Monday, February 4, 2013

DIY Cash Envelope System

 Being on a budget just got a whole lot more fun! (Fun-er?) The cash envelope system is really taking off at the moment, and whilst I've been tempted to purchase many of the cute and oh so stylish versions of the cash envelope system/ wallet, I thought I'd save some money and try and make my very own :) I only used materials that I had at home, but feel free to use or purchase whatever materials you wish :)

This post is very picture heavy, but I often find that's the most helpful route when doing a tutorial ;)

Here's what I used to make the envelopes:

Manilla Folders
Glue Stick
Scrap Craft Paper
White Sticker Labels
Marker (I used Bic Mark It Permanent Marker) 

Here's how I made the envelopes: 

I used the outline (roughly) of an actual envelope and traced it in pencil first onto the manilla folder, I made some adjustments to the outline before going over the lines with a marker.

Cut out your envelope stencil and fold the sides inwards. If you want more 'attractive' envelopes you can simply use craft paper instead of manilla folders or before gluing and folding the stencil, you could use contact paper to instantly 'pa-zazz' your envelopes :) For this tutorial though, I just kept mine plain and simple.

Glue along the sides and fold your base upwards to instantly create an envelope (it's that simple) I then put a strip of sticky tape over both sides just to make sure there was no chance they could come open. Next I used some scrap craft paper and a label sticker to label each envelope.

What I used for the Envelope System:

I wanted my Cash Envelope System to look like a Day Planner, whilst being lightweight for me to carry in my purse. You may choose a completely different style, this was just my preference.

Scrap Clothing
Polyester Thread
Tape Measure
Paper Clips
Scissors (not pictured)
Hole Punch (not pictured)

Envelopes that you've just made ;)

  Workable cardboard (any cardboard that folds easily and freely) I just recycled a nappy bags box

This is how I made the Envelope System:

Using one of the envelopes I had just made, I traced onto the cardboard the sizing in which I would need, I had to make an adjustment to the cardboard for the sizing to be perfect, however this is fine as you won't see the cardboard in the finished project ;)

 Cut out your stenciled cardboard and make sure it folds nicely over your envelopes.
 I chose a pair of old jeans for this project and wanted to make full use of the pockets and the overall denim look in my system so I made sure to include these when tracing my stencil onto the clothing.


One thing I will be doing differently with my next CES is turning the material inside to conceal the stitching :) I used paper clips to hold the denim tightly in place whilst sewing the material onto the cardboard. The clips came in very handy as they helped keep the material taut and avoided any sagging.

Using a black strap from an old dress I sewed this onto the 'spine' of my system to help hide some of the stitching that was showing.

Trying to incorporate a very 'denim' look I cut out and sewed on, the button hole strap from the original denim jeans 

along with a button to the front pocket. Sewing the button onto the pocket only and not the denim underneath allows me to still use the pocket to store receipts etc.

Putting it ALL together!

 If you've made it with me to this part, great work!! To put all our efforts together (and to good use!) the final step is putting the envelopes into the system. I opted for a binder-esque style, by simply using my hole punch to make two holes in each envelope, then threaded (and sewed onto the system) cotton straps (from an old top!)

Please note** Since I wrote this post I have altered my Cash Envelope system as I wasn't at all happy with the stitching showing, I have since unpicked the stitching and revised the system to not have any stitching visible. As a result I also had to make my envelopes smaller in order to fit the new systems meaurements.

We're all learning along the way ;)

 That's it! If you found this post helpful I'd love know or hear any feedback you may have (preferably constructive ;) so leave me a comment below or share this post (or both!)

I'll be sharing my tips on maximizing the usage of your day planner on Wednesday so make sure you check that out! Very helpful tips will be in there :)

Until Next Time,

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