Use shaving foam to create a unique envelope — let's get started!
You're organizing a party and want to create some pretty invitations that won't cost you an arm and a leg? Or perhaps you'd like to send someone a letter with that personal touch? Then you'll love this crafty tip! Making your own envelope — especially with a marbled pattern and using shaving foam — is not only creative, but unique. It's not everyday someone gets something like this in their mailbox.
- paper (the size and number of sheets depends on exactly what your project is)
- a baking tray
- shaving foam
- wide, easy to remove tape (e.g. masking tape)
- food coloring (you can change the number of colors according to your preference — this example uses two)
- a butter knife
First, lay all your supplies to one side. Make sure you have a resistant surface as a working area, such as a plastic tablecloth. It should at least be able to withstand a little shaving foam...
Now make a border along the edges of the paper with tape. For this, you should use tape that you can remove at the end of the process otherwise the envelope will not be as beautiful as you had probably hoped.
Next comes the most enjoyable part: spraying the shaving foam on to the baking tray. How much will of course depend on the number of sheets of paper you want to fold into envelopes later. If you've covered the entire tray with shaving foam, that should be plenty for 10 sheets letter-size paper (known as A4 paper in other countries).
Now it's time for a bit of color: mix the first batch of food coloring into the shaving foam. This will be the main color for your artworks later. If you don't have anything else at hand for the mixing, you can use the butter knife. The procedure is a little bit like mixing dough. You can tell that it's done when the foam takes on a uniform color.
The second color you use will be applied differently. This is when you need the toothpick. If the coloring comes in a tube, stick it a little way into the opening. Otherwise, dip the toothpick into the bottle of food coloring.
In this next step, let your creativity run wild. Using the toothpick loaded with coloring, you can draw circles or lines in the foam on the baking tray — or perhaps a zigzag or slalom pattern. Maybe you'll come up with something even more innovative.
Now quickly lay the paper "outer side" down in the foam. The "outer side" is the one that you stuck the tape to earlier. Then lay the paper on a clean surface. You should already be able to see the marbling effect.
Take the butter knife and the draw the blunt side of the blade flat over the paper. This gets rid of the foam and, at the same time, produces a unique pattern on the paper. The second color will now also be visible and will appear beautifully smeared into the marbled background.
Now carefully pull off the tape from the edges and you've successfully created decorative paper. Next you'll need a little patience, because unfortunately you have to wait for the paper to be completely dry before you can start to fold it.
Folding the paper to create the envelope goes like this: fold the paper once in half and then open it out again to create an axis down the middle. Then fold one corner of the paper in so it reaches this central line, and then do the same on the opposite side. One side of the paper should now taper to a point.
Next, work on the edges of the paper that have not been folded. Take the two edges that run parallel to the central crease and fold them in so that they meet in the middle. The paper should now look a bit like an arrow. Find the point of the arrow and fold that back into the middle of the paper so the whole thing forms a square. Run your finger along the fold to leave a crease, then open the paper back out again and turn the whole thing round so the point is facing away from you.
Now place your index or middle finger in the two "pockets" between the point and the middle of the paper. Use your finger to stretch out the paper along the folded crease which now forms a diagonal line. Do the same on both sides. Then press the point down into the middle of the paper, once again making a square shape, and press everything flat.
Then take the two lower corners of the square and fold them into the center of the paper. This will make a pointed flap, which you then fold over as the outer flap of your envelope.
At this point you should see a rectangular, beautifully-marbled envelope take shape.
Incidentally, if you prefer to watch the whole thing as a video in order to learn the technique, there are many YouTube videos on this topic, and also ones that teach you how to fold square paper.
It's a lot of fun to experiment with different colors. Just use your imagination and play around a bit.
It's also possible to only add color to part of the paper, but in this case you obviously have to plan in advance exactly where you're going to put the tape.
The recipients won't believe their eyes when they get these beautifully handcrafted letters. And you can expect some very surprised looks when you let them know that you made them yourself with shaving foam!