Sewing Cards & Envelopes

on February 19 | in Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 90 Comments

We always love Lina’s classic, beautiful work, and we’re thrilled she’s here today to show how to sew cards and envelopes. These techniques would be perfect for a wedding, shower or really any other party invitation. Learn more about Lina in her introduction (from her 2008 pattern review) and be sure to visit Linaloo too.

From Lina: If you know my blog ( then you know that the simple combination of linen and red together is a firm favourite and that I love to use recycled materials in my work. So what better than using recycled materials and your sewing machine to make cards and envelopes too. Here are some examples I’ve made of wedding invitations and envelopes using designs that are simple, easy to replicate and most importantly fast to assemble. These ideas can easily be adapted for other occasions and I regularly sew up a batch of blank cards and envelopes for last minute birthdays and thank you notes.


  • For the card: paper trimmer, card stock, newspaper, recycled paper, punches, sewing machine and contrasting thread, stamps and ink and scrapbooking double sided tape. Note: punches speed things up a little if you’re making lots of cards, but you can just as easily cut your paper using scissors.
  • For the envelope: kraft paper, clear contact paper, 1 inch and 1.5 inch circle punches, stamps and ink.

To make a card:
Using your paper trimmer, cut your card stock to the desired size and fold in half to make your card. Punch shapes in the card stock or newspaper to achieve a design that you like, add decorative stamps where desired and secure onto your card with scrapbooking tape before sewing on your machine. I prefer the look of simple clean lines, especially if I have to make a large quantity!

If you’ve never sewn on card before, it really is as simple as sewing on fabric. Backstitch at the beginning and end of your sewing to secure your stitches, trim the threads and make sure your stitch size is not too big. It’s worth practicing a bit on scrap card before you start to make sure your machine tension is fine.

To make an envelope:
First you need to measure the size of your card. My card measurements are 10.5cm wide by 12.5cm long. To the width of the card add at least 2 centimeters and to the length multiply by approximately 2 and add 3 to 4 centimeters for the closing flap – these are the dimensions you need to cut your kraft paper. I cut mine to 12 cm wide by 28cm long.

Placing the card in the kraft paper as a guide, make two folds. Once to form the bottom of the envelope and then fold again for the top flap.

With the back of the envelope facing upwards sew around the 3 bottom edges of the paper, starting from the right hand side, don’t forget to backstitch at the start and end for extra security. I don’t have fancy stitches on my machine, but this would be a good opportunity to experiment!

Here’s what your envelope should look like now:

When you’re ready to close the envelope, use scrapbooking tape for a secure seal. For an extra flourishing touch I like to add a decorative seal. To make a seal, stamp your chosen design onto newspaper and punch it out using a 1 inch circle punch.

Then, using a slightly larger circle punch (mine is 1.5 inches) punch a circle from your contact paper.

Peel off the backing from the contact paper and carefully place the newspaper circle into the middle and stick it over the flap

There you have it!

Comment in any post this week for your chance to win one of these great prizes: 24 Spool Collection from Coats & Clark; $15 Gift Certificate to Celtic Cloths; $15 gift certificate to Layne James Embroidery and Design; $15 gift certificate to Sew,Mama,Sew! Take a look at the February “True Love” prize master list to see other great prizes we’ll be giving away this month.

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90 Responses to Sewing Cards & Envelopes

  1. Ngarie says:

    I just love this idea! I like sewing with fabric but I’m not always careful enough (sometimes the garment holds together by a thread) – paper is much more forgiving!!

  2. Charlotte Heath says:

    Beautiful idea. What’s strange is the address on the card – I live in Faringdon, Oxfordshire…

  3. Susan Burns says:

    I’m a novice and I’m inspired by your cards and the materials. Is there any way I could sew a card using hand-sewing only? I don’t have a machine because after having 5 and sweating and wanting to pull my hair out, I decided to hand-sew only. Thank you.

  4. Reyes Lapuz says:

    I like it

  5. Bartbetter says:

    How do I print out just the tutorial without all the comments?
    Love this site!!!!

  6. Fawn says:

    What a neat idea! I wish I’d had time to do something like that for my wedding last year, I just wasn’t engaged long enough to do anything craftsy other than decorations! 🙂

  7. Mare says:

    I can’t wait to give this a try. These would make great gifts for Mother’s Day as well.

