One of my favorite things about owning a cutting machine is making personalized cards for my family and friends. With every special occasion, the cards get a bit more elaborate and sophisticated. I put a lot of work into these cards, and it feels extra satisfying to put the finished project into a Cricut foil envelope that’s also received extra care and attention.
So I’ve developed a step-by-step guide to sizing, scoring and foiling your own envelopes. There’s lot’s of photos and screenshots to guide the way, and I’ve also included some free files at the end of the article to help you on your way!
Note: this tutorial is unofficially part 2 of our card making project: How to make a Jazz Lover’s Layered Birthday Card Using The Cricut Foil Tool.
What you will need to make this project
- 12″ x 12″ or 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of cardstock, for making envelopes for either 5″ x 7″ or 4″ x 6″ cards
- Cricut Explore Air 2 or 3, or Maker Machine
- Light grip mat
- Cricut Foil Transfer Tool
- Cricut Foil Transfer Sheet
- Scoring Tool
- Cricut pen (I used the basic black Fine Point Pen)
Stage One: Setting up the basic envelope cut in Design Space
Incorporating foil tool embellishments in your envelope is a beautiful little touch that finishes your project off in an impressive way. If you put a lot of work into making your card special, sometimes it’s nice to put it in something fancier than a dollar store envelope.
Step 1: Select envelope file from Cricut Access
I started with a basic envelope cut pattern from the “images” section of Cricut Design Space/Cricut Access. Search for “envelope” and this should be one of the first results you get.
After the envelope image has been loaded into the Design Space work area, the first thing I changed was the project color, and I’m glad I did. The default color is black, but when you change it to a lighter color, you see a dashed line where the card will be folded.
That’s just a score line right? Nope, those are actually cut lines and if you leave these in place, your Cricut machine will make a perforation cut when it cuts out the body of the envelope.
Step 2: Delete perforation cut lines (optional)
How do you get rid of these perf cut lines? Insert a small square shape into the design, anywhere that is completely overlapped by the main envelope shape. Select both shapes and then weld them together. The perforation cut lines will disappear!
Step 3: Properly resize envelope for your card
Next, you want to size your envelope properly. I wanted this envelope to fit a 5″ x 7″ card, and the easiest way is to line up the inner corners where the flaps intersect and use the background grid as a ruler.
You can see below that I’ve lined up the corner and dragged the cut shape until the width between the top inner corners measures 5 inches, plus a little room to spare. The vertical measurement also looks good: it’s 7 inches with a little wiggle room. This is big enough to fit a multi-layer card easily, but not so large that you’ll be penalized with a lot of extra postage for an oversized envelope.
Step 4: add score lines
Finally, I added 4 score lines (no Lincoln jokes please) across the flaps. These will also help guide the placement of our pattern in the next step. Note: this envelope cut shape is not perfectly symmetrical, so you will have to rotate the lines to place them across each inner corner.
Stage two: adding a repeating pattern to foil
Now the creative juices start to flow. After the envelope is sized properly and the score lines are set, we’ll add a pattern and shape it to have the same curved edge of the envelope flap. To get started on this step, click the “images” icon in the left-hand toolbar and search for “pattern” in the image library.
Step 5: select pattern image from Cricut Access
There are lots of options to choose from, even if you’re not a paying member of Cricut Access. I like the very first option because it’s simple yet classy and reminiscent of a favorite design style of mine (art deco).
Step 6: Rotate, resize and place the pattern image
Once the image has been added to your project, the next step is to rotate it 90 degrees so it lines up over the top flap of the envelope. Next, stretch it so it fits inside the horizontal score lines.
Step 7: Slice the pattern
This is where we get a little fancy. I want the shape of the foiled area to have the same shape as the edge of the envelope flap. To get that I’m going to use the “slice” function in Design Space to cut the pattern image so it has the same curve as the envelope.
Duplicate the main envelope cut shape, align it with the pattern image, and select both by holding the shift key and clicking each item in the right-hand layer menu. This highlights both objects, and then you can click the “slice” icon in the lower right hand corner.
Step 8: clean up and delete extra layers after slice
After the slice function is complete, I’m left with four objects instead of the original two (duplicate envelope cut and the pattern image). What’s left is:
- the remnant of the pattern image sliced outside the envelope
- the pattern image sliced inside the boundary
- the portion of the envelope sliced in the same shape
- the large remnant of the envelope
Delete everything but #2, the shaped pattern.
