Vintage Glassine Envelopes (or) Sleeves

I recently acquired a FULL BOX of Vintage Glassine Envelopes, although today I believe they would call them ‘sleeves’.

I have always loved glassine envelopes, they have a bit of a mysterious quality to them where you can just see through the envelope but not really make out all the details.  And these envelopes are especially wonderful because they are OLD and over the decades the semi-translucent whitish color of new glassine has changed over time to a tea-stained color that is perfect for that Vintage/Distressed look so popular in crafting these days and which I, particularly, love.


Even the box has that “patina of age” and you can tell at a glance it’s out of the mid-century.  When I opened it up and saw it was full – oh my, be still my beating heart.

Why, you might ask?  These little envelopes can be used in SO many ways and I’ll cover some of those a bit later.  But my first thought was ATCs.  I mentioned ATCs in a previous article, but basically they are Artist Trading Cards.  They’re 3½” x 2½” and are handmade little vignettes of art in pretty much any style or medium.


So with those dimensions in mind, you can see why I think these envelopes would be perfect for the ATCs which are frequently traded (and sold).  And since I love the details in all things, slipping an ATC into one of these as I send it out into the world would please me greatly.


The envelopes do have a ‘front’ and ‘back’ to them.  They also have a ‘pinked’ top edge.  You could leave the top as it is or fold it over – whichever looks best for you.  But check out that color – pure tea-stained distressed delight.  Give me an aged patina and I’m one happy camper.


This is an ATC I did in an art swap featuring sewing. That’s one of the envelopes next to it with the front side up.


I just slipped the card in and even with a bit of extra bulk on it’s surface (the real buttons across the bottom) the card fits perfectly.


I just folded the extra top over towards the back.  Like I said though, you could leave the top straight up and open if you preferred.



I wanted mine closed, but there’s no glue on these.  That’s okay because I have the perfect idea.  My Etsy shop, Old Raven, has used a raven for it’s logo/branding for years.  I wanted to included that logo on my ATCs, too.  So I pulled out a sheet of stickers that are Kraft colored.


A black ink pad and a stamp that has a small enough raven to fit on the 1″ stickers, and I quickly made a row of ‘personalized’ seals.



You could use just about anything to close these envelopes including:  paperclips, washi tape, scotch tape, pre-made ornate or decorative stickers, brads, etc.


I’m liking my raven and I think the Kraft paper color was a perfect fit to go with the aged patina of the envelopes.


This is how my neat little package looks from the front now.  See what I mean about the peek-a-boo through the glassine?  I LOVE that.

So what else can you do with these:

~photos and clipart
~storing pressed flowers or seeds
~wedding lottery favors,
~ephemera, altered arts,
~archival storage,
~junk journals,
~card making,
~stamp collecting

I’m sure I’ll find more and more ways of using these cool little envelopes in my crafting but even I can’t go through the supply that’s in this box.  So, remember my Etsy shop?  I’m going to post these envelopes in sets of five for only $2.  Check it out at:


Let me know what fun ideas you come up with for these little cuties and, of course,

Craft On


3 thoughts on “Vintage Glassine Envelopes (or) Sleeves

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s