Make Your Own Custom Envelopes

Wow – Inky Doodle Note Cards are proving popular!  Thank you, thank you to my loyal supporters who have purchased a set or two I am so thrilled you like them!  And yes, it’s true, the no-envelopes choice has been the preferred way to go.

Today I’m showing how I make the promised custom fit envelopes without any special tools.  I saw someone do this on YouTube two or three years ago and I’m sorry to say I don’t remember who it was.  I already had an envelope template but found it restrictive in sizing.  Since learning this method I never used my expensive envelope template again!

Let’s talk about paper first.  It’s possible to use any kind of paper.  Flimsy paper may need a security insert or to be doubled.  You might wish to use matching paper or plain white copy paper.  You might want to make your envelope out of deli paper, newspaper, a brown paper bag or fancy pre-printed crafting paper.  I’ve used them all and then some.

My friend Alys likes to use her old calendar leaves as envelopes.  I’m a bit given to using my paint wiping papers as envelopes.   Newspaper is fun, especially if it has a special occasion announcement to accompany the card.  If you use newspaper you will need to place a white ‘address label’ on the front of your envelope, as you will need to do with any dark or ornate paper.  But anything is possible – we can be as creative as our imaginations will let us be!

So. let’s start.

All you need is your paper of choice, a ruler, pencil, scissors and either glue or double sided tape. Plus the card you are making the envelope for.  (I usually make an envelope out of a piece of copy paper to start, just while I remember the steps – then I use the fancy stuff.)

Today I decided to go with a plain mauve heavy weight paper for an inky doodle note card.

Work with the inside of the envelope facing up.


The first thing to do is measure your card diagonally, corner to corner and add 2cm/1″



Cut along the ruled line


Lay the envelope as a diamond in front of you and lay the card long ways across it.  The ruler is shown in the photo below to draw your eye to the need to move as accurately as possible the bottom point of the diamond into the same line as the top point as you fold up the bottom of the envelope.


Crease the bottom fold lightly then fold in the sides.  Don’t fold in too tightly, you need to be able to slide your card in and out with some ease.  But also don’t leave too much space or the envelope simply won’t work out.  Crease lightly in case you have to adjust.  Once you have made a couple of envelopes this won’t be an issue for you, I promise.


Trim the pointy end of the bottom of the diamond as shown.


Fold the top over to fit the card.  We haven’t glued anything into place yet.  If you are happy with the fit


remove the card and open the envelope out.   You will trim those little triangle areas as shown, just to make a neater finish to your envelope.



Now use your glue or double sided tape as shown




Give the glue a few minutes to dry, then check the card fits in nicely.


As a finishing touch you can use this stuff to put a proper sticky edge to your envelope – or just tape down with sellotape or a fancier decorative tape if you have that to hand.


I added a strip of my own decorative tape to the front, left side of the envelope and voila!!  One custom fit envelope that took me twenty minutes to make with posing and photographing but less than five in ordinary circumstances.


If you would like the opportunity to receive this card and envelope with a hand written letter from me please mention it in your comment and if there’s more than one I’ll do a draw and use that random choice thingy if I can find it.   🙂

Please do let me know if anything isn’t clear.

And if you make your own envelope, let me know how it turned out.

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!

Inky Doodle Note-Cards, the Winner

Thank you to all my friends who commented and did the poll thingy on the last post.  Of the fifteen who voted, fourteen went for option 1: no envelopes.  It was a low voter turn-out, but given the way voting has gone globally recently, who wants to vote any more?

Alys, in a private email, persuaded me to offer an ‘envelopes included’ option in my shop for those countries who have  a different measuring system to the one I use.  So that remains an option in the shop along with the no-envelope option.  They are up, you can see them here.

However, in my next post I shall show you how to make a custom fit envelope for those odd shaped cards we sometimes end up with and wish to send.  It’s easy and gives you the opportunity to make your card, or letter, or any odd thing you wish to send, entirely original and you maybe won’t have to purchase another envelope, ever!

So, I carefully wrote out all your names, cut them into neat little slices ……


…….and threw them into my favourite coffee cup – emptied of coffee I hasten to assure you and newly washed and dried…..

The cup was shaken, vigorously, but not stirred and then I hooked one piece of paper and tried my best to photograph the action simultaneously



Sometimes a third hand would be very – er – handy!!

