How to Decorate Envelopes at Home

Decorating envelopes may seem like a small detail in the world of correspondence, but it can actually add a special touch to your letters and cards. It’s a way to show your creativity and make the recipient feel valued. In this article, we will explore why decorating envelopes is worth the effort and how you can get started with this delightful craft at home.

When you receive an envelope that is beautifully adorned, it immediately catches your attention. It signals that the sender has put thought and care into their message, making it even more meaningful. Whether you are sending a heartfelt letter, an invitation to a special event, or a simple thank-you note, taking the time to decorate the envelope not only enhances its appearance but also sets the tone for what’s inside.

Decorating envelopes allows you to express your personality and style. It’s a fantastic opportunity to unleash your creativity and make each piece of mail unique. You can choose from various techniques and materials to suit your preferences and the occasion. Whether it’s adding vibrant colors with markers or incorporating elegant calligraphy with fine pens, there are countless ways to elevate your envelopes from ordinary to extraordinary.

In the following sections of this article, we will guide you through everything you need to know about decorating envelopes at home. From gathering supplies to choosing the right envelopes, from finding inspiration to mastering various techniques – we’ve got you covered. So let’s dive in and discover how you can transform plain envelopes into eye-catching masterpieces that will bring joy both to yourself as the creator and those fortunate enough to receive them.

Gathering Your Supplies

Before you begin decorating envelopes at home, it’s important to gather all the necessary supplies. Having the right materials on hand will make the process much easier and enjoyable. Here is a comprehensive list of materials you’ll need to get started:

  1. Envelopes: Choose envelopes in various sizes and colors depending on your preference and the occasion for which you’re decorating them. Consider using different textures or patterns for added visual appeal.
  2. Pens and Markers: Invest in a set of high-quality pens and markers that are suitable for writing on envelopes. Consider using waterproof or archival ink to prevent smudging or fading over time.
  3. Stamps: Stamps are a great way to add flair to your envelope decorations. Look for stamps with unique designs or characters that match your intended theme.
  4. Ink Pads: If you’re using stamps, make sure to have a selection of ink pads in different colors available. This will allow you to create more variety in your designs.
  5. Washi Tape and Adhesive: Washi tape is an excellent decorative tool that can be easily applied to envelopes. It comes in various colors, patterns, and widths, giving you endless options for adding borders, accents, or even creating unique backgrounds.
  6. Embellishments: Collect various embellishments such as stickers, ribbon, twine, sequins, or die-cuts that can be attached to your envelopes for a three-dimensional effect.
  7. Scissors and Paper Trimmer: These tools will come in handy when cutting out shapes or trimming paper inserts for your envelopes.
  8. Glue Stick or Craft Glue: When attaching heavier embellishments such as buttons or charms, it’s best to use a stronger adhesive like craft glue rather than relying on adhesive tapes.
  9. Calligraphy Pen or Fine-tip Marker: If you want to add elegant hand-lettering or decorative typography to your envelopes, invest in a calligraphy pen or a fine-tip marker.
  10. Ruler and Cutting Mat: These tools are useful for precise measurement and cutting, especially when creating intricate designs on your envelopes.

Having these materials readily available will ensure that you have everything you need to begin decorating your envelopes at home. Remember, creativity knows no bounds, so feel free to explore and experiment with different techniques and materials to make each envelope unique.

EnvelopesPens and Markers
StampsInk Pads
Washi Tape and AdhesiveEmbellishments
Scissors and Paper TrimmerGlue Stick or Craft Glue

Choosing the Right Envelopes

When it comes to decorating envelopes, choosing the right envelopes is crucial in achieving the desired effect. The type, size, color, and texture of the envelope can all contribute to the overall look and feel of your decorated creation. Here is a guide to help you select the perfect envelopes for your decorations:

  1. Type: There are various types of envelopes available, such as standard letter envelopes, invitation envelopes, and greeting card envelopes. Consider the purpose and size of your correspondence when choosing the type of envelope. For example, if you are decorating invitations for a formal event, opt for invitation envelopes that are typically more elegant and come in various sizes.
  2. Size: The size of the envelope will determine how much space you have to work with in terms of your decorations. Small envelopes may limit the amount of detail you can add, while larger envelopes provide more room for creativity. Additionally, consider whether you want to include any additional items inside the envelope, such as photos or small gifts, as this may influence your choice of envelope size.
  3. Color: Envelopes come in a wide array of colors, allowing you to match them with your desired theme or design. Consider using colored envelopes that complement or contrast with your decoration colors. For example, if you are decorating with vibrant colors, a white or neutral-colored envelope can make your design stand out even more.
  4. Texture: The texture of an envelope can add a tactile element to your decoration and enhance its visual appeal. Options range from smooth and glossy finishes to textured paper like linen or laid finish. Take into account how different textures may interact with pens, markers, or other materials you plan on using for decoration.

