Upcycle Shipping Envelopes
Recently we decided to (literally) think outside of the box when it came to shipment packaging for my subscription “box” club, YarnYAY! As much as I love the aqua boxes that my monthly, curated goodies had been shipping in for a year-and-a-half, it bothered me how much labor went into assembling boxes and even more so, how much waste was involved in filling them with protective crinkle paper. So, my team and I decided to experiment with lessening our carbon (and wo/man-hour) footprint by sending out our subscription “packs” in heavy-duty, 100% recyclable, biodegradable & compostable kraft envelopes, made from 90% post-consumer materials and printed with water-based dyes. The result: packaging with a purpose! Not only are we able to fold the generously-sized envelopes to accommodate whatever yarns and notions we’re shipping that month, but we also printed graph paper — perfect for knitters and crocheters to chart out designs and schematics — on the back of each pack.
That all sounds pretty good, right? I mean, how can one not feel good about doing at least a little bit better for our gal, planet earth? Why, though, stop there? Now we know that we can recycle our packs, but hows-about we stir those creative juices with a few projects in which we upcycle the shipping envelopes into something completely new? Fun, yeah? Let’s do this!
5 Ways to Upcycle YarnYAY! Shipping Envelopes
#1 FESTIVE GARLAND
Add a little happy to your craft-space!
Ribbon or twine
- Cut 8″ x 8 ¼” triangle flags out of scrapbook paper.
- Cut out the crafty elements from the kraft envelope.
- Glue kraft envelope elements onto front-sides of triangles.
- Using washi tape, attach ribbon or twine to back of flags.
#2 BE-POMMED BOOKMARK
Yarn + Pompom Maker
- Cut out a 2 ½” x 7″ strip of kraft envelope, and a slightly larger strip of scrapbook paper.
- Using desired method, make a small (appx. 1 ½”) pompom, leaving 3″ tails.
- Sandwich the pompom tails, with about 1″ exposed, in between the kraft envelope and scrapbook paper layers. Adhere layers together using a glue stick.
#3 DESK CATCH-ALL VALET
Great for crafty notions!
4 paperclips OR Hot Glue Gun
- Cut a large rectangle (mine is 13″ x 11″) out of the kraft envelope.
- Fold and make a crease 2″ in from each side and end.
- Pinch corner and hold together with a paperclip or a dab of hot glue on the WS of the pinched portion. Repeat for 3 other corners.
#4 GRAPH NOTEBOOK
Chart out that design inspiration for your next project.
Sharp Tapestry Needle
Bookbinding Thread or Embroidery Floss
- Cut out two, 8″ x 11″ pieces of the graph side of the YarnYAY! kraft envelope.
- Note: if you’re using another type of kraft envelope, use the same method to make a sketchbook instead of a graph notebook!
- Layer the sheets of kraft paper together; fold in half width-wise.
- Using the ruler and tapestry needle, poke 5 holes equidistant from each other along the fold (aka “spine”).
- Using tapestry needle and thread or floss and the Pamphlet Stitch, bind pages together.
#5 PROJECT TOTE BAG
Wait, what? You can turn the envelope your yarn came in, into the project bag you carry your knitting or crochet project in? Mind. Blown.
Sewing Machine & Thread OR
Hot Glue Gun
- Cut top 3″-4″ off of top of kraft envelope. Cut that piece into 2, even strips (mine are about 3″ x 16″ each). These will be your strap pieces.
- Fold strap piece in half width-wise and glue together OR sew together using a ¼” seam allowance. Set aside.
- Fold bag top down about 1 ¼” for hem; glue down OR sew using a ¼” seam allowance.
- Sew or glue strap onto the WS of the front of the bag, spacing each end evenly from each side. Repeat for the second strap on the back of the bag.