Congrats to the inestimable author Geoff who blogs at TanGental.  A pack of note cards will be winging its way to you as soon as your preference is known and your address too please.  Also everyone else – do pop over and read his latest offering  You’ll be hooked!  😀

Here’s a pic of Siddy and his newest friend whispering secrets into his ear at the dog park


Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!



Inky Doodle Note Cards


Do you remember a couple of posts back I mentioned a give-away?   And  where I showed you the beginning processes in the creation of my new line of Note Cards.  Yupo paper, alcohol inks and hours of doodling went into completing four A4 sheets.  Each sheet was then cut into four pieces and, when the note cards were all made up there is a grand total of 16 different designs.

I already showed you the first four completed cards.  When Susanne made a comment on that previous post about them reminding her of ‘Swinging London’ in the 60’s their name was born.  Here they are again, sporting their new look.  Meet  ‘Note-Cards ‘Carnaby Street’

Hisilicon K3

Here is the second sheet of Inky Yupo paper

And here the doodling work is completed


Here are the four cards that utilise that design ‘Note Cards Summer Garden’

Hisilicon K3

Here is the third ink dropped sheet

Doodles completed


And here are the four cards ‘Cosmic Time’.  I think this is my favourite one

Here is the fourth sheet, remember I had started the doodling work

This one took the longest to complete, there is more than 15 doodle hours here:


And here are the four note cards ‘Evening Garden’

You can use any card upright or top hinged, it is purely personal preference.

Every A5 note card comes with a writing paper insert, allowing you to write fully on three leaves.  After much experimentation and contemplation I decided to stay with white card and ordinary printing paper for the inserts.  It was simply easier and more affordable.

Every note card is hand made by me.  I cut the card, slice the original design into four and trim it to fit the card.  I ink the edges of each little printed design.  I alone score, crease and fold the card into shape, wrestle with my double sided tape gun (which is being extremely temperamental at the moment) and adhere the card and printed paper together.  I then cut the paper insert to size, trim and finally adhere that inside the card.  Slight variations and imperfections are inevitable.

Now to the give away.  Which isn’t really a free thing at all, I’m asking for your advice and in return your name goes in the draw for a set of note cards, design of your choice.   So, to enter you must humour me and help me solve a terrible conundrum.  Please do read on if you want to play…….

Will you pretend with me that you want to purchase a set of four note cards.  You are ready and champing at the bit to get into letter writing again, these doodly cards are the perfect size for a chatty and cheerful note to get the ball rolling.  You feel that the cost of $NZ17 is affordable, you know, that’s just $4 per card and 25c per envelope, cheaper than most mass produced cards.

And then you check out shipping costs.  (We’ve been here before recently, yes? Well, here we go again!)

You discover that four note cards with envelopes costs $17 + $15 shipping for International customers and $5 shipping for domestic customers.  Suddenly the cards from the corner store are looking way more appealing!

The thing that pushes the cost up is the size of the envelopes, they take the packet from letter rate to small packet rate, which is the same rate I send small light catchers around the world for.  And there’s a big difference in size and weight between 4 note cards and a triple strand light catcher!

So what if you just bought your own envelopes from the local store?

Four note cards with no envelopes costs $16 + $3 shipping  – anywhere in the world.

Which scenario would you prefer?

Hit your option choice in the poll box

*$NZ16 = $US11.50 / $Ca15.11 / $Au15.05 / UKP9.20

Double your amount for total cost inc shipping of option 1

But talk to me too – I love you to talk to me  🙂

Do you have a favourite design or colour way?

All regular chatterers will go in the draw, your choice of note card pack:

*Carnaby Street

*Summer Garden

*Cosmic Time

*Evening Garden

*Mixed Notes {one of each collection)

And finally, Siddy says “Helllloooooo!” to his fans

March 16 3

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!

On Being An Artist/Designer

Well, it’s partly exciting and partly not…..

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from an on-line designer store named ‘Vida’ inviting me to become one of their designers. They had seen my art work the mail said and were very excited by how it would translate into bags, cushions, scarves, wraps and tops.

I, of course, was hugely flattered and not a little sceptical and asked three people whose opinions I trust implicitly to check them out too.  Two were my daughters and the third my friend Alys.

The daughters were spending time together in Wellington and a couple of days later sent me this ever so slightly tongue-in-cheek response:

We think it looks very professional and very inviting.