By carefully selecting the right type, size color and texture for your envelopes, you can set a solid foundation for your decoration ideas to truly shine through.

Envelope AttributeConsiderations
TypeChoose the appropriate type based on the purpose and size of your correspondence.
SizeDetermine how much space you need for your decorations and consider any additional items to be included inside the envelope.
ColorSelect colors that complement or contrast with your decoration colors for a cohesive look.
TextureConsider how different textures can add a tactile element and interact with your chosen decoration materials.

Whether you are working on personalized invitations, greeting cards, or just adding a special touch to your everyday correspondence, choosing the right envelopes is an essential step in creating visually stunning and impactful designs. With this guide, you will be well-equipped to select envelopes that perfectly complement your decoration ideas.

Getting Inspired

When it comes to decorating envelopes, the possibilities are endless. From simple patterns and designs to intricate artwork, there are plenty of sources available to inspire your creativity. Here are some great places to find ideas and designs for decorating envelopes:

  1. Online Communities and Social Media: Joining online communities or following social media accounts dedicated to envelope decoration can provide a wealth of inspiration. Platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook have countless artists and crafters sharing their envelope creations. You can find tutorials, photos, and even join discussions where people share their tips and tricks.
  2. Craft Magazines: Craft magazines often feature articles on various paper crafts, including envelope decoration. Some popular magazines cater specifically to this niche, offering step-by-step guides, templates, and design inspirations. Subscribe to these magazines or check out your local library for a selection of publications that can help spark your imagination.
  3. Books and Websites: Visit your local bookstore or browse online retailers for books dedicated to envelope art and design. These books often showcase different techniques, materials, and examples of beautifully decorated envelopes. Websites specializing in paper crafts may also provide tutorials on techniques such as origami envelopes or custom envelope embellishments.
  4. Art Exhibitions and Museums: Exploring art exhibitions or visiting museums can be a great way to gather ideas for envelope decoration. Many artists incorporate unique designs into their work that can be adapted onto envelopes. Pay attention to color combinations, patterns, textures, and overall composition that catch your eye during your visits.
  5. Everyday Objects: Sometimes inspiration strikes when you least expect it. Look around your home for everyday objects that might trigger creative ideas for envelope decoration. Wallpaper patterns, fabric prints, nature elements like leaves or flowers – all these can serve as inspiration for unique envelope designs.
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Remember – the key is not to copy someone else’s work exactly but rather let these sources inspire you with new ideas that you can adapt into your own unique envelope creations. So, whether you find inspiration from online communities, books, museums, or everyday objects, let your imagination run wild and start decorating envelopes with confidence.

Basic Techniques

Decorating envelopes with basic techniques can be a fun and creative way to add flair to your correspondence. Whether you’re sending a handwritten letter, an invitation, or a thank-you note, personalizing the envelope can make it stand out and create a memorable impression. In this section, we will explore step-by-step instructions on how to use pens, markers, and stamps to decorate your envelopes.

Step 1: Choose your tools

Before you start decorating, gather your supplies. Some essential tools for basic envelope decoration include fine-tip pens or markers in various colors, rubber stamps with different designs, ink pads in coordinating colors, and adhesive tape or glue. Additionally, you may want to have a ruler handy for measuring and creating straight lines.

Step 2: Plan your design

Before you begin decorating the envelope, it’s helpful to have an idea of the design you want to create. Consider the occasion or theme of your correspondence and let that guide your design choices. You can sketch out your ideas lightly with a pencil before committing with ink or decide to go freestyle if you’re feeling spontaneous.

