How to address envelopes with Cricut

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Using a Cricut to address envelopes for special occasions is an easy way to create professional looking results with minimal effort. Thanks to the wide selection of great fonts available and high quality pens, you can turn a plain envelope into something that will be remembered as much as the card or invitation inside!

In this tutorial, I’ll show you the basics of setting up an envelope in Design Space, plus I’ll share some tips for scaling up for large jobs and for getting really creative. Feel free to jump ahead to the section you’re looking for:

I’ll also share my tips on the best fonts, pens and materials for addressing envelopes with a Cricut, and general dos and donts that will make your project easier and ensure the recipient will love what you send.

Here are the basics of addressing any envelope with a Cricut Explore or Maker machine

I’m not assuming that everyone reading this knows how to address an envelope, with or without a Cricut. Several years ago, a random kid stopped me to ask a question. He was maybe 12 or 14 years old. He was mailing a letter for the first time and he didn’t know if he had gotten the address right and he asked me to have a look.

So, remembering that kid who was brave enough to ask a stranger a really basic question, I am going to do a quick walkthrough of the basics of addressing an envelope, and the settings you need to use to make it with your Cricut. For all of the different scenarios I describe later in the article: addressing a store bought envelope, an envelope made from scratch in Cricut, addressing multiple envelopes, or creating a label – I will be referring you the basic steps in this section.

Part 1: The Basics of setting up the address in Design Space

the basics of addressing an envelope in Cricut Design Space
the basics of addressing an envelope in Cricut Design Space

I start every envelope by creating an on-screen template that will represent the physical envelope. That means I draw a rectangle in Design Space to represent the envelope that will be written on.

  1. Open a new project in Design Space. Click the “Shapes” icon and add a square. (Change the color to match your envelope. The default of every new shape is black, so feel free to change it to a lighter color).
  2. In the top menu bar, click the small padlock icon above the length and width settings. If you haven’t already, measure the dimensions of your envelope. For this example I am going to use an envelope for a 5″ x 7″ card, otherwise known as an A7 envelope. (This envelope is actually 5.25″ x 7.25″)
    • Enter the envelope dimensions into the length and width settings to resize the square.
  3. Add a text box to the canvas. Enter the delivery address.

Tip: make sure you select a writing font to address your envelope

  1. Select a writing font from Cricut’s font library. The default font is Cricut Sans set for basic cut. To see Cricut’s writing fonts, open the font selection menu, open the filters option and select Writing Fonts.
    • Best practices: Select a regular Serif or Sans Serif font to address the envelope. Fonts like Telegram Text, Cricut Sans, or Dear John work fine.
    • You can also use a non-Cricut fonts. Check out our article on the Best Writing Fonts for Cricut for a list of fonts that look great written with a Cricut machine. (For even more great writing fonts for addressing envelopes, check out our list of the best masculine fonts for writing and cutting)
    • Do not select script or novelty fonts for envelopes going in the mail. (Feel free to use any font you want for a hand-delivered envelope).
  2. Resize the text box to fit inside the envelope. I usually size it to 4.25″ wide for an A7 envelope. Highlight the text box and either drag it by the corner to adjust the size, or enter an exact value in the top menu bar.
  3. Center the text box horizontally on the rectangle, and leave at least 5/8″ of clear space between the last line of text and the bottom edge of the envelope.
  4. To make the return address portion of the envelope, duplicate the first text box. Enter your address. Set the text to left-justified. Resize the text box to 2 inches wide.
    • Best practices: Make sure the return address is 3 lines or less.
    • Position the return address in the top left corner of the rectangle. Inset it 0.25″ from the top and left corner.
  5. Select both text boxes and click the “attach” icon in the lower right-hand corner of Design Space.
  6. Before you click the “Make it” button, double check that all of the text options are set to draw with pen.

Best practices for addressing your letter:

  • According to the US Postal Service, using all caps to address a letter is preferred.
  • Also: Limit the delivery address to 5 lines of text.
  • Use center or left justification

How to address a premade envelope with a Cricut

This is the most basic, easy to follow method and I recommend it for most of your card projects. I have tons of envelopes hanging around from packs of cards I bought in the pre-Cricut days. They fit my handmade cards perfectly and using a pre-made, store-bought envelope cuts down on a lot of work when you have a lot of cards to send out.