  8. Jane says:

    wow! I love it! thanks these are amazing! I can’t wait to give this a try, I have a massive roll of brown paper at home, I’ve never thought of sewing envelopes… words actually fail me I’m so excited and need to wait till I get home from work to give this a go!

  9. Laura Bozzolo says:

    I really enjoy the textures and colors of these cards. Sewing cards is so easy and creates such a quick and satisfying result.

  10. Blayne says:

    These make great gift packs. I’ve made my own before and people love them.

  11. Erin says:

    This is really terrific and works with any sort of theme. You’ve inspired me! Thank you so much.

  12. rosie says:

    love sewing on paper…and the way the newspaper shows up is just beautiful.

  13. Marcia W. says:

    Now this is neat!

  14. These are wonderful. I do a lot of sewing on my cards. I love your idea of sewing the envelopes, too.

  15. JenniferB says:

    I love the look of the cards and envelopes- so pretty

  16. Melissa says:

    What a great tutorial! I made a resolution to send more letters this year and this has definitely inspired me to take it one step further to personalize them. Lovely!

  17. Miranda says:

    Beautiful! I love sewing on cards but it has never, ever occurred to me to sew the envelopes! And I love the seal on the back. Thanks so much!

  18. c.michele says:

    I wish my handwriting was so pretty!

  19. wendy says:

    I love those!!! off to make cards now…

  20. Bonnie Borntrager says:

    This will be a great way to bring two of my creative interests together. Thanks!

  21. Jocelyn says:

    This is a very cute idea! I love making my own cards, and just started sewing, so this is a technique I will definitely keep in mind.

  22. ECasselbury says:

    Hmm…I’ve never sewn paper before…

  23. Megan says:

    I love this idea! I usually make cards on my own and will definitely be trying this DIY project…thanks for sharing!

  24. meg says:

    These are so simple and elegant — really fabulous — not to mention inspiring. Thank you for sharing, Lina!

  25. Kelli says:

    Very Interesting….another item added to the to-do list!!!

  26. I’ve realized I love sewing paper! It has such a different feel when going through my machine!

  27. rayan says:

    This is sooo cute!

  28. Alex says:

    this is such a wonderful idea! my favorite part is how simple the envelope is!

  29. Ramona says:

    Very cute envelopes. I will have to try this.

  30. Alice says:

    I like the envelopes especially!

  31. Cristi says:

    So cool!

  32. Great tutorial! I can’t wait to try these.

  33. AmyB says:

    I love to make cards, but I have never thought to make my own envelopes. I just love this idea!

  34. Jocelyn says:

    Wow I love what you have done with the cards. Very creative.

  35. Barbara says:

    beautiful work and ideas – thank you for sharing your knowledge

  36. Colette says:

    Love it!

  37. Janet C says:

    Like Lina, I love red and linen combo. Great idea! Thanks!

  38. sarah c says:

    Love the idea of sewing the envelope! The cards are especially cute too. Love, love, love the linen and red!

  39. Jessica T says:

    That’s great, one thing that was standing in the way of me making all my cards is not knowing how to make envelopes to fit them. What a nice decorative way to make envelopes that are just the right size!

  40. Helen says:

    Absolutely LOVED this idea! I’m going to try them myself! Thanks for this fabulous gift!

  41. tscd says:

    This is a great tutorial! I’m putting it on my favourites list.

  42. lisa deering says:

    Oh, thank you so much! I make a lot of cards with paper and fabric for my friends and family and they are my therapy, especially when I need to get myself into a holiday mood. Now I can make special envelopes, too–with seals on them. Thank you for sharing!

  43. Jenny says:

    Hi there! Lovely lovely ideas. I’ve been wanting to be sending greetings to folks lately, but have been fretting quite a bit about not being able to find anything meaningful. My boyfriend’s mother just gave me her old sewing machine, and today I came across a pad of beige construction paper, so I’m all game.


  44. sharon says:

    Great tutorial, I love making cards! Thanks Sharon.

  45. Christelle says:

    So cute! Thanks for the tutorial!

  46. these are fantastic! Now I’m going to have to go play some! I love the red on the newsprint, must go do some recycling…

  47. ~Helena~ says:

    Thanks, these are so sweet. You could do these year around birthdays, holiday such a great idea.

