Road Map Envelopes

Back in February, for a cross-course project at university, we were asked to come up with and create a pop-up stall that would create an experience for the general public. We were in groups of up to 10, which were decided by the university.

My group chose to create a pop-up shop that would be selling recycled and up-cycled products – this would be creating an eco-friendly experience for those who bought our products. Each member of the group chose and made several items to sell on our stall.

Map EnvelopeInitially, I wanted to create envelopes from an old atlas, but with so many other items to create, and four other projects to work on at the same time, this creation was dropped. However, with university over, some time on my hands and the materials with me, I decided to create them.

The atlas I am using is an old Road Atlas of Britain that came from my dad’s work! The template was something my mum used when she crafted.

As the atlas is a hardback book, it is easier to cut out the pages to work on. For this, I found the center of each signature (the stitching that runs down the center of every set of four pages) and roughly cut down the center. This then gave me eight pages to fold into envelopes.

Taking one of the pages, I placed my template on top and worked out which part of the map I wanted to be on the front of the envelope. The great thing about this template is that you can see through to what is underneath, which helps with the positioning.

Once positioned, I carefully drew around the template with a pencil.

Making sure I kept the template in place, I used a bone scorer to score where the fold lines would be – in the holes on the template.

Having done this, I removed the template and used a metal-edged ruler and a scalpel to cut out the straight lines.

I then carefully cut out the corners free-hand. The corners, or the entire cutting out process, can be done using scissors.

With the map cut down to the template size, the scored lines then need to be folded. This step is fairly easy, as the paper should simply fold along the scored lines.

To seal the bottom flap to the sides, I used double sided tape. The tape I used was 9mm wide which is perfect for this project, as the side flaps aren’t very wide themselves. When applying the tape, I stuck it as close to the edge as possible, leaving a small gap near the fold to prevent sticking inside the envelope, and left a small amount over the end of the flap.

Having put tape against both edges of the bottom flap, I used scissors to trim off the excess around the corners.

When folding up the bottom flap to form the envelope, it can be difficult to get it perfectly flat. An easy way to over come this, and get it stuck as flat as possible, is to peal back a small amount of the top of the tape and fold it out as a wing. Do this on both sides.

When you then fold up the bottom flap, you can carefully remove the rest of the tape as you carefully guide it down flat. Again, do this on both sides. (Thanks mum for this tip! It has served me well over time.)

Then, you have a complete map envelope that is ready for you to use!

If you don’t have double-sided tape that is narrow enough, you can measure and cut a piece that will fit the side of the bottom flap, and cut it in half.

Also, if you don’t have an old atlas lying around, try it with different materials. I created one using brown Kraft paper, but you can use various scrap-booking papers, or even pages from magazines.

And if you don’t have an envelope template, or can’t get hold of one – you can carefully peal apart an unused (or used) envelope and trace around the edges of that, and score down the existing fold lines.

Whatever method and whatever material you use, you are hardly ever likely to create the same envelope twice!

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