How to line up your address text in the Design Space preview window
How to line up your address text in the Design Space preview window

Start by following the instructions 1–9 laid out in the basics section for addressing the envelope. Then:

  • Before you press the Make It button, set the rectangular background to be invisible. Click the “eye” icon next to the shape in the right hand sidebar. The rectangle will disappear from the canvas, but the text boxes will remain visible.
  • After you have pressed Make It on the project, the next screen is the mat preview. Your text will be in the upper left hand corner of the mat. There will be a 0.25″ margin between the return address and the top corner.
  • Take your physical envelope and place it in the top left corner of the mat. The Cricut machine will start writing 0.25″ from the top edge and 0.25″ from the left edge of the envelope.
  • Just use the pen in carriage A. There shouldn’t be any action for the blade in this operation, but in case you have included the rectangle in the attachment, leaving carriage B empty will prevent an unexpected cut of your envelope.
  • When the Cricut is done writing the address, remove the mat from the machine and remove the envelope. You’re done!
A plain pre-made envelope addressed with a Cricut Explore Air 2
A plain pre-made envelope addressed using the black 0.4mm (Fine Point) pen. Cricut Font: Telegram Text

How to address multiple envelopes in Design Space

This is a new technique I’ve been fine-tuning, and it is a lifesaver when it comes to getting lots of envelopes completed in batches. This is going to save a ton of work when I’m finishing Christmas cards!

This tutorial is for addressing pre-made, store bought envelopes in batches of 3 or 6 (or 5 or 10 at a time if you are using 4″ x 6″ cards).

  • Follow steps 1–9 in the Basics section of this tutorial. Congrats, you’ve created your first envelope.
  • Duplicate that envelope. Change the delivery address. You don’t need to detach your text boxes before you can edit the text, but you will most likely need to detach to fix any alignment issues.
  • Repeat this step for every envelope you want to address. When you are finished, you should have multiple envelopes with different addresses on your DS canvas. Save your project and click the Make It button.
Screencap of multiple envelopes to be addressed in Cricut Design Space
Screencap of multiple envelopes to be addressed in Cricut Design Space. Font: Telegram Text

Setting up multiple envelopes on a Cricut mat

The challenge of this method is getting your physical envelopes arranged on the mat to maximize coverage. It is *much* easier if you have a 12″ x 24″ mat, but you can still address three A7 envelopes at a time on a 12″ x 12″ mat. In order to get them to fit, you need to arrange the envelopes so the third one is technically “off” the cutting area.

To do this in Design Space, set your mat size to 12″ x 24″ in the Preview screen. This will let you fit the text of the three envelopes within a 12″ x 12″ square.

Take your physical envelopes and place them on the mat so they line up with the layout in Design Space. Make sure you have the pen loaded in the machine, but leave the blade carriage empty so your machine doesn’t cut up the envelopes. Click the Go button.

Screencap of multiple A7 envelopes set up to write in the Design Space preview screen
Screencap of multiple A7 envelopes set up to write in the Design Space preview screen (click to enlarge)
Finished results of addressing multiple envelopes with a Cricut machine
Finished results of addressing multiple envelopes with a Cricut machine

How to make labels to create beautiful envelopes with any Cricut machine

When I use a colored envelope, I have started using a white or light colored label. By writing on a label, I can ensure the address can be properly read by Post Office scanners, and I can add cut features that give the envelope hand-crafted elements even though it is store bought.

But you can also use colored labels to give a little more life to plain white envelopes. The most important thing to remember is to use an ink and paper combo that has a high contrast! According to the US Postal Service, colored envelopes and inks are allowed in the mail, as long as the contrast between the text and background is reasonable.

Using a label is also an easy shortcut for Joy users to address their envelopes quickly and easily without having to wrestle with envelope sizing.

Using labels also gives you the opportunity to do bigger batches on a single sheet without having to babysit your machine. You can give every card you send an envelope with a personalized touch, but you can do it at a bigger scale than adding every envelope to your mat.

Let’s get started.

screencap showing how to make an envelope label in Cricut Design Space
screencap showing how to make an envelope label in Cricut Design Space
  1. Open Design Space and click the Images icon in the left sidebar. Search for “label” – you’ll get over 5,000 results. Select a label you like and add it to the canvas. (You can also re-purpose a gift tag image. Lots of great Christmas options)
  2. Follow steps 1–5 in the basic instructions section. Instead of attaching the text the the envelope shape, you’re going to attach it to the label.
  3. Feel free to embellish the label with a graphic or a monogram. This looks really cool when you place a white label on a colored envelope. You’ll have a cute cutout showing the envelope color peeking through.

Do I need to make a return address sticker?

  1. When I’m making a label like this, I usually skip the steps for writing the return address on the envelope. I use a pre-printed return address sticker instead. (Whenever I donate to a charity, I get return address labels sent to me as a “free gift.” I have years worth of them, and you probably do too. When I’m doing Christmas cards, it’s just easier to use a premade return label.)
    • If you want to make a label, and have your Cricut write the return address on the envelope, you will just have to do each as a separate operation. Create the envelope according to the basic instructions, and just do the return address, and then make a separate label.
  2. When you’ve got the label shape and text properly sized, attach the shape, text box and any cutout you want. Make sure the text layer is set to use the pen and click Make it.
  3. For multiple labels, duplicate your first finished label and update the delivery address. If you are feeling ambitious, use different label shapes and cutout images! It’s up to you how much work you want to put into this.
  4. Trust me, this is how you get on Santa’s Nice list at Christmas!
photo of finished address label in white Smart Paper on a colored envelope
Address label: white Smart Paper on a colored envelope. Cricut font: Tuesday, label image #M3FEE31CB, penguin image #M266D7607.
photo of finished address label in colored Smart Paper
Address label: pastel Smart Paper in blue on a colored envelope. Cricut font: Telegram text, label made from gift tag #M2E75078.

