pen rainbow

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wednesday—Good for You, Good for The Home: Reused Envelopes

Borrow a bat'leth letter opener from your favorite Klingon
A fantastic way to reuse envelopes by turning them inside out!

My very thrifty and very smart daughter is visiting from Copenhagen for 3 weeks, and she showed me a way to reuse envelopes that is not only fun, but it's also a way to make good reuse of all of the paper mail that comes into your house every day.

The original idea came from the Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyzyn whose last name is pronounced, "decision." All you need is a letter opener and some tape.  You don't even need a Klingon bat'leth letter opener if you have a steady hand and can carefully open the flap without tearing it.

Check out this impressive 5-minute interview with Amy (now retired) who published the Tightwad Gazette newsletter from 1990 through 1996.  She is one smart cookie!  You can still get her excellent tips compiled in a book available on Amazon in both new & used versions.  My daughter paid $5 for her book.  :)

How to Make Inside-Out Envelopes

1.  Start with an unopened letter.  Open it carefully without tearing the flap. 

How to open a sealed envelope without tearing it:  If you have time, pop it into the freezer for a couple of hours to weaken the glue and make it brittle. Then, carefully slide the blunt edge of a butter knife underneath the flap to detach it from the envelope.  Freezing allows you to open the flap without any damage, unlike steaming which will warp the paper.
Freeze for 2 hrs to open the main flap without tearing

2.  Carefully release the side flaps

open both side flaps

3.  Turn the envelope inside out, then tape the side flaps

turn the envelope inside out
the postal code will be on the inside
tape the side flaps

4.  Seal the outside flap with tape OR if the flap is a little messy looking, tuck it inside of the envelope, then tape it shut

use tape to seal the envelope or...
tuck the flap into the envelope & seal with tape

5.  Stylish & cool reusable envelopes!  

3 really great looking envelopes!