Saturday, January 4, 2014

How to Fold a Regency Letter

I recently got a request from somebody for instructions on how to fold a letter, Regency style.  Many parts of the 19th century would be the same, actually.

So without further ado, we shall begin.

I'm going to start with the most basic way.

Step One
Write whatever you choose on one side of a blank piece of the paper of your choice. I recommend using the inkiest (preferably black) pen you have to get the closest to a dipping-ink effect.

Step Two
Turn the paper sideways, and fold down one side, as shown below.

Step Three
Fold the other end in a similar fashion.

Step Four
Fold the bottom up.

Step Five
Fold the top down. Are you getting bored yet? ;)

Step Six
Now you can see that it sort of makes an envelope by itself-- all you do is tuck the bottom bit into the top flap.

Step Seven
You could leave it that way, but if you have anything with which to seal it, that would be ideal.  You can get sealing wax online... perhaps at some craft stores or something.  I've tried normal candle wax, and that doesn't work too well.  I have messy experiences with that, haha.  Like I was talking about in my JA party post, I used to use regular glue-- sort of make a round blob with it and let it dry overnight, and then paint it and pretend it's wax.  That can be a little tacky, and is prone to tear the envelope. Haha.

Here's a picture of a Regency-style letter I got from a friend, and she used sealing wax, along with some sort of seal.  (Or perhaps button-- I have one I like to use.) The seal is broken, obviously.

Step Eight
Write the name of the addressee on the front.

If you're sending this in the mail, you'll either need to fold it to make sure it meets post office size regulations (at least 3.5 x 5 inches... talking U.S. here, of course) or what might be easier is just to put it in another envelope.

So that's that!  As you all know, I've watched a looot of period dramas.  And in so doing I've observed a lot of old-fashioned letters, and it sometimes amuses me to try to copy the way they're folded... so here are a couple more ways to fold old-fashioned letters that I've picked up. 

Start with the paper sideways like this...
Then fold the bottom up and the top down, like this.
Then fold in two flaps...
And it will look something like this.

Now onto the third example...

Start with something like this, and then fold once, and again, where indicated.

Then you tuck it in just like the first example.

So there you are, anyone who was interested. :) 


Miss Dashwood said...

Okay, now I want to try sending you a letter folded like this. I had been trying to figure out how you did it when you sent me that one with the wax seal and all... I mean, I know you told me but it's much easier for my poor head to comprehend when I see all the handy-dandy pictures. :D

Miss Jane Bennet said...

HOW FUN. I've always wondered how they did it without an envelope; I'm going to need to try this sometime soon! If only I had some sealing wax...;) Ah, well. I can improvise.

Homeschool Mom said...

How interesting! Thanks for posting! Letter writing is still a wonderful way to spend time . . . wish we had more of it today.

Melody said...

Heehee. I should certainly be delighted to receive such a thing. :D And I'm glad you like the handy-dandy pictures. :) I could have showed you IRL, too, only I didn't think about it...

Miss Jane Bennet,
And now you knowww! :) You'll have to let me know how it turns out if you try it. :)

Homeschool Mom,
You're welcome! I know, writing letters is a hobby of mine, but sometimes you have to do it little by little in order to have time for a nice long one. :)

Ella said...

Thank you for this tutorial! It was so fun:)
I tried the first one and it worked really well.

I hope you have a great day!!

Evelyn said...

I think I've done the first one before; it's fun. :) I have actually found that you can use crayons for the wax and they work pretty well. (for the most part) At least, that's the closest I've come to actual sealing wax. :D

Thanks for taking the time to take these pictures and write this tutorial!

Caroline L. said...

SO. COOL. I've always loved the way the letters in period dramas are folded, but I never actually took the time to figure it out. This is awesome! And my little sister just got a wax seal kit for Christmas.....

Miss Jane Bennet said...

Hi, Melody! :)
So...I tried doing this, and it worked quite well! I used the first method. Actually, the first time I tried, I folded both sides of the letter all the way and ended up with an envelope that doesn't need sealing wax. ;) But then I did it the right way. I tried using glue for wax, and it STILL hasn't dried, so that's a no-go. ;) But my dad made one and tried candle wax, and that actually did work for us. We put it on construction paper; maybe that did the trick? Anyways, it worked and we were even able to put a seal in it with a button. Thanks for the tutorial! I'm going to quite enjoy sending some Regency letters. =)

Melody said...

Ella & Evelyn,
You're welcome! :)

Caroline L.,
Thank you! And a wax seal kit, how fun!!

Miss Jane,
Yay! I'm glad it worked for you. Well, they are supposed to stay without sealing wax-- that's just something you can do in addition. And all candle wax is different, I'm sure. Glue DOES take a long time to dry!

Meg N. said...

Thanks for this post! What a coincidence that the day I needed to know this was the day you posted it, so you popped up first on a Google search. How advantageous.

Catherine Denton said...

Thank you, I've wondered how to do this. Wanted to seal some heart-felt letters for Christmas presents and this will help me make them pretty!

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