Making Mini Books with Altered Coin Envelopes


You can make delightful mini books using altered coin envelopes. They are great for giving gifts of cash, or as stand-alone works of art.

Buy coin envelopes at Staples or at any store selling stationary products. I used these: Columbian(R) Small Open-End #3 Envelopes, 2 1/2in. x 4 1/4in., Manila, Box Of 500

front of mini book using altered coin books
This is the front of the coin book.
mini book wide open
This shows the book when it is wide open

These mini books are easy to make. Unfortunately, they are much easier to show than to describe. I will do my best.


  1. 6 coin envelopes with the flaps cut off.
  2. 3 rectangles of card stock, 6 inches by 4.5 inches each
  3. 2 rectangles of card stock, 3.5 inches by 5 inches each
  4. 2 rectangles for covers, 4.5 inches by 3 inches each. Use stiffer material such as book board or shapes cut from the tougher covers used on notebooks. I don't know what they call it. No doubt you know what I mean.
  5. Rubber stamps, if you choose to decorate with stamped images. Otherwise, decorate as desired. I used a landscape image from Stampscapes. You also need a background stamp, if you are going this route.
  6. Stamping Ink. I used Artprint Brown by Memories
  7. Miscellaneous trim. I used stickers (that I distressed), boshers, sold at scrapbook stores (washers from the hardware store would work) and fibre.
  8. Adhesives and cutting tools

Before we go further, there are two terms you must know:

Two Types of Folds

Mountain Folds
You fold away from you. You are looking at the mountain peak.

Valley Folds
You fold inward, towards you. You are looking at a valley.

Method for Making Your Mini Books

  1. Stamp images on four of the coin envelopes. Be sure the opening is pointing upwards. Be sure that the bottom of the stamp is placed in the same location on each envelope so the four scenes will line up when the book is assembled.
  2. Distress the four coin envelopes by rubbing the ink pad lightly over open areas and near the edges.
  3. Stamp a background stamp on the front of the other two envelopes.
  4. Glue a 3.5 inches by 5 inches card stock shape over each of the stiffer cover pieces. Fold the excess card stock over the edge of the book board, to "wrap". Mitre corners if desired. Glue down.
  5. Center and glue an envelope with the background stamp on the front of each of the two cover pieces.
  6. Fold the three rectangular card stock pieces in half vertically. Make two valley folds and one mountain fold.
  7. Glue one stamped envelope to the first valley folded cardstock, placing it in the inside left area.
    Glue one stamped envelope to the mountain folded card stock, placing it on the outside left side.
    Glue the third envelope to the outside right side of the mountain folded card stock
    Glue the fourth envelope to the right inside side of the second piece of valley folded cardstock.

Assembling the Mini Books:

This is where it gets tricky to explain:

You assemble the mini books so they open and close like an accordion.

Align the Left side of the mountain folded card stock over top of the right (empty) side of the first valley folded CS. Glue. Take the second valley sided card stock. Align the left (empty) side of the valley folded piece UNDER the right side of the mountain folded piece Glue. Your book should now open and close like an accordion, displaying your four scenes when open, and with the openings in the coin envelopes facing up.

When the mini book is closed, you see the backs of the two valley folded card stocks . Glue the two cover pieces in place. Decorate the covers as desired. I used distressed stickers, boshers and fibre.

Tuck some cash into the coin envelopes and your mini book is good to go to a lucky recipient.

You'll find instructions for other mini books using altered coin envelopes at this link.

Pockets, Pull-outs, and Hiding Places: Interactive Elements for Altered Books, Memory Art, and Collage

Altered Books 103: Little Books, Decos, CDs & More! (#5215)

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