I bought my first set of envelope templates from Paper Source about six years ago, and I love them so much that I have given them to almost everyone I know.
They are a really affordable and useful gift for anyone that enjoys letter writing or paper crafting. If you want to make someone an "everything you need to make your own handmade envelopes" kit, just package up these four things:
1. Templates. I love the Paper Source templates--they are great for many reasons (which you can read about right here), and they are only $15.00. If you take care of them, you will probably never need another set.
2. A Scoring Tool (also called a bone folder or paper creaser). Here is a link to Amazon just to give you a better idea of what this tool looks like if you aren't familiar with it. But you can find these at any craft store, and you'll get a better price locally, especially during sales or by using a coupon. Hobby Lobby has the best price I have seen at $3.99 (it's the Paper Studio brand "paper creaser").
3. Double-Sided Adhesive. My favorite is the adhesive that comes in a little handheld gliding dispenser (again, a link to Amazon so you can see the different options.) The Scrapbook Adhesives brand E-Z Runners work well. This one, which dispenses thin lines of adhesive, is my favorite for envelopes. But any of the E-Z Runners are great, and Duck Brand, Scotch, and Elmers are all good brands as well. These adhesives are not cheap, so I get several when they're on sale, or I use the frequent 40% off coupons from Michaels or Hobby Lobby for this particular item.
TIP: Don't shop for the lowest-priced option when it comes to adhesive because it is usually lower quality as well, and you really don't want your envelopes coming unglued in the mail. Also, make sure you get permanent adhesive, not repositionable, for this same reason (just double check the packaging--it will say).
4. A few catalogues or magazines--because handmade envelopes made from magazine pages are some of the most fun to make! And also because the paper is free (in the case of catalogues) or fairly inexpensive (in the case of magazines, especially thrifted ones!).
Free People, Anthropolgie, Fossil, and J. Crew are my favorite catalogues to repurpose. And Real Simple, Martha Stewart Living, and Martha Stewart Weddings are a few of my favorite magazines. Any catalogue/magazine that is printed on quality paper (not the super thin, glossy type) and contains full-page photography spreads has great envelope potential. If you don't have any of your own catalogues or magazines to give away, try a thrift store, used bookstore, or library sale, where you can usually get magazines for less than 50-cents each.
So there you have it--4 things under $25 (or even $20, if you use sales and coupons) and everything you need to start making awesome envelopes (assuming your recipient already owns a pair of scissors).
Bonus additions: $30 price-range--add an inexpensive pair of scissors and a roll of washi tape. $40 price-range--give a sheet of postage stamps as well!
If you have never made your own envelopes, you should probably put together a kit for yourself too, because envelope making is one of the quickest/easiest/most instantly gratifying/addictive pastimes EVER. Ever, ever, ever. It is my favorite paper thing to do.
And making envelopes leads to mailing envelopes--even better!
If you have any additional suggestions or questions, just let me know in the comments. And to my non-U. S. friends--I would love to list out your favorite sources as well, so please share! :)
Happy giving--and making!
P. S. You can read more about some of my favorite paper crafting tools here.
P. P. S. A quick video on how to use the Paper Source templates.
P. P. P. S. None of this is sponsored content, and none of these links are affiliate links, though I do often wish I worked for Paper Source!