When I first started making handmade envelopes, I noticed a problem: I had to glue all my creations shut using regular Elmer’s glue. Which, you know, aesthetically isn’t a problem … but as far as utility, well, I’m sure my letter recipients had to destroy their envelopes, tearing with all their might, to get them open. Enter envelope glue … lick-to-seal envelope glue, nonetheless! Made with four ingredients that I always have on hand (well, minus the gelatin). Needless to say, my letter-writing world has been rocked.
Once you’ve made some handmade envelopes using my tutorial, you’ll want to assemble your envelope glue ingredients to make this recipe:
- 3 TBSP white vinegar
- 1 envelope gelatin (unflavored)
- 1 TSP vanilla extract
- 1 TSP sugar
(To be honest, the sugar and vanilla extract aren’t necessary … but they do make the envelope glue taste nice. You can make the recipe without them, but you’ll have a very vinegary licking experience.)
Once you have assembled the ingredients to make envelope glue, put the vinegar in a container with a lid, like the plastic one I am using here. The reason you will want to do this is once you have created your glue, you’ll have to keep it refrigerated because when it boils down to it, it’s a food product that will mold if left out.
Microwave the vinegar until it’s hot, about 30-45 seconds. If you’re like my mom and you don’t believe in microwaves, you’re welcome to boil it on the stovetop. The whole point is to dissolve the gelatin.
Add the gelatin to the vinegar and stir to dissolve. Once the gelatin has dissolved, add the sugar and vanilla extract. You should end up with a hot, watery mixture that has the exact color of honey.
Now you’ve made envelope glue! Next, you’ll lay your envelopes on a smooth surface with the top flap flat and brush your envelope glue on the edges of the flap, like so:
Allow the glue to completely dry (I give it a good few hours), and now you’ve got a lick-to-seal handmade envelope! As for the leftover glue, put the lid on and refrigerate it. Remember that it will only last two weeks-ish, so try to make as many envelopes as possible in that timeframe to use it up. Every time you want to re-use it, you will need to restore its liquid state in the microwave (otherwise, it just looks like solid jello).