Open When... Envelopes

2014 is flying by. Can you guys believe it's November?! That means Christmas is already next month, so it's about that time to start thinking of gift ideas for friends and family (if you haven't already, that is... I know Sarah has.) Over the next month, we're going to share projects that would make great gifts for your loved ones. We hope that some of these ideas will inspire you to skip the Black Friday sales and spend time at home, sipping some hot chocolate and crafting up some thoughtful presents that will show your friends just how much you love 'em!

First up is a gift that I actually made 6 months ago as a Mother's Day present to my Mom! We held off sharing it on here because we didn't want to ruin any of the surprises for her, but even though I made it for a different holiday, we think that it would make a great gift for anyone on any occasion.

I always have the hardest time coming up with something special for my Mom on Mother's Day. I always want to be unique and original, and I'd say for the last 24 years, I've failed at that about 23 times (Sarah's sure my Mom would disagree). So this year, Sarah found this idea through Pinterest and suggested it to me for a Mothers' Day present. Since this is a personalized gift, we won't share the contents for all envelopes, but hopefully this post will give you a good jumping off point if you'd like to try this for someone special this upcoming holiday season.

Basically, the idea here is that you create a number of envelopes to be opened at different times throughout someone's year. You could base them off of a timeline (open June 1st, open July 1st, etc.) Or you can base them off of an emotion that person may be feeling. Make as many or as little envelopes as you'd like! For my gift, I did 10 envelopes to match up with 10 different emotions/feelings/scenarios for my Mom to open depending on her mood. I loved that this was a gift that lasted her several months instead of a once-and-done deal.

Here's what I did!
1. Open when... you feel happy
2. Open when... something didn't work out
3. Open when... you had a rough day at work
4. Open when... you miss the kids
5. Open when... you feel bored
6. Open when... your family is driving you crazy
7. Open when... you need a good laugh
8. Open when... you need to feel loved
9. Open when... you need a date night
10. Open when... you need inspiration

I  handmade all the envelopes out of nice, heavy scrapbooking paper, and stuffed them with personalized little gifts. Here are a few examples:

Open when... you had a rough day at work
Some office humor e-cards and bottle of Crown Royal should do the trick!

Open when... you miss the kids
My brother, sister, and myself are grown and have moved away, so it's nice to remind my folks that we're just a phone call away when they want to talk.

Open when... you need a good laugh
Celebrities without teeth? Hilarious. The Terminal? Hilarious.

Open when... you feel bored
A couple games and some fun facts should help with that!

Open when... you feel happy
My Mom's favorite sweet treat, plus a CD that makes me very happy - hope it makes her happy too!

Get the idea? All bundled up, this was a fun gift to make, and it packed more meaning than anything I've given my Mom in a long time. It's the gift that keeps on giving! She opened the envelopes every few weeks for about 5 months. It was great to hear from her every time a new one was opened up and find out what she thought about it!

This project was extremely personalized, and best of all, almost completely handmade. I'm sure my Mom really liked it, but it would be great for any family, friends, or other special someones in your life.

Sarah & Nick


  1. I think that's an especially good gift for a mom!

  2. That is such a cute idea! I love it! I may give this a try as a stocking stuffer for my husband this year!!

    1. Great idea! That's so sweet. Nick's mom really loved getting this as a gift, so I may need to try it for my friends this Christmas too!


  3. I love the envelope idea an
    will send my sister 12 this Christmas. Thanks a bunch Kathy