Amelia’s Magazine | Craftastic. What to do with old envelopes?

What to do with them?

Illustrations by Farzeen jabbar

Perhaps its because I’m getting older, adiposity perhaps I’m becoming more eccentric or perhaps its one too many glasses of wine but I am becoming increasingly intolerant of waste. The latest object of my ‘waste rage’ is envelopes. I am ‘online billed’ to my eyeballs, dosage but I still seem to receive an avalanche of junk mail and catalogues for companies I’ve never heard of through the post. Its probably Facebook’s fault; selling my soul to Identity Theft R Us and

But before I retreat into an envelope and Facebook induced pit of fury, order I’ll bring this baby back to the point.

What to do with those pesky envelopes?

According to the folk at Green Box Day the average British family throws away 6 trees worth of paper in their household bin a year. Thats 120 trees over 20 years, which is, like, a small forest. Or something. Obviously reducing the amount of paper we bring home is the best thing, but finding ways to reuse the stuff is the next best thing.

Before you recycle (or chuck away, tut tut) your next envelope, look closely at it. Envelopes have a rather nice graphic blue or black pattern lining the inside. Once you start noticing, I warn you its a slippery slope. You may find yourself rating companies according to the graphics they choose for the inside of their envelopes. Tate, for examples get top marks in my book, but HSBC are at the bottom of the cool envelope lining charts.

These small graphic patterns would lend themselves well to something small… like muffin toppers. Or cake bunting. Don’t you see?! (ahem)

You will need

Old envelopes
Ruler and pencil
Needle and thread
Cocktail sticks
Pritt stick

Firstly, make a stencil of the flag shape of your choice, trace onto the envelope several times and cut them out.

envelope stencil

Use a bit of glue to wrap the flag around a cocktail stick.

Stick in to some perfectly formed muffins (like these stupidly easy banana muffins I made at the weekend)

They look tres cute, no?

An alternative to muffin toppers is a string of mini paper envelope bunting.

Cut out some tiny triangles, and using a needle and thread, pierce the triangles twice with the needle. Prepare for ‘small pain’ rage.

Then string them together.

Or if all that is all a bit pointless and over the top for you (bah humbug), you could just save them for your shopping lists. Just cut off the gummy bits, make a hole in the corner and tie them together. A free, self replenishing notepad, handy for to do lists and passive aggressive notes to housemates and other halves.

Whilst researching for this article, I realized that I can register my address at the mail preference register to stop junk mail. My level of excitement about this is unequaled. Go forth and experience the joy.

This column attempts to provide lovely ways to recycle junk into useful and beautiful things. If you have had a genius recycling idea or if you are stuck with something you don’t want to chuck away, leave a comment and let me know! I may feature your idea or I will try and come up with a solution to your recycling conundrum.

P.s I am currently trying to think of a decent name for this feature. Any suggestions warmly welcomed.

Categories ,Baking, ,craft, ,diy, ,earth, ,Envelopes, ,Food, ,recycle, ,Reuse

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