Outgoing Mail: DIY Recycled Calendar Envelopes

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I can’t hide my love for mail art supplies: there’s something very soothing, when budget allows, about collecting on-sale stickers, decorative tape, and enormous, glittery paper stacks. Embarking on a craft store treasure hunt often gives me inspiration for new envelope designs even as I’m browsing!

The best part about being a snail mail hobbyist, of course, is that you don’t always need to spend lots of money on supplies. Sometimes, a little ingenuity and a lot of old ephemera is all that’s required to create a fun mailing for any pen pal.


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Ever since I was young, I’ve had a hard time resisting the urge to hoard old calendars. The calendar itself may be out of date by the time January rolls around, but the pictures haven’t changed: it just feels so wrong to through out such lovely images after only a year!

For these envelopes, then, I decided to ransack my current French Garden calendar, carefully cutting off the designs for January through April without damaging the rest of the remaining months. You can never start recycling too soon!

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The envelopes I used were rescued from a past life, too! These were part of the massive bag of unwanted stationery I found for $4 at a Goodwill in Maine earlier in the summer. I’ve barely used these green guys until now because of their size, but since they played a starring role in my mermaid mail, I thought I’d give them another shot.

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The finishing touch? A few diagonal strips of my favorite washi tape by MT. It was given to me as a birthday gift and has seen lots of use ever since! I love its intricate map design, which lends itself to a lot of different mail art applications. The vintage look certainly make it a perfect complement to the rest of the envelopes’ theme.

What do you think? Not bad for a bunch of calendar pages, right?

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12 thoughts on “Outgoing Mail: DIY Recycled Calendar Envelopes

  1. Noémie August 28, 2015 / 8:42 am

    It’s gorgeous! So what are you going to do with them?? Are you sending them to someone??

    • Keely August 28, 2015 / 9:32 am

      Oh, thank you so much! I’m not quite sure who will get these yet! Sometimes I make my envelopes with a certain pen pal in mind, and sometimes I just like to play around and keep them on reserve for the next time I need to send a letter 🙂

  2. Idle Emma August 28, 2015 / 1:20 pm

    So cute! Great use of old calendars. I’ve got a few lying around – should definitely try make envelopes out of them. Also, love that washi tape, I need me some of that xD

    • Keely August 28, 2015 / 9:35 pm

      Thank you! Beware though–once you get into collecting washi tape it may take over your life! 😀 (I’m currently waiting for an excuse to buy this awesome celestial-themed tape that I’ve had my eye on…)

      • Idle Emma August 28, 2015 / 10:10 pm

        Too late for that, already have a small bucket full of tape and an expanding etsy basket waiting for me to get some money xD

  3. marinegirl1 August 28, 2015 / 1:54 pm

    Those are amazing!!! I use old calendars for envelopes all the time, though I usually use an envelope template and fold the whole envelope from the calendar page. At the beginning of the year I repurposed three old calendars my parents had lying around so now I have plenty of them to use whenever I need them 🙂 The Washi tape is fantastic, if I ever see that in a store I have to get it!

    • Keely August 28, 2015 / 9:39 pm

      Thanks! =) I’ve had a lot of fun with the folding method myself too–I’d do it more if I trusted myself to cut things properly! It looks amazing with calendar pages that feature landscape photography, I’ve found. Truly a world apart from the plain business envelopes traveling through the post on a daily basis!

  4. Sachie August 28, 2015 / 8:52 pm

    These are so so amazing! I am just getting in to the whole arts and crafts diy train and this post has given me a lot of inspiration and ideas. Although I must admit I am not nearly as crafty as you are- anyway AMAZING!

    • Keely August 28, 2015 / 9:41 pm

      I’m so glad this post was inspiring to you! 🙂 I’m a crafts newcomer myself too, to be honest–so I’ve enjoyed figuring out how to do even the simplest little projects just for fun. It’s very relaxing and a nice little hobby to have: I can’t wait to keep learning and discovering new things to make!

  5. devalayer September 7, 2015 / 10:18 am

    Love the soft colours of these, and the mt map washi is one of my faves too!

    • Keely September 7, 2015 / 10:50 am

      Thanks! Yes, it’s become such a staple of my envelope designs of late–though I’m trying not to use it all up too quickly 🙂

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