How to Make an Envelope Journal

A Simple Bookmaking Project

Have you ever wanted to create your own book or journal?  Do you find the process of book binding daunting, or have trouble finding the supplies you need for book binding?

Here is a simple way to create your own soft cover journal using nothing but a pack of basic envelopes and some glue.  Later we will learn how to add extra pages with cards if you want more pages.

These envelope journals can be used as a smashbook, a mini-scrapbook, an art journal, or any other reason you can think of to use it for.


For this project you will need:

  • 6 envelopes
    (the ones I used were plain white envelopes and cards measuring 4 inches by 5.5 inches)

    • set the cards aside, but KEEP them for part 2 of this project.
  • White Glue (elmers glue or tacky glue) or a STRONG glue stick such as Elmers Board Mate
    • double sided tape could be used but might not stand up well if wet media is used in the journal
    • DO NOT use a washable or “school” glue if you intend to use wet media in your finished journal


Take one envelope.  Put glue on the inside of the closing flap (the side where the lick and sick glue is).

Once it is covered with glue, tuck it inside of the envelope.  Press together firmly then set aside.

Envelope Journal step 1

Take a second envelope, do nothing to it but set it aside with the first.  These will end up being the covers of your envelope art journal.


You should have 4 envelopes remaining in front of you.

Take two of these envelopes and place them back to back, so that the envelope is open on each side.

Glue the back side (the side without the lick and stick glue) of the envelope flaps together.  Make sure you ONLY glue the flaps.

Envelope Journal Step 2envelope journal step 2 part 2

Repeat this process with the last 2 envelopes.


Take the first envelope you did (with the flap glued inside of it), and one set of your envelopes with the flaps glued together.  Cover ONE side of this flap with glue and insert it glue side down into the pocket of the first envelope.  Press firmly and then close.

envelope journal step 3

You should currently have a booklet in front of you.  The top page should be the pocket side of an envelope.  The bottom page (the one facing your work surface) should be the solid side of an envelope.


Repeat step 3 with your last pair of glued together envelopes, this time sliding the flap glue side down into the top page of your growing envelope booklet.


With your booklet in front of you, pocket side up and solid side down, take your last envelope.  Put glue on the back (not lick and stick) side of your envelope.  Tuck it glue side down into the pocket of your top envelope.  Press firmly and close.

envelope journal step 5


You have made an envelope journal.

envelope journal

You should now have a book with a solid front and back.

As you open the book you have 5 page spreads. (A spread is two pages across)

Your 1st, 3rd, and 5th spreads will have pockets and the right and left sides.  Your 2nd and 4th spreads will have solids pages without pockets.

You can stop here if you wish and start using your journal.  You can decorate the pages, and you can use the pockets to store ICADs, tags, ATCs and anything else that can fit in your envelope.

If you want more than 5 spreads then you can use the six cards you set aside to add pages to your envelope journal.

(all tutorial photos taken by the author)

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    • Nona Morris
    • Nona Morris
    • Nona Morris

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