Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tutorial: DIY Bubble Mailer

One thing I have learned from being an Etsy buyer is that creative business people don't let their creativity stop with the items you buy. Rather, they use their creative potential to it's fullest by carefully packaging your purchases in a way that ties in with their online business persona. (Ok, maybe not everyone does, but I love getting these packages the most!) A great way to customize your packaging is to make your own and if you're using reclaimed materials you're probably saving yourself a pretty penny too.

I wanted to share an easy tutorial for making your own bubble mailers. This works great to tie your packaging in with your online business, or to simply make something cute to ship goodies to your friends. Getting mail (other than bills) is exciting, but it can be even more so when it looks exciting too!

For this project you will need:
- Heavy weight paper-heavy wrapping paper, scrapbook paper, or even recycled cereal boxes
- Bubble wrap -the standard kind, not the stuff with the giant bubbles
- White glue, or a heavy-duty glue stick.
- Clear tape
- Scissors or paper cutter
- Ruler
- Spray adhesive (optional)

Step One:
Take your piece of paper and cut it to be 11 x 9 inches.
Then, fold it following the graph below. (This is for an envelope that is 5x7, for a bigger envelope you need to double the width, add an inch for the "flap" on one side, allow .5 in on the bottom and 1.5 in on the top for flaps also)

Step Two:
Cut off the pieces marked in grey on the diagram

Step Three:
Leave your paper on the table right side down. Cut two pieces of bubble wrap that are approximately 4.5 x 6.5 inches, or 1/2 an inch smaller than your envelope size.
Glue your bubble wrap bubble side down (so the smooth part faces towards you) to the wrong side of the paper inside the two 5x7 inch pieces. Try to leave an equal amount of space around each side.
I usually glue mine with spray adhesive, but white glue will work ok for this. Be patient and let the glue dry and spread white glue thinly so the paper doesn't get wrinkles and warp from being too soggy. For added security, I also recommend using clear tape at the top of the bubble wrap to prevent it from peeling up when you fill the envelope.

Step Four:
Put glue on the bottom two flaps of the paper and fold the envelope together. Press the bottom flaps together firmly and allow to dry. These will be secure if you used good glue, but if you are worried you can tape this seam. Your envelope will be connected on the bottom, but open with a 1 inch flap on the right side, and a 1.5 inch flap on the top like this:

Step Five:
Put glue on the side flap, and fold over, securing it to the back of the envelope. For additional security, tape the flap as well. (This one likes to peel up otherwise!)

Now your envelope is done! Fill it and either glue or tape the top flap shut. If you have a dark color or busy pattern you will want to affix white mailing labels on the front to write your addresses on.
These work great for me when I am in a pinch and need some packaging. Recycle bubble wrap from packages you receive or if you know someone who recently moved you can usually inherit a ton of it for free!

Happy Mailing!


  1. Great idea! Thanks for sharing your tutorial!

  2. Very cute! Thanks for the tip ;-)

  3. Wow! This is a great idea, I'm going to go grab those empty cereal boxes from the recycle pile and make some mailers!!

  4. Thanks for providing an important info!! I think bubble mailer is a great packaging material which can provides you complete safety as you want. Bubble mailer is really safe and unique packaging product for holding the things in good manner.