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Fabric Envelopes

Project designed and demonstrated by Rose Scharmen.

Materials and Tools:

13" of 44"/45" wide 100% cotton fabric
straight-edge rotary cutter
cutting mat
foam paint roller
9" roller handle
paint roller pan
measuring cup
unfolded envelope or template
double-sided tape
fine-tip pen
white cotton gloves
heavy card stock
double-sided adhesive sheet
Aleene's Tacky glue
Aleene’s Fabric Stiffener and Draping Liquid
Aleene’s Tips & Bottles, optional 3-hole nozzle
1/2" double-sided adhesive tape with removable liner
Fiskars Rotary Paper Edger and Decorative Blades
butter knife or serger tweezers
straight pin


1. Cut fabric into four 10" x 13" rectangles using a rotary cutter, ruler and cutting mat.

2. To stiffen fabric: Apply fabric stiffener with a foam paint roller on a hard surface such as particleboard cut larger than the rectangle of fabric.

Note: Fabric stiffener is diluted with water. Mix in a measuring cup and stir well with a spatula using these guidelines: Chain store fabric works well with one part fabric stiffener and two parts water. Quilt shop fabric works well with one part fabric stiffener and four parts water. You may need to experiment with different fabrics and different formulas to attain the stiffness desired.

3. Dry the rectangles thoroughly (lay on a screen or hang); then iron them with a steam iron set to a cotton setting. Fabric will seem limp right after ironing. Let it completely cool before lifting it from the ironing surface. The fabric will stiffen back up and lie perfectly flat.

4. Tape the unfolded envelope/template to the back side (wrong side) of a fabric rectangle. Note: If the fabric is a directional pattern, make sure the front side of the template is going in the same direction of the fabric rectangle. Otherwise your finished envelope could be upside down when folded.

5. Trace around the envelope/template with a fine pen using a ruler whenever possible to achieve straight lines.

6. Cut out the fabric envelope.

7. Score the folds with a ruler and butter knife or pair of serger tweezers.

8. Finger press the side flaps, back flap and seal flap.

9. Open the back flap and carefully apply a bead of Tacky glue to the back side (wrong side) of the back flap, about 1/8 inch in from the cut edge starting about 1/4 inch in from the fold of the back flap. Do this to both sides. Option: Use a three-hole nozzle for greater coverage and more controlled flow.

10. Fold the back flap back onto the side flaps and press with your hands to form a good bond. Option: Wear a pair of white cotton gloves to absorb any of the glue that may bleed through. When dry, the glue is clear and you will not see it.

11. Apply a strip of double-sided adhesive tape to the seal flap about 1/8 inch in from the three cut sides of the seal flap.


The possibilities with this project are endless. Try different fabric patterns and different sizes of envelopes. Home embroidery machines open up another dimension of creativity; embroider a name and address on the fabric envelope before you fold and glue the side and back flaps. There is no limit to what you can do.

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