You may not be able to embrace your friends and family for a while, but letter writing is a great (and screenless) way of letting them know you care from afar. And why not give your penpals a real treat by dressing up your letter in all the news that’s fit to print? You’ll need some folding skills and a roll of either clear or decorative tape.

1. Start with a double sheet of a newspaper. We suggest using the cover and back page of a  section.

Pick a colorful newspaper page or one with interesting images for your homemade envelop.  (Tony Cenicola/The New York Times)
Pick a colorful newspaper page or one with interesting images for your homemade envelop. (Tony Cenicola/The New York Times)

2. Open it up and tear along the centerfold, so you’re left with a single newspaper page.

3. Fold your new single sheet in half. You’ll want the most decorative art to be facing down on the table.

4. Position the letter or card you’re planning to send slightly above the middle of the sheet.

Position the letter, photo or card you’re planning to give slightly above the middle of the sheet. (Tony Cenicola/The New York Times)
Position the letter, photo or card you’re planning to give slightly above the middle of the sheet. (Tony Cenicola/The New York Times)
Fold the sides inward.  (Tony Cenicola/The New York Times)
Fold the sides inward. (Tony Cenicola/The New York Times)

5. Take the sides of the folded sheet and make two equally sized flaps. (These will be the sides of your envelope.)

Advertising

6. Dog-ear each corner and tape down.

Fold the corners down and tape them. (Tony Cenicola/The New York Times)
Fold the corners down and tape them. (Tony Cenicola/The New York Times)
Tape down all four corners.  (Tony Cenicola/The New York Times)
Tape down all four corners. (Tony Cenicola/The New York Times)

7. Fold the bottom of your sheet up so it covers about three-quarters of your letter or card.

Fold the bottom of the sheet up over most of your card or letter. (Tony Cenicola/The New York Times)
Fold the bottom of the sheet up over most of your card or letter. (Tony Cenicola/The New York Times)

8. Tape the bottom two dog ears down to the vertical sides of the envelope.

9. Once your card is finished, fold the remaining top flap of the envelope down and secure it shut with a sticker, tape or, if you’re fancy, a wax envelope seal.

The finished envelope. Pick a colorful newspaper page or one with interesting images for you envelop.  (Tony Cenicola/The New York Times)
The finished envelope. Pick a colorful newspaper page or one with interesting images for you envelop. (Tony Cenicola/The New York Times)