5 Ways to Upcycle YarnYAY! Shipping Envelopes

YarnYAY! Envelopes

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

Upcycled Envelope Garland | YarnYAY!



Add a little happy to your craft-space!

Other Materials:

Scrapbook Paper


Glue Stick

Washi Tape

Ribbon or twine

DIY crafty garland


  • 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.


DIY Bookmark | Upcycle shipping envelopes


Other Materials:

Scrapbook Paper


Glue Stick

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.


Recycle/Upcycle shipping envelopes | Make a catch-all valet!


Great for crafty notions!

Other Materials:


4 paperclips OR Hot Glue Gun

Recycled paper tray | Vickie Howell for YarnYAY!


  • 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.


Upcycled Envelope Graph Notebook for Knitters


Chart out that design inspiration for your next project.

Other Materials:



Sharp Tapestry Needle

Bookbinding Thread or Embroidery Floss

Bookbinding | DIY Notebook


  • 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. 


Upcycle a shipping envelope into a tote bag | Vickie Howell for YarnYAY!



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.

Other Materials:


Sewing Machine & Thread OR

Hot Glue Gun

Recycled kraft paper envelope makes a great project bag for knitting! Vickie Howell for YarnYAY!


  • 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.



7 Responses to “5 Ways to Upcycle YarnYAY! Shipping Envelopes”

  1. Diana Felgenhauer

    Great ideas for the packaging. I’m going to do the bag and make some bookmarks…..thanks for all the ideas.

  2. Susie Bingham

    I love these. I think I still have some of the first bag so I’m going to make the notebook and the bag. Thanks Vickie for all the fun ideas. Plus the contents are pretty cool too!

  3. Christina Branch

    Loving the bag, gonna do it! THANK YOU YET AGAIN VICKIE HOWELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. MamaLlama

    Love the desk caddy idea, need that when doing a project that requires a counter, scissors, & markers. Luv it!!


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