Direct printing on 2x2 paper envelopes

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by TIF, Dec 14, 2019.

  1. TIF

    TIF Always learning.

    @Deacon Ray, a graphics whiz, came up with a beautiful solution for storing coins in paper envelopes (see this thread). One of the problems with paper envelopes is the opacity-- you can't see what's in the envelope. Sure, you can write the contents on the label but it's just not the same, especially if you have more than one of a type.

    Deacon Ray made labels for the envelopes which were printed on large sticker paper and cut by hand to size. The labels included small images of the obverse and reverse. Elegant!

    It would be even better if we could print directly on the envelopes but no home printers can accurately feed a tiny 2x2 envelope.

    Here's the solution: make a carrier page using a low-tack adhesive similar to that which is on PostIt notes!


    Guardhouse 2x2 paper envelopes
    8.5" x 11" cardstock-weight paper for the carrier
    Scotch Restickable Glue Stick (awesome!!)
    Photoshop Elements or similar


    1. Create a template for the envelopes. You'll need a digital version so you can get everything centered when adding each coin's information, plus you'll need to print a blank template on cardstock paper, as shown in this picture:

    2. Use the digital template to design your envelopes.

    3. Apply some Restickable glue to the carrier template, staying within the outline of the envelopes. My first attempt at this failed because I used a spray adhesive so there were areas on the carrier template not covered by envelope when I went to print; the page would not feed through the printer because it was too sticky. You don't have to cover the entire area of the envelope; just put enough to keep it stuck down as it feeds through the printer. In the test example below, I was only printing five envelopes so I only put glue on those five spots. In the future I'd plan to do a full page at a time. You should be able to re-use the carrier template. Perhaps if you were printing fewer than 12 envelopes, you could put plain paper over any adhesive not covered by an envelope.

    Below is the carrier template with five envelopes. To the right is a test print page because I needed to make sure I remembered how to load the paper:


    4. Load the carrier template with envelopes into your printer; make sure you have it loaded correctly (I goofed the first few times :oops:). Print at high quality:





    The reason I have duplicates in the above test is that I'm trying to decide how much info to put on the envelope.

    If anyone wants a .psd, .pdf, or .jpg copy of the carrier template let me know.

    I think I'm going to switch from plastic flips to these envelopes. I may print two for each and have a separate envelope for the old inserts and such (kept in a separate file).

    Last edited: Dec 14, 2019
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  3. Sallent

    Sallent Live long and prosper

    Very impressive work. Your solution is probably the next best thing other than an old fashioned wooden cabinet set-up.
    TIF likes this.
  4. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander find me at NumisForums

    Wow, that's pretty awesome! If anything could make me switch to paper, this would.

    But will it? :bucktooth:
    Justin Lee and TIF like this.
  5. Deacon Ray

    Deacon Ray Well-Known Member

    Your envelopes are beautiful! I’m glad that I held off using my adhesive label idea on my entire collection because you’ve taken the printing procedure an awesome step further. Your method will not only save time and materials but it allows for an extra surface (the flap) for printing.

    Thank you, @TIF :singing:
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2019
  6. tommyc03

    tommyc03 Senior Member

    Perhaps @Deacon Ray & @TIF should combine your idea and patent it before some body like Whitman does. Seriously, this is awesome.
  7. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Well-Known Member

    Wow, super neat work. But the best thing is when your wife loves scrapbooking and DIY projects, so you can delegate and give her a nice project for her spare time!
    Justin Lee, Deacon Ray, Ryro and 2 others like this.
  8. Limes

    Limes Well-Known Member

    Great suggestions TIF. I am saving this thread for the future. That is, when my collection gets too big for my cabinet and i need to store coins differently. It sure looks great!
    TIF likes this.
  9. FitzNigel

    FitzNigel Medievalist

    Well done @TIF! I may have to consider switching to this method.
    TIF likes this.
  10. SeptimusT

    SeptimusT Well-Known Member

    I love the look of this, and it doesn't seem substantially more labor intensive than typing out my IDs, printing them, and cutting them out before inserting them into plastic flips. On the other hand, I already have a lot of plastic flips, so maybe I'm in too deep.
    Justin Lee and TIF like this.
  11. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    Dang that looks good!

    EDIT: I took a peek at your website since it was on the back of your envelopes.
    I knew you had some amazing coins....but HOLY COW! The pictures are amazing and the write-ups are so good. I bookmarked it for future reference.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2019
    Justin Lee and TIF like this.
  12. Pishpash

    Pishpash Well-Known Member

    Mmmm. T-shirts, scarves etc come to mind. I think TIF is sitting on a goldmine.....
    TIF likes this.
  13. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    TIF, you are a wizard! :wideyed: Those envelopes look really amazing! Seriously, is there anything you can't do?!

    Thanks for the idea. Now, this is me, waiting for my fancy new coin envelopes to print themselves...

  14. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random guy on the internet

    That’s a really cool and novel idea! Definitely something I may have to employ in the future.

    Currently, if I want to directly print to an envelope, this is my setup:


    I also found that Chinese coins with old typewritten envelope sell for more on eBay than if they didn’t have the envelopes (no, I didn’t make these).

    Justin Lee, Volodya, Spaniard and 4 others like this.
  15. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random guy on the internet

    The more she posts, the more I lean towards no
  16. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish)

    I like the concept and I’m glad you got it to work with a standard printer. Well done.

    Are you still including your collector tag inside the envelope as well? From what I’ve seen envelopes tend to get separated from the coins more easily than tags as the coin changes hands. I have some coins where the envelopes got discarded before I got the coin but at least the tag was still included. It would be a shame if future owners never knew they owned a coin from your collection.
    Justin Lee and TypeCoin971793 like this.
  17. red_spork

    red_spork Triumvir monetalis

    Do you have any concerns about the glue's effect on the paper? I used to use post-its liberally in my catalogs to mark specific pages and coins until I was informed that the adhesive was not archival and would degrade the paper over time. It's a shame because they were much easier to quickly flip through when I had them full of post-its.
    Deacon Ray and TypeCoin971793 like this.
  18. TIF

    TIF Always learning.

    If I switch to printed paper envelopes, I do not plan on storing the old tags with the coin. Instead, I'll make two printed envelopes-- one for the coin, and one for the ephemera. The latter will be stored in a separate file.

    I have some concerns about the glue but it is not acidic: pH "above 7", but how much above? The glue sticks to the carrier page, not the envelopes, although there could be traces of adhesive on the envelopes.

    I'm more concerned about the ink at the moment and haven't yet found any information about its pH. Also, I don't know if the ink for the printer I'm using is dye-based or pigment-based. Some ink jet prints fade rapidly.

    There are still many things to consider before employing this method of storage and labeling.
  19. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    Yum!....@TIF.......This looks really nice and very doable....I like this idea alot!..
    My ancients are in trays and I like them like that , but I also collect British Colonial coinage in year sets and have done so for nearly 30 years, and alas they are stored in horrible albums!....This system really appeals!....
    You said that you would have 2 envelopes, one for the coin and the other for tickets etc.....Have you thought about maybe sticking them back to back?.....
    Great idea Paul..
    Justin Lee, Roman Collector and TIF like this.
  20. TIF

    TIF Always learning.

    Maybe I should do that rather than keeping them separate, lest they forever be separated should something happen to me.

    I'm not 100% sure I'm going this paper route but I'm strongly considering it. I'd like more info about the printer's ink first.
  21. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    Not being a chemist and the fact your printing on the outside of the envelope, do you think that the residual chemical elements of the ink will seep into the envelope and have a detrimental effect on the coin inside?.....
    Deacon Ray and TIF like this.
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