  48. Julie W says:

    Love the cards! I probably have just about all the supplies and should give this a try!!

  49. Sara says:

    who knew this was even possible – love the red details and the stitching.

  50. Sam says:

    I love how easy but stylish these cards look, but I have really fallen for the envelopes. Especially the red thread.
    I will definitely be having a go at this 🙂

  51. Trish says:

    These are just wonderful!
    I just tried some scrap/quilt kindof ones last week.
    Off to dig out my box of old sheet music!

  52. Beth Van says:

    How sweet and personal!

  53. Michelle C. says:

    Thanks so much for the fabulous ideas — I especially like the tips for constructing an envelope and making a seal (contact paper — why didn’t I think of that?). My last foray into sewing paper messed up the tension on my machine in a bad, bad way, but this post inspired me to try it again.

  54. Sarah S says:

    Great idea, these are very cute!

  55. georgia says:

    lovely! A sewn card would be perfect for my daughter’s penpal. She’ll love it!

  56. Veronica says:

    I love this idea! How cute and simple.

  57. It never occurred to me to punch something out of contact paper! Brilliant!

  58. Jennifer S. says:

    That’s great – I too am a linen and red fan.

  59. Amber Kane says:

    Nothing better than receiving a homemade card in the mail. These are lovely

  60. Sara says:

    My favorite cards is the string of hearts. I am going to make a stack of those asap!

  61. Stacy says:

    I love the sewn kraft-paper envelopes. It’s a lovely way to send a homemade card. Thanks for the ideas!

  62. Becky says:

    These cards are way too cool! Thanks for sharing!

  63. I definitely want to try this. So cool and awesomely personalized.

  64. terri says:

    love, love, love this!

  65. alisha says:

    I love these. And what pretty handwriting!

  66. Bekah says:

    Those are sooooo lovely. Thanks for the tutorial.

  67. nopinkhere says:

    You make it look so easy, but I know it would take me forever!

  68. Margie Bennett says:

    Wow so beautiful & truly unique!

  69. katie says:

    Oh, I simply must get old gal Ginette (my machine) to sew up some cards and envies with me! Very clever and love the simple graphic quality.

  70. rae says:

    love this idea! thanks for the inspiration!! 😉

  71. Kadybug says:

    These are fantastic! I love the homemade look of these cards.

  72. Genevieve says:

    Love this idea! I sewed on a journal for a friends christmas present. Lovely!

  73. Banana says:

    These are lovely cards, thanks for the tutorial!

  74. Shorty says:

    Those are wonderful! I love how they came together. And I never thought of using a punch and contact paper before! Thanks for sharing such a great tutorial.

  75. Vicki K says:

    This combines so many of my favorite things! Sewing, paper, graphics and red…beautiful stationery…

  76. Leah says:

    What pretty papers! I’m definitely trying this.

  77. jm says:


  78. Stacey C. says:

    Oh my goodness, I absolutely love this idea! How gorgeous!!

  79. Rachel says:

    I had never thought of making envelopes too. How easy it looks!

  80. Hilary says:

    Lovely ideas!

  81. I absolutely LOVE this! I’ve been wanting to play with sewing up cards and envelopes and now have the perfect inspiration and go-to lady with Lina. Thank you!

  82. ooooooo! Just found some perfect inspiration for my lil’ sister’s bridal shower invites! Thank you, thank you! Gonna be a fun project…

  83. carrie says:

    This is amazing! I can’t wait to try it!

  84. Karen In NC says:

    Love this idea and the thought of recycling and using scraps. I’m going to try a few birthday cards. Thanks for the inspiration.

  85. Jessica C says:

    I love how sewing looks on paper.

  86. Bonnie says:

    I just love making cards

  87. Cinnamon says:

    I’ve been meaning to try this, I have so many fabric scraps that would work perfectly. I’ll just have to add it to the ever growing list.

  88. Tong says:

    So sweet!! Especially love the card with the little hearts on a string!! Just adorable!

  89. Faith says:

    Wow!! That is so awesome. I need to try that when I get home. I will have to buy some cardstock on the way home too. That is so cool. I am going to make my next batch of thank you cards like that.

  90. DebbieB says:

    Very nice!

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