My search for the optimal packaging solution has resulted in me going through something of a papercraft mania. I’ve found all sorts of fascinating ideas all over the place. Here are some of the places they have led me:
Please note, my experiments were made with A4 printer paper, because that’s what we use here in the UK. You may therefore find that some of the templates don’t align correctly when printed to letter-size paper. Sorry! (They can be possibly be tweaked by adjusting print-scale etc, though.)
How to Fold an ATC (or Mini) Envelope
Two different-sized templates, plus photo instructions & tips will show you how to fold (yes fold – no cutting or gluing necessary) an envelope out of a single sheet of paper. It’s really easy! One template is specifically for ATCs, the other will make slightly smaller envelopes. But follow the instructions, and you can use whatever paper you like, to create an envelope of almost any size. Think of the possibilities – it’s like origami, but practical!
How to Make a Cardholder Wallet
Just with 2 or 3 pieces of waste paper, and the awesome power of folding! Perfect for storing ATCs, business cards, gift cards, or anything you can fold down to a similar size.
How to Make a Matchbook Notepad out of a Jelly Packet
The header of this one says it all, really. All you need is a dab of glue, a couple of staples, and a sheet of paper, and it’s finished – a cool, re-purposed notebook. Waste not, want not!
Envelope Template & Instructions PDF
This one isn’t origami, but with just a few folds (no cutting) and a dab of glue, you can fold an envelope large enough to hold 4″ x 6″ contents. Use up any waste paper/junk mail that is only printed on one side. The template includes name and address spaces that will be printed onto the outside of your envelope. To use the template for a self-mailer, simply print your template onto paper that is blank on both sides, and write your letter on what will be the inside of the envelope!
Make Your Own… Matchbox
Adapted from my Borrowers zine – check it out for a tiny zine that you can fold to fit into your matchbox!
How to Make a Mini Magazine Notebook with Pockets
I was trying to make a notebook cover with integral pockets out of a single sheet of paper – and I succeeded! My trial run was with the page from a magazine, as I didn’t want to use up my printer paper, or have a plain, blank cover (but you can use whatever paper you like, of similar size).
Click above for instructions, examples, and a no-measure template.
How to Make a Reversible Notebook
How to make the Easiest Mini-zine Ever!
(same diagrams, slightly different presentation)
using just one sheet of paper, one cut (or tear), and a few folds. This is a notebook for emergencies that you can make instantly, with any rectangular piece of paper to hand, and will conveniently fit into pretty much any pocket.
‘Origami’ CD Wallet
Fold a simple CD Wallet out of a single sheet of A4 paper (it has to be simple, so my husband can do it himself, unsupervised 😉 ). Just follow the instructions, or print the template directly onto your paper ( no measuring required!). You can also use the template as guidance for printing on the reverse of your CD wallet.
Simple Bookbinding a la Corey
If you don’t have a long-arm stapler to hand, but you do have a push pin (or something similarly sharp) and a paperclip, my genius husband shows you how to bind a booklet the easy way.