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How to Make Upcycled Calendar Envelopes

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Don’t toss out the old calendars as you replace them in the new year.

Instead use them to make calendar envelopes for all your mailing needs. This is a simple way to make envelopes that also add a bit of whimsy to your letter writing and even your bill paying.

I have been making envelopes this way for years and yes I do use them for everything from paying bills to mailing thank you cards and more.  These envelopes always get talked about and are a fun way to use what you already have on hand.

A stack of handmade envelopes sitting on top of a calendar displaying the month of March and text overlay stating: how to make envelopes.

These are simple and quick to whip up.  They’re a great cold night project and great for kids too.

Supplies Needed:

Cutting:

Tear apart the calendars, so that each photo is a single page. Lay the template over the photo and arrange so that the center highlights a special or nice spot for the envelope.  Trace the template and then cut along the lines.

A photo of turtles on a log cut into an envelope shape laid flat.

Folding & Gluing:

Turn the envelope over so that you’re looking at the dates, not the picture. 

Fold up the bottom edge first, scoring with your fingernail.  F

old in the side flaps next again scoring with a fingernail. Run a bead of glue down the edge of the bottom flap and fold the side flaps over, pressing down firmly. 

An envelope being folded and glued with a hand holding a glue stick.

Let the glue dry for a bit before folding the top flap down.  Store your envelopes like this in a stack, in a drawer, or box. 

A calendar page that has been folded and glued into an envelope shape with top flap open, exposing the date squares.

Using Upcycled Calendar Envelopes:

Simply address and stamp as usual.  To make mailing addresses clearly visible use labels. I’ve done this for years and have never had a problem with the postal service in delivering these.

Handmade envelopes stacked on a table.

You can use any number of materials in place of calendars – old magazines, catalogs, etc.  Don’t forget the coloring pages and artwork of children, too.

If this is a project you really enjoy, check local thrift shops for supplies (like old books, magazines, even calendars).

How to Use Calendar Envelopes for Gifts

These upcycled envelopes make great gifts. Combine a stack in a theme for friends and put them in a little box or tie a ribbon around them with a nice pen and some labels. This is great for the person who loves to write letters.

Yield: 12 Envelopes

Making Envelopes from Old Calendars

A stack of homemade envelopes sitting on top of an open calendar displaying the month of March.

Upcycle old calendars by turning those photographs and other pieces of artwork into homemade envelopes.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $5

Materials

  • Old Calendars with Beautiful Images
  • Glue / Glue Stick

Tools

  • Envelope Template
  • Scissors
  • Marker / Pen

Instructions

  1. Unfold an envelope to use as a template. Make sure to choose an envelope that will fit over the photos of your calendar.
  2. Tear the calendar apart carefully so that the pages remain intact but unattached.
  3. Lay the template over the photo images so that it looks nicest on the big part of the envelope that will be the front side.
  4. Trace the template with a marker.
  5. Repeat for each calendar page.
  6. Cut the envelope out along the traced lines.
  7. Turn the envelope over, so that you're looking at the calendar squares / dates.
  8. Fold the bottom flap up.
  9. Fold the sides in.
  10. Use fingernail to crease the folds well.
  11. Glue the edges of the side to the bottom flap.
  12. Let the glue dry.
  13. Fold the top flap down.
  14. Repeat for each cut out template.
  15. Store the envelopes so that the top flap is folded down.

Notes

When ready to use, stuff the envelope with your letter.

Use labels for return and mailing addresses and add a stamp.

Seal the top flap with scotch tape or glue before mailing.

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

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Jan

Tuesday 23rd of August 2022

I've been doing this for several years. I save money making envelope so I don't have to buy them. No one has ever complained.

Maria

Monday 27th of December 2021

Thanks for sharing this wonderful idea. All those beautiful calendars will be transformed and continue to be used. Happy New Year!

Autumn

Sunday 26th of December 2021

What a fantastic idea Kathie! TY for sharing! I always feel awful for throwing away some of the beautiful calendars that have passed through my hands and have become special to me through the year! At one time I just stashed them all but that became a nuisance after a few years! Yes, I am a letter writer, though I miss that not so many people do 'handwritten' letters anymore. :( Maybe you could start a 'Pen Pal' club? :) I myself would love that!!

Kathie Lapcevic

Sunday 26th of December 2021

I have considered a pen pal club but am still trying to figure out the details... Have fun making envelopes and do share photos of your creations, please.

Terrie Prosper

Sunday 26th of December 2021

This is such a great idea as I hated throwing away some of the beautiful pictures that adorned the calendars. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

Kathie Lapcevic

Sunday 26th of December 2021

I hope you'll share some photos of the envelopes you make. Have fun!

Teresa

Wednesday 2nd of September 2020

Kathie, I love these ideas! I knew there was a great project for all the calendars with wonderful pictures or designs I've saved. I have always enjoyed snail mail, sending and receiving. I got to know my husband's grandmother by sharing letters before long distance calling was part of everyday phone service. Before we married, I received almost daily letters from my soon-to-be-husband from overseas. We have letters my father-in-law wrote to my mother-in-law while he was in the service during WWII. There is something special about holding a personal letter in your hands and reading the written lines. Have you seen Hallmark "Signed! Sealed! Delivered!" series? Very sweet! Blessings to you!

Autumn

Sunday 26th of December 2021

@Teresa, your reply to Kathie brings back such nice/sweet & even bittersweet memories for me! I too recall letters going back and forth between my fiancée & I when he was in the service overseas, and all my sweet friends, most who have passed on with whom I also wrote. My daily walk to the mailbox to find these cherished correspondents still has such a special place in my heart! TY for sharing :)

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