Step 3: Add color and patterns

One of the easiest ways to decorate an envelope is by adding color and patterns. Use your pens or markers to draw lines, dots, shapes, or even floral designs around the edges of the envelope. You can also experiment with different handwriting styles for addresses or messages.

Step 4: Incorporate stamps

Rubber stamps are a fantastic tool for adding decorative elements to envelopes. You can choose from a wide variety of designs such as flowers, animals, symbols, or even custom-made stamps with initials or monograms. Simply press the stamp onto an ink pad and then onto the desired area of the envelope.

Remember that practice makes perfect when it comes to mastering these basic techniques. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try out different designs and combinations of colors. With time, you’ll develop your own unique style and create beautifully decorated envelopes that will delight both the sender and the recipient.

Advanced Techniques

Hand Lettering

Hand lettering is a beautiful and artistic way to decorate envelopes. It involves using your own handwriting to create unique and personalized designs. To get started with hand lettering, you will need a good quality pen or brush pen that has a variety of thickness options.

Begin by practicing different lettering styles and techniques on a separate sheet of paper before working directly on the envelope. Experiment with different fonts, sizes, and embellishments to find a style that suits your preferences. You can add flourishes, loops, or even illustrations to make your hand-lettered envelopes truly stand out.


Embossing is a technique that adds texture and dimension to your decorated envelopes. It involves creating raised designs by using heat and special embossing powders or pens. To emboss, you will need an embossing heat tool, embossing powder in the desired color, and a rubber stamp or stencil.

Start by stamping or stenciling your design onto the envelope using an embossing ink pad. Quickly sprinkle the embossing powder over the wet ink before shaking off any excess powder. Use the heat tool to melt the powder until it becomes raised and shiny. The result is a stunning 3D effect that adds elegance to your envelopes.


Collage is another advanced technique that allows you to create visually striking envelope decorations. It involves layering different materials such as patterned papers, magazine clippings, fabric scraps, or photographs onto the envelope surface.

To create a collage, gather various materials that match your desired theme or aesthetic. Cut or tear them into different shapes and sizes. Use glue stick or double-sided tape to adhere the pieces onto the envelope in an arrangement that pleases you. Play with different compositions until you achieve a visually pleasing collage that reflects your personal style.

These advanced techniques of hand lettering, embossing, and collage offer endless possibilities for decorating envelopes. Whether you prefer the elegance of embossed designs, the personal touch of hand-lettered messages, or the creativity of collages, these techniques will take your envelope decoration skills to the next level. Let your imagination run wild and experiment with different combinations to create stunning envelopes that will impress anyone who receives them.

Adding Personalized Touches

When it comes to decorating envelopes, one way to make them truly unique is by adding personal touches. By incorporating your own artwork, photos, or monograms onto envelopes, you can create a one-of-a-kind design that perfectly reflects your personality or the occasion. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Artwork: If you have a knack for drawing or painting, why not showcase your talent on your envelopes? Use colored pencils, markers, or watercolors to create small illustrations directly on the envelope. Whether it’s a floral motif for a spring wedding invitation or a cute doodle for a birthday card, your artwork can add an extra touch of creativity and thoughtfulness.
  2. Photos: Adding personal photos to envelopes is a great way to create meaningful connections with the recipient. Consider printing out small photos of memorable moments and attaching them with adhesive tape or glue onto the front of the envelope. This works especially well for special occasions like anniversaries or graduation announcements.
  3. Monograms: Monogramming is another stylish and sophisticated way to personalize envelopes. Whether it’s your initials or those of the recipient, monograms can give an elegant and luxurious touch to any envelope design. You can use stencils and decorative pens in various colors to create beautifully styled monograms on the front of the envelope.

By incorporating these personalized touches onto your envelopes, you are not only showcasing your creativity but also making each piece of correspondence more meaningful and memorable for both you and the recipient.

Personalization TipDescription
ArtworkCreate small illustrations using colored pencils, markers, or watercolors directly on the envelope.
PhotosAdd small photos of memorable moments onto the front of the envelope using adhesive tape or glue.
MonogramsUse stencils and decorative pens to create stylish monograms on the front of the envelope.

