3 ways to upcycle an Amazon padded envelope (for art!)

If you’ve ever ordered anything from Amazon, ever, you probably have a surplus of leftover boxes and envelopes. Now, you COULD just throw all those envelopes away…but why not upcycle them and use them for art instead?

Here’s three ways to reuse a padded envelope, of any size.

1. Padded layer for a fabric journal cover.

This comes courtesy of my mother, who makes journals and upcycled junk journals. She used a padded envelope as an interior layer for her fabric cover junk journals.

The covers are two pieces of fabric, with a padded envelope sandwiched between. According to mom, this helps the journal feel more substantial and structured, so it’s not just two flat pieces of fabric that flop all over the place.

I think it’s a genius idea– you don’t have to use cotton batting or extra fabric, you can literally just use something you were going to throw away and get basically the same effect.* Fantastic!

*A slightly crinkly-sounding one, true.

2. Stamped backgrounds.

The interior bubbles make really cool background stamps. Here’s one I did using black acrylic paint and part of the inside of an envelope:

Black paint on white background
Black paint on a color background

Because the bubbles are “flatter” than regular bubble wrap, you get a totally unique texture. Try going over it with a paint roller, or pressing in different areas to get multiple layers of impressions. It’s a good way to add texture and dimension to your backgrounds!

3. Organize ink spray bottles.

I keep mine in a little box, and they fall over all the time. Super annoying! And it turns out they leak sometimes, so the bottom of the box was dirty as well.

Bubble envelope to the rescue!

I cut up an envelope into strips and use them as little dividers inside the box like so:

Before: a mess!
After: organized!!
So neat! So tidy!

I also put a layer in the bottom to try and keep them from slipping around more, and to make it easier to clean up when another bottle leaks.

Good things about this: it’s changeable, so if I want to rearrange the bottles I can move the dividers to match. If a bottle leaks, I can replace a divider easily. And finally, they’ll fit any size box or storage container, because they’re totally customizable to my needs.

4. Bonus: use it to send a journal to a friend.

Nothing against re-using a shipping envelope for its intended purpose: sending out mail! Cover the old address label with cute scrapbook paper, shove your gift into the envelope and tape with clear packing tape. Done!

Got a hot tip on how to reuse your Amazon shipping envelopes? Drop a comment below!

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