How to Make Vintage Map Envelopes


You may recall that my first post was about repurposing old books. If you have a book that contains beautiful pages, like an old atlas, creating your own envelopes is easy. Paired with a simple set of cards these envelopes are perfect for a pop of color on your desk or a unique holiday gift.

I sometimes use craft paper to make my own cards, but really it’s easier to buy blank stationery sets at your local craft store. You can print an initial on the card and then use the envelope that comes with it as a template for your own. And that’s my biggest tip for this project: use a store-bought envelope as a guide when you are cutting the map paper. It’s fast, simple and saves you a ton of time–especially if you have cards to match.

The envelopes in these images were cut from a 1970s subway guide to London. The pages have great lines and color and are a little bit of a departure from the aqua blues and pinks of a more traditional atlas. Here’s how I made them:

Step 1:DSC_0837

Select a ┬ástore-bought envelope that will fit onto your map paper when it is open–this can be tricky because envelopes are sometimes larger than they seem when you unfold them completely.

Step 2:

Cut your map paper out of the book. Flatten the envelope and tape it to the surface of the map.

Step 3:

Trace the shape of the envelope with a fine-tipped pen–pencils are so light that the lines are too hard to see on map paper.

Step 4:

Cut out your envelopes and glue the tabs together with an archival glue stick.