Exploring Different Themes

Decorating envelopes for different occasions adds a special touch to your correspondence. Whether it’s a birthday, wedding, or holiday, personalized decorations on the envelope can make the recipient feel even more cherished and excited to receive your mail. Here are some ideas for decorating envelopes based on different themes:

  1. Birthdays: For birthdays, you can use bright and colorful designs to enhance the celebratory spirit. Consider using themed stickers, washi tape, or rubber stamps that showcase balloons, cupcakes, or confetti. You could also add a personal touch by hand-drawing party hats or writing the recipient’s name in vibrant colors.
  2. Weddings: When sending wedding invitations or save-the-date cards, you can make the envelope stand out by incorporating elements of romance and elegance. Opt for elegant calligraphy for addressing names and addresses or use lace stickers for a touch of sophistication. Consider adding wax seals with embossed initials or decorative elements like flowers and rings.
  3. Holidays: During festive seasons like Christmas, Eid al-Fitr, or Diwali, decorating envelopes with themes of celebration is especially delightful. Use holiday-themed stamps featuring images of snowflakes, reindeer, holly leaves, stars, lanterns, or candles. You can also seal the envelopes with festive washi tape or glittery stickers.

By tailoring your envelope decorations to different occasions and themes, you can create an even more memorable experience for both yourself and the recipient. These ideas provide just a starting point-feel free to let your creativity run wild and experiment with various materials and techniques to suit any event or celebration.

Remember that receiving a beautifully decorated envelope is like opening a small gift before even seeing what lies inside. It shows thoughtfulness and love from the sender and sets a positive tone for what awaits when the recipient opens their mail. So next time you’re sending something special in an envelope, take a little extra time to decorate it in a way that matches the occasion and brings a smile to the recipient’s face.

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Finishing Touches and Seal Options

When it comes to decorating envelopes, the finishing touches and seal options play a crucial role in completing the overall look and feel of your design. Not only do they add an extra layer of charm, but they also provide functional benefits by ensuring that your correspondence stays secure. Here are some different ways you can seal your decorated envelopes:

  1. Wax Seals: Wax seals are a classic and elegant choice for sealing envelopes. They add a touch of old-world charm and can instantly elevate the overall aesthetic of your envelope. To create a wax seal, you will need sealing wax sticks, a heat source (such as a wax seal stamp or a candle flame), and a metal seal stamp with the design or monogram of your choice.
    Light the sealing wax stick and let the wax drip onto the envelope’s flap. Press the metal seal stamp into the melted wax firmly, hold for a few seconds to allow it to cool and harden, then gently lift to reveal your beautiful wax seal.
  2. Stickers: Stickers are another popular option for sealing decorated envelopes because they offer endless possibilities in terms of design and customization. From floral patterns to metallic accents, there are stickers available for every style and theme imaginable. Simply choose stickers that complement your envelope decoration, peel off the backing, and press them onto the flap of the envelope for an easy yet effective sealing option.
  3. Washi Tape: Washi tape is a decorative adhesive tape that comes in various colors, patterns, and widths – making it perfect for adding flair to envelope seals. With washi tape, you have complete creative freedom to create unique designs or borders around your envelopes’ flaps. Cut off desired lengths of washi tape and place them along one end of the envelope flap, ensuring that they overlap slightly if you prefer an even more secure seal.
  4. Ribbon or Twine: For a charmingly rustic touch, consider using ribbon or twine to seal your decorated envelopes. Choose a ribbon or twine that coordinates with your envelope’s design and wrap it around the envelope flap, tying it into a bow or knot. This method adds an extra decorative element while providing a secure closure.
  5. Adhesive Seals: If you are looking for a hassle-free sealing option, adhesive seals are a great choice. These pre-made stickers are designed specifically for envelope sealing and often come in elegant designs like metallic foil or delicate patterns. Simply peel off the backing and press the adhesive seal onto the envelope flap for an instant and stylish closure.

By choosing the right finishing touches and seal options, you can ensure that your decorated envelopes not only look visually appealing but also stay securely sealed until they reach their destination. Whether you opt for wax seals, stickers, washi tape, ribbon/twine, or adhesive seals, each option presents its own unique charm and allows your creativity to shine through.

Experiment with different combinations to find what best suits your style and add that final touch of magic to your beautifully decorated envelopes.

