Giant fabric message envelopes - a tutorial

I got this gorgeous fabric recently and it was perfect for a project I had in mind for my girls; large fabric envelopes which I can use to leave notes, messages or small gifts for them on the kitchen table for them to find in the morning, or when they come in after school.

They were fairly simple to make, and the girls love them!

This fabric suits perfectly because of the envelope print on it, but any fabric would do.  You could always print onto fabric for the front a name and address or your own envelope design. 
 (I posted here about printing on fabric using your regular computer printer)

Here's how to make the envelopes.  

You will need approx half a yard of each fabric - for the inner and outer envelope.
1 large button
Templates - part A and part B (click to go to the download links) - note each pattern piece needs to be placed on a fold and then cut

Outer fabric
Cut a rectangle for the main envelope piece  
34 x 26cm (13.5 x 10") 
Then using the templates, from the outer fabric cut:
2 side flaps, 1 top flap and 1 bottom flap.

Inner Fabric
Then cut the same for the inner fabric as for the outer fabric

To add a name to the front of the envelope - just write the name on in pencil:

Then using the applique setting on your sewing machine - or just a very tight zigzag stitch - sew over the letters.  I run a double row of stitching over the letters to make them nice and thick:

Now you're ready to put the envelope pieces together.
Pin the top, side and bottom flaps right sides together to the main envelope piece:

Then stitch all around the outside.  Make sure when you come to the corners of the bottom flap, to pull the corner like this:

Repeat this with the inner fabric pieces, then place both envelope pieces right sides together:

Pin all around the outside of the pieces, leaving a 20cm (4") gap somewhere along the edge to allow you to turn the fabric out at the end.

Stitch all around the edge - remembering to leave the gap.
Then clip the corners and turn out.

Iron the whole envelope - including the opening..

Then top-stitch around the outer edges and the 4 sides of the main rectangle piece too.

Press the 4 flaps in towards the centre:

Then pull back all but the last flap from the centre and stitch the button to the last flap:

Then using a pencil, fold each flap back in turn and mark a line where you need to make button holes on each piece for this button to fasten through when the envelope is closed:

Stitch the buttonholes - 3 in total.
Then fasten up your envelope:

And you're all ready to fill it up with messages, notes, cards, small gifts etc!

For the downloadable PDF version of this tutorial, click here.

The first thing I used these envelopes for was some English practice for my girls for an upcoming test they have.  The excitement of getting 'mail' in their new envelopes meant that they thought the 'worksheet' itself was fun too! Bonus!

If you liked this tutorial - there are many more on 


  1. Very clever, Jill, both the fabric envelope and your use of it.

    1. Thanks Pam! The girls are loving them - but are checking them constantly for 'mail'!! it's hard to keep up!

  2. That's so clever, well done.

  3. Oh so cute! Would be lovely for letters to/from Santa at Christmas too. :)

  4. These are so cool! Now I have another thing to add to the list of items I want to make.

  5. I love this project, Thanks for the inspiration!!!!!
    Marisa from


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