using one of our favorite sewing materials—fusible webbing—you can whip up a whole set of these no-sew envelopes in a flash. they’re great places to store favorite documents, photos, or business cards, and can even be used as a special gift wrap.

have fun!
derek & lauren

ps: we’re about to embark on a bunch of exciting (and time consuming) projects, which unfortunately means we need to take a brief hiatus from our weekly diy posts here on design*sponge. we plan on contributing fun stuff every now and again, but until then you can keep track of us over at smartsandcrafts.com

CLICK HERE for the full project after the jump!

here’s what you’ll need:

scrap paper for templates
two pieces of fabric, one solid and one pattern (18” x 20” for large envelope, 6” x 6” for small envelope)
fusible webbing, cut to same size as fabric
two buttons
needle & thread
thin ribbon or cord to tie envelope shut

1. create a template by drawing a rectangle the size of your completed envelope in the center. our envelopes measure 9” x 12” and 2.5” x 4”. add 5” to either side of the large template, or 1.5” to either side of the small template. add a 1/2” to 1” flap to the center bottom and a 1” to 3” mitered flap to the center top (as pictured).

2. layer your fabrics with fusible webbing in the center, and fuse with a hot iron.


3. trace template onto fabric and cut out.

4. iron flaps and secure with small strips of fusible webbing.


5. sew a button onto the center of the top flap and another onto the back of the envelope, about 1/2” to 1” down from the top button, depending on which size envelope you are making.


6. tie a length of thin cord around the shank of top button and wrap it around the bottom button to secure the flap of your envelope.


Suggested For You


  • Carpee squares can be used in a simlar fashion but instead of envelopes they are more durable and turn into little puches for makeup, pens, etc. I even made a wine sleeve as a gift for someone!

  • Somewhat dismayed to see this actually because it appears to be a total rip-off of my sister’s portfolio envelopes she created a year ago. I’m very disappointed to see copy-cat craftsters that try and lay claim to an authentic designer’s work.

    • jen

      this actually isn’t a new concept- martha stewart did a few years ago with different shapes. so i don’t think lauren and derek were sourcing your sister’s work here, sorry.


  • Hmmm…this is VERY similar to what my Brownie Troop did about 20 years ago. I had almost forgotten about this idea! Thanks for the reminder.

  • Thank God for gift ideas for the poor college student. I am up to my ears in fabric scraps, but I’m making a whole bunch of these and putting photos of my friends and I in them and then snail-mailing them away! Total amount of money spent? $8 plus postage

  • I’ve never seen this before… are they really “that durable” to handle shipping via USPS? Or if you use (at home) would you consider a “backing board” to ensure the stability of contents not being bent. Fusible web is so flexible(?)
    Such a cool idea…

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