Storage and Care

When it comes to decorating envelopes, the fun doesn’t end once you’ve finished your masterpiece. Proper storage and care are essential steps in preserving the beauty of your decorated envelopes until they are ready to be used. Below are some tips on storing and maintaining your envelopes to ensure they remain in pristine condition:

Choose the Right Storage Method

Finding the appropriate storage method for your decorated envelopes is crucial in preventing any damage or deterioration. One option is to use acid-free archival boxes or folders that are specifically designed for paper documents. These containers provide a controlled environment by protecting against light, moisture, and dust.

Another option is to store your envelopes in clear plastic sleeves or protective pockets, which allow you to easily view and protect your creations at the same time. Make sure the plastic sleeves you choose are made from archival-quality materials to avoid any potential damage caused by chemicals.

Keep Them Away from Direct Light

Exposure to direct sunlight can fade colors and degrade the paper over time, so it’s important to store your decorated envelopes away from windows or other sources of strong light. If possible, choose a cool, dark place to safeguard them from any potential environmental damage.

Mind the Temperature and Humidity

Extremes in temperature and humidity can have adverse effects on paper-based items including envelopes. It’s best to store them in a climate-controlled area where temperatures range between 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit (18-21 degrees Celsius) with a relative humidity of around 45-55%. Fluctuations in temperature and humidity can lead to warping, discoloration, or even mold growth.

Lastly, remember to handle your decorated envelopes with clean hands or wear cotton gloves when necessary to prevent oil and dirt transfer onto the delicate surfaces.

By following these storage and care tips, you can keep your beautifully decorated envelopes looking their best for future use. Let your creativity shine through your designs, and don’t forget to share the joy of receiving such personalized correspondence with your loved ones.


In conclusion, decorating envelopes at home is a wonderful way to add a special touch to your correspondence. By gathering the right supplies, choosing the perfect envelopes, and getting inspired by creative ideas and designs, you can create beautiful and unique envelopes that will make your mail stand out. Whether you are using basic techniques like pens, markers, and stamps or exploring more advanced methods like hand lettering, embossing, and collage, there are endless possibilities for expressing your creativity.

Adding personalized touches such as artwork, photos, or monograms onto your envelopes not only adds a personal flair but also makes them even more special. Consider exploring different themes like birthdays, weddings, or holidays to make each envelope design truly unique and appropriate for the occasion. And don’t forget about the finishing touches – sealing your decorated envelopes with wax seals or stickers can elevate their appearance and ensure that they arrive safely to their destination.

Finally, it’s important to think about storage and care when it comes to preserving your decorated envelopes. By following simple tips on how to store them properly and keep them in pristine condition until they are ready to be used, you can ensure that your hard work doesn’t go to waste. So why wait?

Unleash your creativity today and start decorating envelopes at home – not only will it bring you joy but also delight the recipients of your beautifully decorated mail. Happy crafting.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make envelopes look pretty?

Envelopes can be made to look pretty through various creative techniques. One way is by choosing an envelope that already has an attractive design or pattern on it. This can instantly elevate its appearance and make it visually appealing.

Another option is to add decorative elements such as stickers, stamps, or washi tape to the envelope. These small details can bring color and personality to an otherwise plain envelope. Additionally, using calligraphy or hand lettering to address the envelope can create an elegant and artistic touch.

How do you decorate a plain envelope?

Decorating a plain envelope offers endless possibilities for personalization. One simple yet effective approach is using colored pens or markers to draw patterns, doodles, or even small illustrations directly on the envelope’s surface. This adds a unique touch and transforms the plainness into something eye-catching and interesting.

Alternatively, incorporating a watercolor wash as a background can give the envelope a soft and artistic look. By combining different colors or blending them together, you can create beautiful gradients or subtle textures.

What do you use to decorate an envelope?

There are several materials and tools one can use to decorate an envelope creatively. Stickers are popular choices as they offer various designs, shapes, and themes suitable for different occasions. They are easy to apply and come in both raised and flat options, giving added dimensionality to your design if desired.

Washi tape is another versatile option that provides countless patterns and colors while being easily removable if corrections are needed. Rubber stamps offer great precision and repeatability when it comes to adding motifs, patterns, or personalized messages onto envelopes with ink pads of various colors available on the market for choice. Finally, colored pens or markers allow for freehand drawing or writing on envelopes but requires some skill for neat execution; nevertheless, they provide ample room for customization by letting personal creativity shine through.

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