Envelope Journals-Easy Binding Ideas

6 min readMay 31, 2024


The easiest way to create a handmade journal is to create an envelope journal. Why would that be, you might ask.

  • There is no real binding necessary. The envelopes are glued together. This is a great technique for beginning Journalists.
  • There are very few supplies needed. This is a simple journal that anyone can make. It is a great craft for anyone from children to senior adults to create.
  • You can use any media to decorate your envelopes. Crayons, paints, inks, stamps and so much more. Use whatever you have to create your own personal journal.
  • You can recycle envelopes and cardboard for a cover. Yes, you can recycle envelopes from the mail. I always save return envelopes and envelopes from greeting cards that I receive for future use. I recuse cardboard from boxes in my kitchen for covers for my journals.

Envelope Journal Options

The biggest option or choice that you can make is to add a cover to your envelope journal. You can check out TrueGether, the best eBay alternative, for journal ideas and supplies. Most envelope journals are simply envelopes that are connected together to create a journal.

But if you want to add some sturdiness, you can add cardboard or other materials to create a cover and spine while still using the envelopes as the signature(pages) in your journal.

Creating A Theme For Your Envelope Journal

There are so many themes that you can use to create your custom envelope journal. Whatever you want to celebrate, or highlight is the perfect opportunity to create a special envelope journal to commemorate the occasion.

  • Special birthday or anniversary
  • Baby shower or birth
  • New home
  • Family trip or travels
  • Seasonal holiday
  • Seasons
  • Pets

I’ll bet that you can think of a lot more ways to celebrate the special moments in your life with an envelope journal.

Adding Color And Design To Your Envelopes

If you are not planning to use colored envelopes, you may want to add some color or cover the print of return envelopes for your journal. There are multiple ways to cover and add color to your journal.

Use Paper

Time to take out your scraps and look to see what paper you might be able to use to cover any print on the envelopes you are planning to use. Cut the paper to the size that you need and glue or decoupage the paper on it.

Use Distress Or Distress Oxide Ink

Apply some distressed ink with an ink applicator. You can layer the ink until you get the effect that you want.

Edge the end of your envelopes with a brown or black to add some additional dimension.

Paint The Envelopes

First, add a layer of gesso and let the envelope dry. Choose some acrylic paint more than three. You can scrap the paint on with an old gift card or credit card. Or you can do any number of art journal backgrounds in miniature on your envelopes.

Use Ink Sprays

Spary your envelopes with ink sprays and let them dry.

Stencil The Envelopes

Use some watered-down paint as a base for the envelope. It would be smart to add some gesso on the envelope too before adding the base. Then use any media that you have available to stencil a design on the envelope.

Stamp A Design

Cover the envelope and let it dry. Then paint a base of slightly watered-down acrylic paint. Finally, stamp and color a design on the envelope. You can color the stamped design or leave it as it is.

Uses For Envelope Journals

There are several ways to use an envelope journal. Creating them gives you practical ways to use your old envelopes, junk mail envelopes, and scrap paper. This is a recycling project that will use things that you normally would toss towards your local landfill.

  1. As a junk journal. This is an amazing way to create a junk journal with very little binding. You can create instant pockets and ephemera using envelopes.
  2. As a college journal. You can create collages all over your envelopes and still have pockets.
  3. As a glue book. Just glue cutouts and images onto your envelopes to create an interesting piece of art.
  4. As an art journal. You can use envelopes to create art journal pieces and then store more sheets of art in the envelopes.
  5. To store ephemera. Use the envelopes to store pieces of ephemera that you want to store for later use.
  6. As a travel journal. It is great to have an envelope journal on your special trip. All kinds of mementos can be tucked inside of the envelopes that you have within. For this journal, you will also want to add a signature or two where you can record your thoughts. (a signature is just a group of paper pages bound together.

Supplies For Your Envelope Journal

The supplies that you may use for your envelope journal depends on your theme and use for it. Here are some suggestions for supplies to use.:

  • Envelopes-a collection of envelopes in the same size. You decide how many to include. Use envelopes that come in the mail, ones you have on hand or ones that you create.
  • Glue-different glues are needed depending on what you are using them for. You will need PVA glue to glue envelopes together. Tacky glue to glue on anything heavier than paper like embellishments.
  • Double sided tape in different widths.
  • Images from magazines and pictures
  • Stickers
  • Buttons
  • Doiles

Make Custom Envelopes For Your Envelope Journal

Have you ever considered creating your own envelopes for your envelope journal? It is a different approach to creating journals with a truly custom look. without a lot of fuss or bother.

You can select any paper that you have to create an envelope and then use it to make your journal. Making your own envelopes means that you can select colors and patterns that are meant to go together. You can color-coordinate your envelopes or just go with mixed patterns.

One way to create your envelopes is to use an envelope board. This tool is well worth the cost in many ways beyond the envelope journal. This board assists you in making an envelope in any size in about 5 minutes with just a few easy steps. Not only can you make envelopes for your envelope journals, but also for greeting cards. You can also use it to make journal pockets and hidden journal pockets on scrapbook pages. This tool also comes with a bone folder and a corner rounder built in.

The second way to make your envelopes is with an envelope template. There are a lot of templates available on your favorite internet browser. Just type in the size you want with the word envelope templates or just envelope templates. Choose the template that you would like and print it on cardstock. You can trace and cut the template on cardboard if you want to keep it. Tracing it on cardboard also gives you a sturdier tool to do multiple envelopes in one sitting.

A third way to create your own custom envelopes is to use the program on your electronic cutting machines. These help you find an envelope that you can cut on any paper you may want to use.

Easiest Envelope Journal-Perfect For Beginners

If you have never created a journal, or want a speedy way to create a journal, then this one is for you. This is as easy as it gets, with no binding and no mess. You can use this type of journal for just about any use you can think of. They also make great gifts. I love to use them for photos that are tucked inside for family and friends.


  • 8 envelopes the same size
  • Colored cardstock and scraps
  • Tacky glue or PVA (craft) glue
  • Scissors
  • Yarn or a large length of ribbon
  • Embellishments
  1. Open all the flaps of the envelopes.
  2. Apply the glue to the outside flap of the envelope where the seal is. Cover the entire flap. Make sure to apply the glue evenly so there are no glue lines or bumps.
  3. Place the flap inside the second envelope. Use a brayer to ensure that they stick together. The envelopes should be flush against each other.
  4. Keep repeating the same process until all of the envelopes are glued together.
  5. Cover the top envelope and the back with decorative or printed paper.
  6. Add embellishments as desired.
  7. Use the yard or ribbon to wrap around your journal to keep it closed.


  • Use images from magazines and books to create collages on your envelope pages.
  • Create dimension by edging your envelopes with ribbon and lace.
  • If you are planning to create art on your journal pages, use watercolor or mixed media paper cut to fit the pages of your journal.