By Fausto Mendez
If you’re a fan of #DIY crafts for party favors and trade show giveaways, you should consider adding a personal touch to your event with homemade envelopes in the shape of a related object. This guide is specifically for dumpling-shaped envelopes, but with a little creativity, you can adjust the instructions to create other shapes, such as tacos or muffins.
Themed envelopes can carry anything, including an invite to a lunch pitch or a thanks note coupled with a restaurant gift card. In this case, Erin Jang of The Indigo Bunting put together a set of custom invitations for a friend’s baby shower. The invitations take the shape of a dumpling, and this is how she did it (along with our advice on customizing the project for other shapes/themes).
Step 0 - Gather Your Materials
+ The envelope is made of three layers: an inner layer made of thick paper, a transparent mid layer made of tissue paper, and a touch-friendly outer layer made of cloth. You will also need scissors, a stapler and either a printer or coloring materials, such as markers.
Step 1 - Design, Print and Cut
+ Write or print the invite details on a small piece of paper. Put it to the side. We’ll use it again in step two.
+ Cut a circle-ish shape from dark paper, and fold it in half (like a taco). You can write the first part of your message on the outside of this inner layer. To maximize interest, use a general statement that doesn’t give too much away, such as “let’s have lunch” The mid-layer of the envelope takes the shape of the dumpling itself, though it’s very flat and transparent.
+ To customize this guide for other shapes, you can cut these inner layers in any shape that fits your theme. You can also adjust the colors to fit your desired shape. For example, if you’re building an apple, use a white circle made from construction paper for the inner layer. Use red tissue paper for the mid layer.
Step 2 - Assemble the Inserts
+ Place the invite details into the inner layer of the envelope, and cover the inner layer of the envelope with the middle white layer.
Step 3 - Close the Envelope
+ If you want to maximize the “wow” factor, give your envelope some depth. In this case, Jang inserted candy between the mid layer and the outer layer.
+ Finally, close the outer layer of the envelope with staples. For custom shapes, a different closing mechanism, such as glue or stitches, may be more appropriate. For example, staples could work for muffin-shaped envelopes since the dumplings look a bit like muffin tops. You’d just add the muffin bottom. On the other hand, tacos would require glue and an additional ornament that sticks out of the top, such as spiky green paper, to represent lettuce.
+ If you can spare a few more minutes, check out the whole guide for more, including an idea for a book of comments submitted by the party attendants. Jang used this idea to collect wishes from invitees, but in a business context, you can use a similar idea to collect comments from clients or suggestions from partners.
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