Glassine envelopes

(from sarah)

So I decided to finally get myself into gear and make some sort of valentine type craft with the kiddos. One of my favorite things we’ve (I’ve) made in the past are glassine like envelopes, so we went with that.

They’re pretty simple to make, so I thought I’d work up a little tutorial. My first ever!

(A word of warning – they’re simple and straightforward to make, but if you have three children who need to make 20 Valentine’s each – and you’re more sane than me – I’d recommend some Dino’s or heart shaped cookies. This project is best enjoyed when your final project requirements are less than or equal to twenty. Or maybe ten. Sixty is definitely too many.)

First, what you need:

wax paper

tissue paper

an iron

paper towels

That’s pretty much it.

All right, let’s get started.

First: cut some strips of tissue paper. I made mine about two inches wide and that worked just about perfectly.

Second:  decide what shape or design you want to cut your tissue paper into. I used my Martha heart punch. Any shape or design would work nicely. I’m thinking it might be fun to do a stained glass look in the future with assorted rectangles and triangles. Just be sure that your design allows for space between tissue paper shapes for the wax paper to hold together.

Third: Start punching. Here’s an important tip: put a piece of cardstock or even computer paper behind the tissue paper. Punches and tissue paper alone do not a happy couple make. There needs to be a third party involved here. Plus, if you use some colorful cardstock you’ll have all kinds of hearts to let your kids decorate their Valentine’s cards with.

I’ve become an upside down puncher. I might be the last one on the planet to do this, but it makes it so much easier to line up your papers and punch and not have huge wasteful margins. If you haven’t tried it yet, I highly recommend it.

Finally, you shouldn’t have any trouble with punching several pieces of tissue paper with your cardstock. If you get a few that don’t quite punch all the way through, just reduce your amount of tissue paper. I had three tissue papers with two cardstocks going for a while there.

Once you’ve got a nice stash piled up, you’re ready to make some glassine ‘paper’.

Grab your wax paper. Put a good sized sheet down (mine were about 18 inches). Arrange your tissue paper hearts. Try to get them all face up – there is a right and a wrong side to the tissue paper. Layer another piece of wax paper over the top.

You might be tempted to use your cardstock heart here also but I’ll warn you it’s never worked out well for me. You really want the delicacy of the tissue paper here.

Take it over to your ironing board (carefully!) and layer your wax paper sandwich between a paper towel sandwich. This will save you from cursing yourself because you melted wax paper all over your new iron.

You could probably get away with just putting a paper towel on the top layer, but I’ve honestly never thought to try it until just now.

Set your iron on a low, dry heat (no steam!) and iron away. Make sure the iron has had a chance to warm up fully. If you don’t you’ll be left with lots of air bubbles.

Treat the wax paper as you would fusible interfacing – don’t run the iron up and down it, instead place it firmly down and then pick it up and move it over. That seems to help reduce the bubbling also.

Voila! You’ve got glassine ‘paper’. Now you’re ready to make it into some envelopes.

I cut my sheets into strips about 2.5 by 6 inches and then rounded the corners on the top. (Notice the bubbling where I got a little impatient and didn’t let the iron heat fully?)

(I also just noticed that my plastic ruler there has a random someone’s address label stuck to it. I got it from a thrift store about two years ago. It’s amazing what you stop noticing when you see it everyday.)

I folded up the bottom third, taped the sides and had my self a mini envelope.

Repeat a few times and you’ve got a whole pile full.

They’re perfect for a mini cookie (or if you cut them bigger, a full cookie snack),

Or your favorite Valentine’s Day candy.

We taped the flap shut and attached them to some Valentine’s cards the kids had decorated earlier. Decorative stickers would be much cuter than tape, but I didn’t have any and was not about to pack everyone up to go sticker hunting.

And that my friends is how to make a glassine envelope. If you try it I’d love to see what you make!

We’d also love to hear about your Valentine’s ideas. Leave a link in the comments and show us what you’ve been up to!

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This entry was posted in Valentine's 2011 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Glassine envelopes

  1. wendy says:

    I’m doing that. Totally doable for me 🙂

  2. damara says:

    I just love this and I am DEFINATELY trying this! cool idea:) I found your link through Jasmine Star’s comments…love your site!

  3. Sandy Christy says:

    I must try this with the grandkids. Or by myself. It looks so-o-o fun.

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