The Paper is a creative blog from The Paper Mill Store
Project Pointers: Envelope Envy

Project Pointers: Envelope Envy

Envelopes are an oft-forgotten but certainly indispensable aspect of sending holiday cards, sort of like the cranberry sauce at your Thanksgiving or holiday feast. Store bought holiday cards (like ours!) come with envelopes, but if you prefer to make your own holiday cards by hand, you’ll need to buy envelopes separately.

You may think that choosing an envelope is as simple as cracking open a can of cranberry sauce, but there’s more to it than that. Picking an envelope is more like making your own cranberry sauce from scratch – it looks better, tastes better, and is not as hard as you think. (Don’t believe me? Here’s a cranberry sauce recipe that will prove my claim.)

Between different flap styles and paper finishes, you have a ton of great envelope options for your homemade cards.

Flap Styles

Announcement Envelopes

“Announcement” envelopes are also called “A-style” or “A-size” envelopes (not to be confused with A4 paper, the international standard for paper sizing). They are attractive and contemporary, and are easily identifiable because of their flat flaps.

Constellation Jade Silver Announcement Envelopes
BriteHue Red Announcement Envelopes
Strathmore Pastelle Natural White Envelopes

Announcement envelopes are more casual than other flap styles, and they’re commonly used for:

  • Invitations, including wedding invitations!
  • Greeting and holiday cards
  • Photos
  • Promotional or marketing material

Shop our full range of announcement envelopes here!

Baronial Envelopes

Unlike announcement envelopes, baronial envelopes have a pointed flap.

Fine Impressions Stationery Hi White Baronial Envelopes with Pearl Liner
Flavours Gourmet Chili Arbol Baronial Envelopes
Fine Impressions Stationery Ecru Baronial Envelopes

They’re more formal than announcement envelopes, which make them perfect for:

  • Formal announcements
  • Wedding invitations
  • Hand-lettered notes

If you’re looking for a more formal envelope, check out our selection of baronial envelopes.

Square Envelopes

Because of their unconventional shape, square envelopes are the perfect way to attract the attention of your family and friends. Imagine sorting through your daily pile of junk mail, bills, and flyers. Suddenly you come across an unexpected square envelope from a loved one – what a lovely holiday surprise!

ASPIRE Petallics Silver Ore Square Envelopes
Glama Natural Kiwi Square Envelopes

Exact Ice White Square Envelopes

Keep in mind that square cards are non-standard, so they usually require more postage. Check with your local post office before you mail your cards – you don’t want to mail them out only to have them come back to you undelivered!

Shop our range of square envelopes here.

Paper Finishes

In addition to different flap styles and envelope shapes, you can also choose between a variety of paper finishes. From translucent to metallic to lined envelopes, The Paper Mill Store has an envelope that suits any card.


Translucent envelopes will get your loved ones excited as soon as they open their mailbox! They add an unexpected, interesting visual element to your holiday messages, and they also open up new card-design opportunities because your recipients can preview your creation before they even open the envelope.

Translucent envelopes are more fun than metallic or lined envelopes. They’re also a bit more casual, so they’re perfect for:

  • Birthday cards
  • Party invitations
  • Birth announcements
  • Thank you cards
  • A friendly note!
Glama Natural Kiwi Announcement Envelopes
Glama Natural Clear Square Envelopes
Red Envelopes

Need some inspiration? Check out how Paper & Stitch used our translucent envelopes to create a fun Halloween card. Just substitute in a holiday message and you’re good to go!

Shop for translucent envelopes in any color here.


Metallic envelopes are classier and more elegant than translucent envelopes, which makes them ideal for:

  • Wedding invitations, save-the-dates, and thank you cards
  • Formal parties, including invitations and thank you cards
  • New Years celebrations
ASPIRE Petallics Wine Cup Metallic Envelopes
ASPIRE Petallics Autumn Hay Metallic Envelopes
ASPIRE Petallics Greeneyes Metallic Envelopes

They’ll also help get your cards noticed amongst the profusion of other holiday mail.

See our selection of metallic envelopes here. We have metallic envelopes in every color, so you’re sure to find one that suits your cards perfectly!


Foil-lined envelopes are like mullets (if mullets were awesome) – business on the outside, party on the inside. They’re perfect for holiday cards or New Years party invitations, and are a great way to add a luxurious element to your messages without breaking the bank.

Fine Impressions Stationery Hi White Foil-Lined Envelopes with Silver Liner

Fine Impressions Stationery Hi White Foil-Lined Envelopes with Red Liner

Fine Impressions Stationery Ecru Foil-Lined Envelopes with Gold Liner

The Paper Mill Store sells silver, gold, and red foil-lined envelopes in a variety of sizes. Check them out here! They’re perfect for the holidays.


Pearl-lined envelopes are subtle and understated, which makes them a great choice for wedding invitations, greeting cards, and announcements.

Fine Impressions Stationery Ecru Pearl-LinedEnvelopes with Pearl Liner
Fine Impressions Stationery Hi White Pearl-Lined Envelopes with Pearl Liner

We sell pearl-lined envelopes in white or ecru. Shop here!

Envelope and Addressing Tips and Tricks

Not sure which envelope is the right one for your card? We’ve put together a list of tips to help you decide.

  1. If you want to get noticed, colorful, metallic, or translucent envelopes are a great way to stand out from the pack. If you’re committed to using a white envelope, foil-lined envelopes add some excitement.
  2. Address your envelopes properly! There are different ways to address envelopes for different uses, such as personal mail, professional outreach, or for international addresses. For more addressing tips, read this.
  3. Always include a return address. If your message doesn’t make it to your recipient for some reason, including a return address ensures that your hard work and craftiness returns to you, and not to an anonymous pile of undeliverable mail. If you want to surprise your recipient, you don’t have to include your name, just your address!
  4. Leave space for a stamp. If you’re hand-decorating or hand-lettering your envelopes, always remember to leave room for postage! Find out how much postage you need before you address your card to make sure you have enough space.
  5. Use the right postage. Some cards, such as square cards, require extra postage. This postage calculator will help you determine how much postage you need.
  6. If you have a lot of letters or cards, use printed address labels instead of writing out every address and return address by hand. Printed addresses will save you time, leaving you more time to make more awesome holiday cards!
  7. Hand-letter your envelopes. A hand-lettered envelope adds a beautiful personal touch to your correspondence. If you want to turn your mail into a work of art, this tutorial will get you started.

Envelope Envy

You spent hours making beautiful handmade cards – they deserve a beautiful envelope! Like pairing a homemade cranberry sauce with a perfectly cooked turkey, the right envelope is the best way to finish your holiday cards off with an unexpected touch of that “something special” we all look for during the holiday season.

Steph Schinkel

Steph is an avid crafter, DIY enthusiast, and regular contributor to The Paper who loves to handmake all of her cards. Above all else, Steph is a die-hard foodie with a massive sweet tooth and a deep, soul-consuming love for chocolate.