We think it would be a very exciting thing to be a part of! We love the idea that everyone involved in the process matters equally and is remunerated accordingly.
Regardless of whether you do sell anything this is a great opportunity to showcase your artwork to the world. Also we think your artwork would stand up very well against anything else on the website currently.
And some of your pieces were made for this medium.
Do it!!!!!
Alys responded:
So, I’m pretty excited for you after reviewing this site, checking out some of the press and following them on Facebook…………….
She went on to give an impressive breakdown of the companies background and the legalities involved in being a designer for them.
With such thorough researchers and information like this who would not hit the ‘sign me up button’ and throw themselves in boots and all?
I was really impressed by the fact that the company stated they treat everyone involved in the process equally.  Items are made in Pakistan and the workers have access to literacy and numeracy programmes as part of their jobs.
This morning I received a note from Vida with a $15 discount code attached which can be used by anybody purchasing anything from my collection, from now until the 12th of February.
I was keen to buy a ‘Small Things’ tote bag, a great way of advertising my work I thought, plus I still like that painting even though it is now three years old.
Small Things
There’s no perks being a ‘contributing artist’ to Vida, in fact one is invited to spend up to $US250  purchasing samples of ones own work to show potential customers when touting ones wares….
Any how, I went through the check out process, obtained my $15 discount from my $60 tote and it all went rather swimmingly until I hit the shipping bit.  $US50!!  But, that’s more than my purchase!!  That is ridiculous!!
In short – I  can’t afford to buy my own stuff  🙂
C’est la vie!!
Below is an example of my Inky Doodles ‘Summer Garden’ transformed into a simple top.
Summer Garden
Update 16th February 2017
After working with ShopVida for just two weeks I decided to delete and close my collection with them.   Nothing that was stated as the support given to their artists was forth-coming.  Help was not forth-coming even when asked for.  The demands made on my time became ludicrous and there were multiple and contradictory emails sent to me by several different people, none of whom seemed to know what the other had said or done.
The final straw was broken when I received an email that stated that even though they did not have a high resolution file (they did) for an item that had been sold, if I did not supply one withing 48 hours the item would be made up and sent to the customer ‘so they would not have to wait any longer for your lovely art work.’
I blew my top and sent an email listing all the questions I had previously asked, all the assistance I had previously requested and ended by saying


If you got this far, my thanks for reading.   I’d like to think the three items that have been sold can be sent to the people who purchased them as high quality products, otherwise I would hope you would refund them their money.  And then I would like to remove my work from your site.
The reply to that email contained an apology: yes they had the files; an excuse: he had been sick and omitted to tell any one he had the files and a cajoling plea not to leave
We definitely value you and will work on to provide better support since we don’t want lose a talented and valuable artist as your self. Please let me know what I can do to alleviate your frustrations with the company that I caused and I’ll do my best to work it out.
I momentarily felt sorry for him, the poor bloke had been told to fall on his sword!
But, as I had, on several occasions, stated what I required from them to feel supported and reiterated it in the email to which he was responding, I didn’t feel like going through it all again and never replied.  I deleted all my designs from the collection except for the three that had sold.  And those will be deleted as soon as the orders are filled.
There’s more, the incompetencies continued even after that, but I won’t bore you with the details.
So that was an interesting little sojourn into a modern pyramid selling scheme, one where the artist gets to figure it all out by themselves, do all the work required in uploading their art, placing it on the ‘designer clothing’ advertise the company, market their own products, purchase their own samples and respond immediately to every demand the production team make of them.  All this, while (I imagine) the entrepreneurial folk  swan about in their airy and bright offices spending all their time searching Google on their iphones and ipads for uplifting and inspiring quotes, writing wonderful treatises on how the company values and supports their contributing artists and makers and having excited and voluble conversations about how they are changing the world over long and tastily trendy lunches paid for out of the gross income earned by the hard work of the artists and makers.
My plea – don’t buy from ShopVida or believe any of their beautifully worded and presented ethos.  In my experience there is not a word of truth in it.
Gah!!  I should have known better!  My work will continue to sit in the little shop on my blog if you ever want to own any of it.  Otherwise I will do as I have always done – make for the pleasure of making, tell you about it and give it away when I think it might bring a bit of light to someones life.

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!