I have had the BEST TIME this morning making some pattern envelopes! The inspiration came when I had several downloaded patterns printed out and on my desk. I needed to put them away and that process (UNTIL TODAY) was to three-hole punch them and put them in a binder. Blah! It's kinda boring AND sometimes I punch thru information or part of the pattern. Small pieces are hard to deal with and I used sheet protectors in that situation.
AND...I remembered one of the patterns I downloaded offered a free pattern envelope. I was intrigued but the style and size she had didn't trip my trigger. I wanted a design of my own. After googling pattern envelopes, I realized there wasn't much available already made as a starting point. Then I looked at some vintage pattern envelopes to get more ideas.
I'd like my envelopes to be close to a "standard" pattern envelope size but I don't know what that size is. I decided to go with a 6 x 9 envelope (fits a 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper folded in half very nicely...makes sense because most of my patterns are downloaded).
Definitely want a TOP loading envelope. A side loading would give little pieces a bigger chance of escaping the envelope. I DO NOT want a clasp. Eventually, I will run a standard 6 x 9 envelope thru a printer. I DO NOT want self-adhesive. I don't want to deal with that strip of whatever it is to get jammed in my printer. I'm ok with a gummed flap envelope (if I could find one with no clasp, no self adhesive nor gummed flap...that will be even better). I want WHITE paper so my image will be actual color.
Off to Amazon I went in search of this pretty standard envelope. I thought I'd just print my information on a pre-made 6 x 9 envelopes tomorrow. However, every envelope that matched my criteria said it would take at least 5 days to get delivered...(I'm seriously impatient). Okay, I'll just make the envelope myself in order to make some now. Then I'll decide later on if I want to print directly on the envelope later.
TURNS OUT THIS WAS REALLY FUN! First order of business was to design the envelope front. Here's the design I settled on. (I'm calling it Shelley's Pattern because the pattern belongs to me. I'm not claiming I designed the pattern...this is "my copy" of this pattern.)
CATEGORY: I'm sure I'll want to separate the patterns into categories. Accessories, Baby, Clothing/Aprons, Bags, Quilts are the categories my patterns usually fall into.
PATTERN NAME: Most pattern companies have a pattern number. I don't think I'll ever need such a system. I'll just go with a name.
IMAGE: Yes...this will be handy...I'm going to have an image of the finished item
NOTIONS NEEDED: Again, this will be handy...before I get the pattern out, I'll see if there are notions that I need that I may not have on hand before I even get the instructions out of the envelope.
BEST FABRICS FOR THIS DESIGN: Maybe this will be handy...maybe not. I saw it on a vintage pattern...I might delete this later...undecided for now.
PURCHASED FROM: Ok, this is BIG. I've downloaded things and I have no idea where I got it! Maybe I traced it from a book I bought and rely on my memory to know what book I got it out of. Maybe I got it from a website and might one day want to go back to that site because I've lost a piece. Who knows.
Now here's how to make the actual envelope. I'm an Illustrator user. I am a sign maker, decal printer and silkscreener. I use Illustrator every day. That's what this template is.
There are two artboards. When you print it at 100% (which you MUST if you want it to be a 6 x 9 envelope) the part with the "flap" is too tall to print fully. It's not a big deal here. I just cut on a curve at the top to simulate the curve of the flap and I cut the diagonal parts at the bottom leaving the bottom of the paper right where it is. Cut it out with scissors or if you want to make a batch use an Exacto knife and metal ruler to cut many at the same time.
Fold the sides and bottom of the front of the envelope toward the back. Slide or insert the back of the envelope under the flaps.
Tape the flaps down and crease the top flap down. Insert your pattern pieces and instructions.
If you'd like a copy of this Illustrator file, contact me and I'd be happy to send it to you. You can let me know the file format you prefer and if I can accommodate, I definitely will.