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FREE Template Bundle: Chinese New Year Envelopes

FREE Template Bundle: Chinese New Year Envelopes

To celebrate the lunar New Year, we’ve created this freebie pack of envelope templates for you to print and fold at home. Let’s get started!

At Chinese New Year, it’s a common custom to give a red envelope (in Mandarin: hóngbāo) containing money to younger family members. The vibrant color of the envelope symbolizes good luck for the year ahead, and the designs often feature beautiful and intricate lettering or patterns in red and gold.     

That’s why we’ve created this freebie pack of envelope templates for you to print and fold at home. Fill with notes and give to friends and family to wish them good fortune and happiness in the Year of the Ox!

Scroll down to download your envelope template pack and discover quick-start tips for opening, editing, and printing your cards. 

Looking for image inspiration for your 2021-themed designs? Don’t miss the Shutterstock New Year curated collection of celebratory images and illustrations.

Festive Envelopes

What’s Included in Your FREE Chinese New Year Envelope Pack

This FREE downloadable template pack contains four envelope compositions with a modern and minimal design that celebrates the Year of the Ox (niú, 牛) in style.

Chinese New Year Envelope Example

PDF versions of the templates are available in two easily-printable standard sizes—Letter for the US and A4 for the UK, Europe, and Australia. Simply print on double-sided paper from your home or office computer, then cut, fold, and seal!

To be able to edit your envelope templates—such as adjusting color, text, or size—you’ll need to have access to Adobe InDesign. Scroll down for instructions on how to open and edit your envelope templates using InDesign.  

FREE Envelope Pack Preview

Below, preview the four unique designs available in the FREE template pack. These envelopes have been custom-designed exclusively for Shutterstock by our friends at Blue Whippet Studio, and contain a range of lettered and patterned designs in a lucky red and gold palette.

All of the designs contain customary messages of good fortune and well wishes, including 福 (/ Blessing, fortune), 囍 (/ Double Happiness), and 寿 or 壽 (Shòu / Longevity). 

Chinese New Year Envelope Example
Chinese New Year Envelope Example
Chinese New Year Envelope Example
Chinese New Year Envelope Example

Two of the designs also feature the Ox (niú, 牛), the zodiacal animal symbolic of 2021’s lunar year and the second in the twelve-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac. People born under the Year of the Ox are said to be diligent, persistent, and hard-working, as well as extremely trustworthy.  

Year of the Ox Symbol

How to Download Your FREE New Year Envelope Pack

Simply click the button below to download your freebie pack. Double-click the ZIP file to unpackage its contents. Inside the ZIP file, you’ll find two folders for A4 and Letter-sized templates. Inside each folder, you’ll find an editable InDesign packaged folder, as well as PDF options that can be printed straightaway. 

For seamless printing, open the PDF file (which includes the color bleed). Print your document as close to the edge of the page as possible. To remove guides, you’ll need to edit the document in Adobe InDesign. See our simple-to-follow instructions below the download button.

This FREE download also includes a license document that covers the ways you can use these envelope designs. Plus, you’ll find a coupon that gives you a 15% off discount on Shutterstock images and footage. 


By downloading this free template pack, you agree not to resell or redistribute these assets.

How to Open and Print Your Envelopes Using Adobe InDesign

Step 1

Open either the A4 or Letter folder inside the ZIP file you have downloaded. 

Inside the folder, open the InDesign Folder. For Adobe CC users, open the INDD version of the InDesign file. For users of InDesign CS4, CS5, or CS6, open the provided IDML file. 

Inside the InDesign file, each envelope design is split across two pages, the first page with the exterior (outside) of the design and the second with the interior (inside). There are four total envelope designs, each with an exterior and interior page. 

Exterior Page Design
An example of the exterior design.
Interior Page Design
An example of the interior design.

Additional pages contain patterns or lettering for you to use creatively on an existing or new envelope design.

Step 2

With the InDesign file open, go to the Layers panel (Window > Layers).

The top layer, GUIDES, shows you where you can cut and fold the envelope once you print it. 

Guides Layer
Under Layers, select GUIDES to see where the envelop will be cut and folded.

You can use the GUIDES as a visual aid on-screen, or print the GUIDES layer separately from your final envelope design (to do this, switch off the visibility of the other layers before going to File > Print). For a seamless result, it’s best to switch this GUIDES layer off before exporting or printing your envelope artwork.

Step 3

The bottom layer, BLEED, contains seamless background color across the whole page, allowing you to cut your envelopes without any visible white edges. Make sure the BLEED layer is switched on before printing. 

Bleed Layer
Switch on the BLEED layer before printing.

Step 4 

Open the Swatches panel (Window > Color > Swatches) to view the available swatches for the envelope designs. You can change the color of the envelope from the ENVELOPE layer. You can adjust the color and/or arrangement of lettering, pattern, or graphics from the PATTERN layer. 

Step 5

Once you’ve finished working on your envelope design, you can either export the design as a printable PDF or print directly from InDesign (File > Print). 

To export as a PDF, first make sure you switch off the GUIDES layer and switch on the BLEED layer.

Next, go to File > Export. Choose Adobe PDF (Print) from the Format menu. Name the file (e.g. “New Year Envelope for Print”), then click Export

Name PDF File
Choose Adobe PDF (Print), name your file, then click Export.

In the Export PDF window that opens, choose Press Quality from the top Preset menu. 

Under the Pages options, check Range and type in the pages you wish to print. This is likely to be the two pages that make up one envelope template—exterior and interior. 

Export PDF
Check Range under the Pages option.

Select Marks and Bleeds from the panel’s left-hand menu. Check both All Printer’s Marks and Use Document Bleed Settings

Marks and Bleeds
Select Marks and Bleeds, then check both All Printer’s Marks and Use Document Bleed Settings.

Then, click Export

Step 6

Once your PDF is exported, you can print it to your home or office printer. Set the printer to Print on both sides of the paper, flipping the page on the short edge, and print the design as close to the edge of the page as possible. 

Using the GUIDES layer as a visual aid, use scissors or a craft knife to cut out the silhouette of the envelope and score the dashed fold lines. Seal the folded edges with glue.

Awesome job! You’re ready to place notes inside your envelope and gift it to your nearest and dearest.

Finished Envelopes
Voilà! Your finished product!

A new year is a fantastic opportunity to source fresh inspiration and hit your creative reset button. Discover more design tips and inspiring resources for 2021 below:

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