SC Johnson Family Economics Blog
Thursday, November 29, 2012

Laminate & Sew Gift Card Envelopes | Family Economics

By Cathe Holden


Can you believe how many options are available for gift cards? Our local grocery store has what seems to be hundreds of options, from clothing stores to online music downloads to restaurants. Often, gift cards are the best choice when you’re in a rush to grab a gift on-the-go or for those difficult to buy for recipients. Even though you can tuck a gift card into a greeting card, it’s nice to have a thoughtful, handmade way to present the card as well. Many stores offer gift card envelopes and boxes but with very minimal supplies, you can craft your own unique packaging! I recommend making multiple envelopes at one time with various papers to keep on hand for future uses. Below are instructions for making your own gift card envelopes.

sample gift card envelope - three women

Laminate & Sew Gift Card Envelopes


  • Gift card of your choice
  • Sewing machine, thread (choose a spool of rayon, nylon or cotton in your favorite color)
  • Clear adhesive laminate such as shelving liner, measure to fit printed envelope template
  • Various papers, measure to fit printed envelope template
  • Scissors
  • Craft knife and cutting surface
  • Envelope template - download and print


1.    Trim along the black lines of the printed envelope template (see link above) with scissors.

2.    After you cut the template out, trace the template onto your chosen paper and cut out the shape. This will serve as your envelope lining. Fold the placement notches to create the shape of the envelope. Use a craft knife to trim out flap slit piece.

3.    Take a piece of adhesive laminate that is slightly larger than the template and place it onto your chosen paper, smoothing flat.

4.    Use a pencil to trace the template onto the paper side to avoid marks on the outside, laminated section of your envelope. Remember to trace the slit section as well.

5.    Cut out the laminated paper along the traced lines. Fold up the lower section of the envelope, using your thumbnail to burnish the fold well.

6.    With a sewing machine, stitch along the sides of the envelope pocket section with a ⅜-inch seam allowance, backstitching at the start and finish of each section. Trim threads.

7.    Fold down and burnish the fold of the envelope flap.

8.    Place gift card inside and tuck the flap into the slit to secure.

sample gift card envelopes 

Here is a list of some fun paper ideas to use (Tip: You can also use a photocopy if necessary):

  • Handwritten letters
  • Newspaper or magazine photos
  • Food & snack packaging
  • Junk mail
  • Photograph

envelope with cash inside 

In addition to using these envelopes for gift cards, they also have many other uses:

  • Envelopes for lunch money for your kids
  • Tuck a nice note inside for someone special
  • Use for storing small items for upcoming craft projects
  • Keep in your purse or car for storing receipts
  • Hold business cards

What are some creative ways you personalize your gifts?

Photos courtesy of Cathe Holden.

13 Comments so far

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On Sunday, March 16, 2014, sing like you do when no one is listening! wrote

Very good idea. Since it is laminated the strength of the paper is not so important. Great idea for personalizing an invitation even. Inspiration!

On Tuesday, February 25, 2014, sandra fm California wrote

how cool is this....

On Monday, September 23, 2013, patty of Iowa wrote

that's a neat idea I will have to try this

On Sunday, April 7, 2013, teacher from Vermont wrote

Thanks for a great idea. The kids at school will love to use these!

On Monday, December 10, 2012, Cathe Holden wrote

Dear Ellen, REGARDING STEP #2: My sincerest apologies for letting this slip through during the editing process. There is no lining and it should not have been referred to. Once you trace the shape of the template onto your paper, place and laminate a piece of clear adhesive large enough to cover the outline onto your paper. Trim out along the drawn outline, trimming away notches that help guide where to fold. Continue onto sewing the sides. I hope that helps. -Cathe

On Saturday, December 8, 2012, Ellen from California wrote

They look great though I'm a little confused at instruction #2. Is there a lining to the envelope that is separate from the laminated paper? If so, how do you get it to adhere to the outer laminated paper if only the bottom pocket is sewn on the sides? I'm thinking that I need to use a paper with print on both sides (so not gift wrapping) so it is decorative both inside and out and skip the lining. Many thanks!

On Tuesday, December 4, 2012, Beckky wrote

This looks like fun! Thanks for a great idea!

On Tuesday, December 4, 2012, lemondedis wrote

encore une excellente idée !... j'adore utiliser des "vieux papiers" : venant de revues, publicités, catalogues, cartes, calendriers... et tout ce que je peux "récupérer" !... et vos idées m'y aident beaucoup !... encore merci de les partager si gentiment... Is...

On Saturday, December 1, 2012, Deb HH wrote

Wonderful template, Cathy! Thank you. I have boxes full of my mom's old patterns and they will work beautifully. I am new to your blog and thoroughly enjoying it--thanks!

On Friday, November 30, 2012, Paula from Asheville wrote

You always have the best ideas! Thanks for sharing!

On Thursday, November 29, 2012, sarah. wrote

I love the shape. Sewing the ends is a great idea to keep it from popping open. The tape I've used doesn't stick well enough if the envelope gets stuffed really full.

On Thursday, November 29, 2012, Nancy Y from Pennsylvania wrote

These are Amazing!!! I adore the little popcorn one! Thank you so much for sharing Cathe!!!

On Thursday, November 29, 2012, Annette Goatley wrote

Thank you for the great template Cathy, x


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