DIY: Custom Bubble Mailers


{Photo courtesy of Momommy}

One of my new favorite sources for cool craft projects is Stumble Upon. I “stumbled upon” these great instructions for creating bubble mailers. There have been a few times since I’ve moved to NY where I’ve had to sprint to the Container Store by my house before they close.  (They have really cute bubble mailers and lots of other things to mail things in.) I’m happy to know about this little project. The only thing I might not always have on hand is bubble wrap. But with online is possible that I might be able to gather some of that up in my apt. Instructions by 27 things! (Thanks for letting me pass these along!)

bubble mailers, bubble wrap

1. cardstock (one 7.5″ x 10.75″ sheet)
2. pretty paper (one 7.5″ x 10.75″ sheets)
3. rubber cement
4. bubble wrap (two 6″ x 9″ pieces)
5. art knife (X-Acto knif)
6. cutting mat
7. scissors
8. ruler
9. a scoring tool or an old ballpoint pen that is out of ink

Getting Started
Start by trimming everything to size. This includes your card stock, paper and bubble wrap.

The bubble wrap should be trimmed to the inside dimension of your mailer, in this case 6″ x 9″. The card stock will be cut to finished size of your mailer, including a 1″ flap, in this case 7.5″ x 10.75″. Your paper should be cut slightly larger than the finished mailer on the 3 sides that will be adhered to the card stock.

I like to allow for a decent seam around the edges and bottom of my mailers. A larger seams means that your mailer will be less likely to pop open when you fill it and/or during transport.

I Love Rubber Cement
Rubber cement is great in that it can be used for 2 types of adhesion: temporary and permanent. The best result for mailers is achieved using a cured bond. This means you apply the rubber cement to both surfaces and allow it to dry before joining.

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1. Have your bubble wrap ready to the side of your work area.
2. Lay your card stock and patterned paper side by side and face down on your work area.
3. Line up the bottom edges of your sheets.
4. Apply a 2″ border around all 4 edges of your patterned paper, starting at the bottom, then the sides, saving the top edge for last.
5. Place one piece of bubble wrap, bubble side down and smooth side up, onto the wet sheet. Be sure make the top edge of the bubble wrap line up flush with the top edge of the paper.
6. Using your patterned paper as a guide, apply a 2″ border of rubber cement along the bottom edge and sides of your card stock. You don’t want to apply any glue in the area that will later be used as your flap. Apply a line of rubber cement across the top edge of your GLUED AREA and place the 2nd sheet of bubble wrap flush with this line.

Time for a break.
Take a breather and let the rubber cement dry completely.

bubble mailers, bubble wrap

1. Begin by making 2 small angled cuts on the bottom edge of the patterned paper. Cut from 1/4″ from the corner of the paper over the the corner of the bubble wrap, stopping slightly shy of the bubble. Repeat on the opposite corner. This will prevent the paper from buckling along the bottom edge.

bubble mailers, bubble wrap

2. lay the card stock bubble up and then gently lay the paper bubble down on top of it.
3. without applying any pressure to the glued edges, carefully line up the four corners of the bubble wrap.
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4. Holding the sheets in place with your palms, use both pointer fingers to press the center of one edge of the paper onto the card stock edge. Join the rest of the edge by pressing down both fingers and moving them away from each other toward the corners.

bubble mailers, bubble wrap

Be sure that you don’t accidentally press down the corners of the bottom flap. You can use your scissors as a temporary barrier until you get the hang of it.

5. Repeat on the opposite side.
6. Repeat the above step on the bottom edge. Be sure to start in the middle!

Finishing up
Your mailer is almost done! Time to trim, burnish, score and fold!

bubble mailers, bubble wrap
1. Your edges will likely be crooked or have card stock or paper hanging over the edge. Trim the sides and bottoms to obtain an even edge of paper and card stock.
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2. Use a ruler and a scoring tool (or inkless pen) to score a line along the flap about 1/8″ away from the opening of the mailer. This will make a nice clean fold.
3. Cut off the corners of the flap.

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4. Using the rounded end of your art knife or pen, carefully rub along the 3 seams of the envelope. Gently run your tool along the edge of the bubble wrap to ensure all the paper is joined.

Here are some finished envelopes from 27 things.

bubble mailers, bubble wrap


Thanks again to 27 things for her great instructions!