Paper 101 - Envelopes
Formatting your envelopes for printing can be tricky if you are not familiar with postal requirements and where the individual elements go. We've assembled this guide to take the guesswork out of envelopes for you!
When formatting your envelopes, it is important to keep in mind that the postal machines need certain spaces on the envelope to be blank. All envelopes should have a 5/8" blank strip on the bottom, and 1/4" around the outer edge. This allows your envelopes to be processed properly in the postal machines.
CREATING YOUR DOCUMENT
The first thing you will need to do is create your documents in your design software that are the proper size. (We recommend Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, or Adobe InDesign.) If you are printing your return address on the front of the envelope, you will only need one document this size. If you are printing your return address on the back flap of the envelope, you will need two documents this size.
The document sizes (height x width) for each envelope size are:
- A7- 5.25" x 7.25"
- A6- 4.75" x 6.5"
- A2- 4.375" x 5.75"
- A1/4-bar- 3.625" x 5.125"
Once you have your document(s) created, you can upload the templates below into your document to show you where to place your information. (Click the link to open, then click the arrow in the top right of the screen to download to your computer.)
- A7 Envelope
- A6 Envelope
- A2 envelope
- A1/4-bar envelope
Once you have placed your information on your document, delete the template before you print. Then you'll have envelopes with perfect text placement!
SEALING YOUR ENVELOPES
Making sure your envelopes have a good seal is integral to ensuring they make it through the mail safely. The following tips will help you be sure you get it just right! Need a visual? Watch the video below these tips!
- WATER: It's important to make sure you are using the correct amount of water to seal your envelopes. No one wants to lick envelopes (yuck!) so we recommend using a foam paintbrush to seal them. Dip your foam brush in a bit of water, squeeze out the excess, then carefully run it along the adhesive strip of the envelope. You want enough water to fully dampen the strip, but not so much that it drips off or ripples the paper. Test this on a blank envelope before trying it on your printed envelopes.
- PRESSURE: The glue on envelopes does not seal immediately, so it is important to apply pressure to the seal after closing the envelope. After adding the water and folding it closed, run your fingers along the seams for 10-15 seconds to ensure that it fully adheres. For extra peace of mind, you can stack a heavy hardcover book on the envelopes until they are fully dry.
- LINERS: If you're using an envelope liner, you want to place the liner below the adhesive, leaving the adhesive fully exposed. Covering part of the adhesive may prevent your envelopes from sealing properly.
- OTHER WAYS TO SEAL: If using water to seal your envelopes makes you nervous, you can also use glue sticks (like the ones they use in elementary school), Zip Dry Glue, or a tape runner.
Creating your own envelope liners is an easy way to elevate your card/invitation making. Not only does it make the envelope feel nice and sturdy, but it also gives a "wow" factor when you open the envelope! Click the image below to be taken to our Envelope Liner tutorial!