Fold a Colonial-style Letter

In the colonial period there were no pre-made envelopes for your letters. If you wanted to write to someone, you had to make your own envelope or cover. Most people did this either by folding a separate piece of paper or by writing on the front of the paper and leaving the back blank to fold into an envelope. Once the letter was written it was sealed with a piece of melted wax. Now you can have a chance to fold and send a letter just like the colonists used to! Just follow these instructions:

  1. Print out either the envelope addressed to John Hancock or the blank envelope below.
  2. Trim the white edges from the envelope sheet.
  3. On the white side of the envelope write your letter to John Hancock or use the blank envelope to write to anyone you'd like.
  4. On the colored side of the sheet, fold along the black lines.
  5. Fold back along the red lines, starting at the bottom of the sheet and working up. This should leave a rectangle with the address on one side and a small flap on the reverse.
  6. You now have a folded letter! Download and print the red wax seal below and glue it onto the flap on the back of your letter to keep it closed.

Envelope seal made of red wax

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Downloadable letter paper with folding lines addressed to John Hancock
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Downloadable letter paper with folding lines