[[This was a post from this time last year that I moved somewhere else and decided to bring back… Enjoy!]]
Hubby and I recently sat down to one of my least favorite chores in this whole entire world:
dun, dun, dun…
The word itself makes my stomach turn. He is an engineer, and I am… well… whatever it is that I am. He’s the math guy. The “let’s-make-a-plan” guy. The guy that handles all of the hard and scary stuff. I am the creative one. The “let’s-make-it-pretty” one. The one that kind of flies by the seat of her pants. He is my ‘intricate’ and I am his ‘chaos’. I love the balance we provide one another. I’m not such a fan of leaving my doodle filled bubble to hang out in his straight-lined excel sheets. But that’s what marriage is all about: compromise.
We were both fortunate enough to be able to attend wonderful universities and earn the degrees we wanted, and we are so blessed to own a home with plenty of space for our family. With that, however, comes a great amount of debt, and I’m sure most of my readers can relate. Enter Dave Ramsey. After recommendations from a couple of friends and family we purchased his book and got to reading. We haven’t gotten through it completely, but we’ve gotten far enough to begin developing a plan. Part of that plan is Dave’s cash system. I totally buy into everything he says about spending cash. It is harder to spend cash, so you are more conscious of the things you purchase, and it makes it so much easier to stick to a budget–when it’s gone, it’s gone. No cards. No checks. Just cash. But how do you keep it all organized? I hated the idea of just plain boring envelopes. I picture myself searching through my diaper bag at the grocery store, fumbling over numerous torn and tattered envelopes, trying to find my cash to pay the poor girl who’s [im]patiently waiting on me to get out of her line so she can go on break. I don’t like the idea that budgeting and money managing has to be boring. Or ugly. Soooo…. I made these:
These are my cash envelopes. They are economical, super sturdy, and beautiful. I love them so much. I also love that they cost me less than $8 to make (and they would have cost me practically nothing if I sewed more often and had more scraps to work with). I’ll walk you through how I made them, but I’m not promising that this is the easiest or best way to do it. It’s just the way I did it. :)
First, gather your supplies. You’ll need:
* Miscellaneous fabrics for the outside of your envelope–I used a quilt bundle like this from Joann (one 7.5″ x 9.5″ rectangle per envelope)
* Coordinating fabric for the inside of your envelope (one 7.5″ x 9.5″ rectangle per envelope)
* Sturdy fusible interfacing (one 6.75″ x 7.5″ rectangle per envelope)
* Coordinating thread, pins, sewing machine, shears, iron & ironing board… you know, typical sewing stuff! :)
These are my very official pattern instructions. I designed this envelope with inspiration from In Color Order and below those instructions are the cuts of fabric I needed to make a matching wallet, which I found an awesome tutorial for over at Lola Nova. I am pretty slow when it comes to sewing, but I made five envelopes and a wallet in about 3 multi-tasking hours. I never work on one thing at a time, so it’s hard to estimate how long it might take someone with the ability to focus. :)
I started with my “pattern” which was a sheet of paper that I cut down to measure 7.5″ x 9.5″. I cut one piece of lining and one piece of patterned fabric for each envelope I was making. I also cut one 6.75″ x 7.5″ piece of interfacing for each envelope.
Next I ironed on the interfacing, according to the manufacturer’s directions. I centered the interfacing along the short edge, and approximated the spacing along the long edge so that I had the same size edge all the way around three sides, and then a longer gap along the top. This is the “flap” of the envelope. (By the way, this is my very classy ironing board. It’s a folded bath towel on my kitchen counter. Maybe someday, when I grow up, I will have a real ironing board.)
Then, I laid my patterned fabric face up, and then carefully placed my lining piece on top, with the interfacing facing up. Take care to line up the two pieces from the bottom edge (not the “flap” edge). The flap doesn’t have to be exact.
Next, I sewed from the top right corner, down along the bottom, and back up to the top left corner (like a pillow case, but not along the top at all) with something between 1/8″ and 1/4″ seam allowance. (I told you, I’m not great at this…) Then I clipped the corners, turned it inside out and pressed the seams. I also folded in the fabric at the open end and pressed it so I could sew it closed.
Then I stitched close to the edge where I pressed the flap opening. After that edge was stitched, I folded the bottom of the envelope up to where the edge of the interfacing is (you can feel the difference) and I pressed that edge. I then sewed both sides closed to form the envelope.
I then ironed the flap down over the envelope and TA DA! I was all done! I’m sure this tutorial makes it sound much more difficult than it really was, but I’m new to this and VERY WORDY (surprise! huh?). I was left with these:
Aaaannddd… thanks to the awesome tutorial I referenced above, I was also able to make this super cute little wallet for my business cards and frequent buyer cards for my favorite coffee shops and restaurants:
I love it.
And so does Bubbie.
Thanks for being patient with me as I figure out this blogging thing. I’m loving it so far!