today, I have to send a thing by mail. this is a very unusual case for me – even rarer than the occasions on which i have to send business reply mails. appropriate for such a momentous event, I have discovered that i do not have a single envelope suitable for this mailing anywhere here.

well, whatever, right? an envelope is just a piece of paper, cut out and folded, right? I have glue, scissors, and plenty of standard printing paper, i can just make my own! it’ll be easy!


business reply envelopes, designed to fit tri-folded letter papers, seem to all be of the size designated (on the wikipedia page) as #9 (or “windsor”). 3⅞ × 8⅞ (inches, all inches). standard letter paper sheet: 8.5 by 11. will that fit?

my initial answer was “hell no!”, and so I began looking for ways to combine two sheets to get things to work out. several crumpled attempts later, I threw it all off to the side in disgust, and pulled out a ruler, measured 3.875 inches from the bottom of the long edge, carefully made a few small marks, and then folded. the result? basically, the beginning of a pouch with the right height and enough paper overhanging to make a sealable flap.

the next step is obvious: measure in an inch and a 16th in from each of the short edges, and create neat folds there. open it all up and cut out the 4 corner rectangles. fold it together and then glue it (side flaps innermost, long thin flap outermost).

oh, so I put together a pdf with the lines you need. just print it out, cut out the corner pieces, and fold it up.

(in the process of attempting this myself, I discovered that all sorts of things had gone wrong with my printer setup. i’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: printers are not to be trusted.)

(updated to add: you will need a glue stick. i have 3. for some reason, the glue is purple.)

update 3: i just realized, if i’m going to the trouble of printing out envelopes, why not print them with the addresses on them? and furthermore, why not do it in a way that’s easily reused? and now i’m going to try to hack together some LaTeX.

update 4: ugh. this is a pain i haven’t gotten anywhere with it.

update 5: LaTeX isn’t at all the system to do this kind of layout work in – what the hell was I thinking?


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