What material should I use for an envelope label?

When I am making a label for an envelope, my choices usually come down to plain cardstock, paper, adhesive cardstock or printable vinyl.

I have used cardstock and paper for envelope labels and I find I get good results with 65lb cardstock. It cuts well and it adds a pleasing heft to the envelope without making it too bulky to put in the mail. It takes the ink from the pen very well and I just have to use a tape runner to apply adhesive and then press it on the envelope. I like this option for making simple label shapes, without any complex embellishments. It’s also good for making lots of labels at once without using really expensive materials.

Lately I’ve been using Cricut Smart Paper sticker cardstock and I really like the adhesive backing. It takes no time to write a delivery address or return address and make a basic or complex cut, and I don’t have to worry about using glue or a tape runner to apply the label. Added bonus: the Smart Paper doesn’t need a mat. Use the Joy-sized Smart Paper for your Joy, or use the 13″x13″ Smart Paper in your full-sized Cricut (yes, this works in Explore Air 2 and Maker machines, not just the new ones).

Cricut Smart Paper Sticker Cardstock in white, black and pastel assortment
Cricut Smart Paper Sticker Cardstock in white, black and pastel assortment

The Smart Paper comes in white, black or a range of pastels, so I can use it with colored envelopes or plain white envelopes. One thing I like is that from time to time I can scoop up a real bargain on the smaller sheets made for the Cricut Joy. The smaller sheets work great on a mat in a full size Cricut and the narrower sheets are perfectly suited for making mailing labels.

What is the best Cricut font for addressing envelopes?

There are two basic considerations for selecting a good font for addressing envelopes with your Cricut machine:

  1. The font has a writing version in Cricut Design Space
  2. The font is a legible serif or sans serif font, or is a basic hand-printed style font.

As to the first point, you’re lucky you came to this blog. We have a printable guide for every Cricut writing font, so you can browse the fonts in PDF format, and select it from the list of available fonts in Design Space.

You need to use an easily legible font to address an envelope. If you are putting the envelope in the mail, it needs to be read by an electronic scanner.

Use these font styles for envelopes:

  • Serif fonts
  • Sans-serif fonts
  • Hand-printed fonts

Don’t use these font styles for envelopes:

  • Script fonts
  • Novelty fonts

In our printable, we collectively refer to serif and sans-serif fonts as “regular” style fonts. There are lots of really good ones to use on envelopes. There are also good fonts on our “Hand-printed” list, but choose one that’s not too out there!

unkerned regular fonts
kerned hand printed fonts

Can I mail a colored envelope?

According to USPS guidelines, colored envelopes and inks are allowed if there is a reasonable amount of contrast. The most important thing from the perspective of the post office is that the address be legible. However, their guidelines prohibit “brilliant colored backgrounds” and reverse printing. So stay away from neon, glitter or holographic paper to make your envelope.

Cricut has a new set of opaque gel pens specifically for dark cardstock. The set includes a white pen, and I was eager to try addressing a black envelope.

To really test the limits of this, I decided to make a few designs that “pushed the envelope” so to speak. Would a black label with white print go through the mail successfully? The answer is yes, I was able to successfully send a Halloween envelope through the mail.

Finished envelopes with addresses written with white opaque gel pen
Addresses written with white opaque gel pen directly on a black envelope, and on Smart Paper sticker cardstock in black. Cricut fonts: Monday and Telegram Text.

Other tips for addressing envelopes with Cricut

  • According to the US Postal Service, the minimum envelope size they accept in the regular mail is 3½” x 5”. Anything smaller (like a coin envelope, for example) needs to be mailed inside a larger envelope.
  • The maximum envelope size accepted in regular mail is 6⅛” x 12½” and a quarter inch thick.
  • Square envelopes are subject to extra charge from the Post Office. Envelopes that are rigid, square, or unusually shaped, often jam postal equipment and are difficult to process. We recommend putting square cards in regular, standard size envelopes.

Final Thoughts

What a journey! Who would have thought there was so much information to share about how to use a Cricut machine to address envelopes! I hope that these short tutorials for addressing premade envelopes, envelopes made from scratch, or envelopes addressed in batches were concise and easy to follow. Did I miss anything? Do you have a technique that you swear by? Let me know in the comments!

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