I'm using this for my resume packaging - but you can use this for personalized cards, wallets, pouches, etc. You can make them big, small, any size or shape you want.
All you start off with is an array of buttons and 2 fabric choices - I suggest one solid color fabric, preferably a sturdy linen, and one pattern fabric to add some style:
I suggest creating a template for the size and shape of your piece. For mine, I created a tri-fold if you will, measuring a total of 13.5 inches long and 6 inches wide. Since it's a tri-fold, the center panel measures at 5.5 inches long, with the top and bottom panels measuring at 4 inches long. For mine, I placed the solid linen on the outside, and the pattern linen on the inside to add a surprise flare when my prospective employers open my envelopes.
The sewing is very easy. Use pins along the edges to keep the fabrics aligned together and simply sew 1/4 inch seams. If you want to keep it very clean, and have the patience, you can fold in your seams first, and sew over the fold for a more clean look. Once you've sewn all 4 sides, you fold over your bottom panel and sew the overlapping edges, and ta-da you've just made your envelope... The next step is creating a way for it to seal, clasp, etc. - essentially close.
I've done it with buttons. You create a button hole on your top flap. Thanks to Madalyn's mom's amazing sewing machine - we were able to sew a seamed button flap with it's presets. If you have a pretty recent sewing machine, check your setting to see if that's an option. If not, you can simply cut a slit for the button (I wouldn't bother sewing the edges since they'll be hidden behind the button).
Lastly, you just sew your buttons on the bottom flap and you're done. I've chosen to sew 5 buttons total just to add some extra design.
Here is a look at the final product:
On the outside, you just see the button. Once you open it you get a pop of color with the pattern and the extra buttons sewn on the inside - plus any sight of your card, letter, etc. stored inside.
I may not have explained the steps thoroughly. If anyone is interested, I can email you more information, as well as a copy of the template I used.
Thanks Madalyn & Mommy Worthington for all your help.