Button + string envelopes have to be one of my very favorite envelope details. I go back and forth between using one of two methods to create the look, depending on what tools I have on hand and how much time I care to put into project. Both methods are incredibly simple and leave a lasting impression on anyone lucky enough to receive it. If you need a great way to upgrade the mail you send out from your business or just want to spruce up your holiday greetings, this is a fun project to try. Happy crafting! –Erica Loesing
Photographs by Heidi Geldhauser
Click through for the full how-to after the jump!
FOR THE BRAD METHOD
-papers to punch (I used Paper Source cover weight stock)
-small hole punch (I used a 1/4”) (optional)
-circle punch (I am showing a few options here, but I used the 3/4”)
-string (I used a linen)
FOR THE EYELET METHOD (In addition to the materials above)
-a little bit more paper, thinner (I used Paper Source text weight)
-eyelet setting tool + hammer
PROCESS FOR THE BRAD METHOD
-This is an incredibly simple way to achieve the neat button + string look without needing anymore tools than already in your desk.
-Start out by choosing any envelopes you want to use. I used a mix of pointed flap and #10 envelopes, both of which I think look equally great with this detail.
-Mark the center of the flap with a pencil if you want your button to be exactly centered (like I do!), even more important if you’re using pointed flap envelopes. Keep in mind the size of circles you cut with your punch and not wanting them to overhang. Here I used a 3/4” punch to cut my circles.
-Use either a pencil or tiny hole punch to make the hole. This will be entirely covered, so a pointed pencil works just fine and dandy.
-Mark on the body of the envelope where you want the bottom hole, then punch that one out as well, lining it up with the top punch. Depending on the style of envelope you’re using, most hole punches don’t typically reach far enough to make the hole in the right spot, so I always just use the pencil here.
-Now you’ll want to punch a tiny hole in the center of your circle cutouts. I like to make the circle cutouts from paper that complements the envelope color (here I am using Paper Source “cement” on a kraft envelope).
-Line the paper circle up with the hole on both the front and the back (for added support), and stick the prongs of the brad through, spreading them apart on the inside of the flap.
-And now do the exact same for the body of the envelope. I found these cute brads that actually look like little buttons, which I thought was kind of fun.
-The last step is the string. Simply wind the string around the brad prongs, beneath the paper circle. I like to wrap it a couple of times to secure it before reaching out to close the envelope.
Now you’re ready to go! When you’ve filled your envelope with your notes simply wind the string from the top to the bottom in whatever pattern your heart desires to form a closure. Voila! You have some seriously cute button + string envelopes without needing any special tools.
PROCESS FOR THE EYELET METHOD
Now you’re ready to try the eyelet method, requiring just a few more tools but looking a tad more awesome, in my opinion. In addition to the tools you have already gathered, you will also need text weight paper and an eyelet tool and hammer.
-The manila envelope you see here is one I tore apart to use as a template. For this method, it’s pretty tough to use a pre-made envelope (the brads are looking pretty appealing now, maybe?). The white envelope pictured is the one I recreated.
-Just like for the brad method, use your pencil to mark the center of the envelope flap.
-Again, make sure to allow a little bit of a margin between the flap edge and the outer edge of the punched circle.
-Use the tiny hole punch to punch the hole.
-I prefer the hole punch over the pencil for this method since you will be feeding the shaft of the eyelet through this opening. Also punch the center of the circle.
-Line a punched circle up on both the front and the back of the envelope flap (for added support), then feed the eyelet through.
-The exposed shaft should be on the backside/inside of the flap.
-Use the eyelet setting tool and hammer to pound the eyelet flat.
-When hit, the little prongs open up and hold everything nicely in place.
(This tool is one of a few eyelet setting options. I personally like this tool because you are not limited to the reach of one of the fancier options. And honestly, I like using a hammer on a paper project, and this tool I use is pretty bare bones. Just be mindful of what you’re hammering on – I like to put a cutting mat or something soft beneath my paper prior to hammering.)
-Now do the same for the opposite flap.
-Glue your envelope together and voila!
Follow the same steps as above for the string.
You can do this on any size envelope, or even make your own! And I chose the circle punch to recreate the classic button + string look, but you could of course use any shape. (I’m especially thinking tiny red hearts for Valentine’s Day…) Also, I like to line things up, but of course you don’t have to do that either. This is just the method and look that I have found to work for me. Time to send some pretty special mail to the people you love! xo