Step 9: convert linetype to foil
Resize the pattern image and change the operation type from “basic cut” to “foil”. The pattern below has been stretched to fit the space on the inside of the envelope flap and the exposed portion of the inside of the envelope. I have also narrowed the width of the design, so there will be a blank strip between the foiled pattern and the edge of the envelope for adhesive.
Select the foil weight.
The next step is to select all elements – the foil pattern design, the envelope cut and the score lines – and attach them. Don’t forget to save your work! Then press Make It to start the next steps.
Stage three: Prep the materials for scoring, cutting and foiling
To make this project, use a 12″ x 12″ inch sheet of light or medium cardstock and place it on a light grip mat. Cricut Design Space is going to prompt you to insert the scoring tool first, then the foil transfer tool and then the Fine Point Blade.
This means that you won’t be able to tape your foil on the cardstock before loading it in the machine. I’m not a big fan of applying foil onto a project that’s loaded into the machine, but that’s the way that Design Space works.
Follow the Design Space prompts to load your mat and tools, let the machine score your cardstock and then tape the foil transfer sheet to the mat when prompted. In this case, my design is large, so I am using a remnant of a 12″ x 12″ gold sheet that I’ve cut down, but if you have only 4″ x 6″ foil sheets, you will have to reduce the size of your design. (Fix this in the previous step!)
After the foiling is finished, you will prompted to remove the foil from the project, again without unloading the mat. Carefully peel the tape so you don’t peel or tear the paper and then load the Fine Point blade into the machine.
Click the Cricut button to start the cut. After the cut is finished, carefully peel the envelope off the mat. At this point you can flip the card over and address it using the Cricut, or you can simply fold and glue.
Addressing your Envelope with Cricut Design Space
Now that the envelope has been scored, foiled and cut, the obvious next step is to address it. I’ve had good results simply by flipping the cardstock over and turning it so the foiled portion is at the top of the mat. Will you have to worry about the foil coming off on the mat? I haven’t had this problem yet, but as I pointed out before, I always make sure to use the light grip mat.
Next, I return to my original file in Design space and hide the score lines. In the Layers section on the right hand side, click the eye icon next to each score line and the foil pattern design. Next, click the main envelope cut shape and rotate it so the edge of the tope flap (the foiled flap) is pointed to the top of the work space.
I didn’t do anything special to line up the address with the body of the envelope. It’s just lined up using the inner corners, but you could also use the score lines to help you place the address and return address so it doesn’t accidentally overlap a fold. Just remember to hide the score lines before you Make It.
Tip: select a tidy, legible font if this card is going in the mail
Write in the address using a thin font that will look solid when drawn with a pen. Use a regular serif or sans-serif font if you are going to be putting this envelope in the mail. We’ve created a complete guide to finding fonts for writing with your Cricut here. It includes a list of free serif, sans serif and script fonts that look great when drawn with a pen on an Explore or Maker machine.
Optical scanners and sorters will be able to read a plain, unobtrusive font better than a fancy or elaborate font. If you are just making an informal inscription on the envelope for an in-person exchange, feel free to use a script font.
When you’ve got the address set up the way you like it, send the project to the preview window and Make It. Make sure the pen is loaded in Carriage A when Design Space prompts you. Don’t put the blade in Carriage B, and there won’t be a chance of an accidental second cut.
Finishing the Envelope and the Big Reveal
Now that the envelope is foiled, cut and addressed, it’s time to fold and glue it. Fold the two short sides inward, then fold the bottom flap as well. Apply adhesive to the outward facing side of the small flaps. I’ve had good results using double sided sticky tape, but you can also use tacky glue, school glue or whatever glue you prefer.
If you have the time, you might consider pressing the envelope between two heavy books to make the envelope well sealed and flat.
When the time comes to seal the envelope, I use two-sided tape on the inside of the top flap rather than a liquid glue. This eliminates the risk of excess glue squeezing inside the envelope and messing up the card.
Free SVG template files for making this project
As promised, I have included a few SVG files to help you make your next project extra special. I have included two different envelope designs, each with an option for 5″ x 7″ cards and 4″ x 6″ inch cards. I have also included two pattern SVG files that you can use as templates for foiling or drawing.
All files are available to download on our Free Resources Page
This is a very basic tutorial that should produce results that will delight your friends and loved ones. A special card deserves to be delivered in a special envelope.
I really wanted this project to be accessible for people who mostly rely on Design Space and Cricut Access for project ideas and images. I’ve made fancier foil projects based using more complicated vector patterns, but that requires a good knowledge of Adobe Illustrator and a lot of extra steps that would make this project too lengthy and require paid software.
Let me know how your projects work out. I’d love to hear how you make an envelope special!