Gift Card Mailers

Gift Card Mailers main article image
Posted on January 6, 2022 by Natalie Ballard

Gift cards are perfect for long-distance gifting. However, sometimes you want to make that gift a little more special than the cards you find in-store. You could include them into a 3D project if you are feeling a little more daring, but here’s a simple idea you can adapt to your needs.

Creating the gift card pocket

Firstly, let’s create a simple gift card pouch to make it feel more like unwrapping a gift. The pocket I’m showing you below is based on a card measuring 85mm x 55mm (3 5/16” x 2 1/8”) which should be equivalent to most credit card sized gift cards. Adjust the sizes to suit your card if its size differs from this.

  1. Start with a base rectangle slightly larger than your card (so the card slides easily in and out). So, for the card size mentioned above, you would use a rectangle measuring 90x60mm. This could be either portrait or landscape according to your personal preference (or the project you are making if you aren’t using the rest of this design).
  2. Move this rectangle to the approximate centre of your mat; this will enable us to add the rest of our pocket.
  3. To each edge add the following (in any shape you like): top flap: 60x30mm (upside down if using a non-symmetrical shape, bottom flap: 60x15mm, side flaps: 35x90mm. If you are using a shape other than a rectangle, adapt your shapes so they best fill the space measured above.
    The flat lay of the pocket prior to welding
  4. Duplicate the central rectangle and hide it for now.
  5. Weld the remaining visible shapes to form the basic cut line. Then you can tweak any elements of the shape to make the pocket work better. Such as removing a small shape at the top of the side tabs to make the gift card easier to slide in and out.
    The pocket welded with the hidden scoreline
  6. Reveal the duplicate rectangle and set it to score or draw depending on your machine capability. You could use a dashed line if you wish to make it easier to identify in your design.
    Scoreline now added as a dashed draw line and grouped
  7. Group together all elements and move to the top left corner. Now, to make your closure: you could use a hook and loop dot, temporary adhesive or a press stud. For beginners, however, you may want to create your own simple closure as follows…
  8. To your mat, add a circle measuring 3mm/1/8” for your eyelet size. Then, add a larger circle for the outside cut edge. Send this larger circle to the back and use align to move the smaller circle to the centre, and use subtract to punch a hole in the shape. Duplicate so you have two (one for the top flap and one for the side tabs).
    Adding the closure discs

Assembling the gift card pocket

Cutting the design

The cut action is only a small part of the assembly. So, having cut out your pocket, it’s time to put it together. Start by gathering your tools you will need: pencil, ruler, bone folder, pokey tool or awl, and an eraser to punch into. You will also need: 2 brads or eyelets (and a setter if using eyelets) and embroidery thread or thin cord.

  1. Score and burnish all of your folds using your bone folder and a ruler or score board if you have one.
    Scoring the folds using a scoreboard
  2. In the top flap, poke a hole in the centre of your flap: measure it in pencil first with your ruler, then place your eraser beneath the pocket and punch the hole with your awl/pokey tool.
  3. In one of the side flaps, measure the centre vertically, and then the centre of the overlapping area. Punch your hole as above at this central point.
    Adding the punch holes for adding the closure
  4. Into each hole in the pocket, add your cut disc and a brad/eyelet. Set the eyelet or fold back the legs of your brad. Do the same for the top flap.
  5. Apply glue to the edge of the side glue tab with the closure. Fold over the side without the closure first, then fold over the glued side to seal.
  6. Apply glue to the cut edge of the bottom flap and fold it up to seal it.
  7. Fold down the top flap and wrap a small piece of cotton or thread around your enclosure. I started about an inch from end of my thread and wrapped that around the lower disc, then work in a figure of 8 around both discs.
    Winding the closure cord
    Tucking in the loose end before then starting the figure 8 wrap

The Card Design

I kept the design of the front of the card nice and simple for this one. You could design a topper on your computer, use stamps, dies etc., or use a pre-made topper. This simple design masks the surprise inside. Adapt the sizes below to suit your tastes apart from the mechanism.

  1. Trim your topper panel to 6” square.
  2. From glitter card, cut a 7” square but also hollow out this piece using a 5” square. This avoids the issue of tape and glue not sticking to the glitter card as well as saving material.
  3. Glue the glitter card piece to a 8” square card blank. Apply double sided tape or glue into the aperture and adhere your topper on top.

Opening up the card, we want our gift card pocket to pop up. We do this using a very simple mechanism into which we slot our pocket.

  1. Cut a rectangle measuring 85x90mm. As these measurements are close, be careful to keep this piece in the correct orientation.
  2. Score this at 10mm form both ends vertically, as well as down the middle (35mm from the first scoreline). Now, score midway between each outer scoreline and the centre.
    Mechanism with scoreline embossed ready for folding
  3. Fold and burnish each fold, and trim the two end tabs as shown in the images below.
  4. At the centre scoreline, cut a thin rectangle measuring 60mm by about 1-1.5mm to hold your pocket securely.
    Slot added and glue tabs trimmed
  5. Glue this mechanism into the inside fold of your card, with your glue tabs 10mm away from the fold. Use a strong adhesive for this as this will be pivotal in your mechanism. When open, the mechanism should open up into a bridge with your pocket standing vertical in the mechanism slot.
    Tape applied to the glue tabs
    Adhering in the mechanism
  6. Close your card and gently push the gift card pocket further into the mechanism so that it pops up on opening.
    Finished mechanism

This completes your surprise gift mailer. There are so many occasions this project would be suitable for. We would love to see how you use this tutorial.

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Gift Card Mailers

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