How to upcycle items for card making

I am always in search of ideas to upcycle or reuse items purchased for non-card making purposes. It is a small way to offset the reams of paper I seem to print on a daily basis when at work but also forces you to be more creative. Below is a list of 10 items I have used to create card friendly items:

1. Textured wool – combine normal wool, crochet metallic thread and one of the newer varieties of wools (feather, Pom Pom etc) and use these to loop through tags

2. Front covers of patterned paper pads – don’t throw these out, cut the pictures of what’s inside out and use a backgrounds. Also keep the back card to use in your die cutting or as a mat when you are stamping

3. Ribbons from your tops and dresses – those annoying little bits that really are useless for keeping you item on the hanger, cut them off and use as an embellishment

4. Sticker sheets – think about how you can use the negative, some times you can’t but even short little bits left over from cutting a piece the right width for you card can be used to create a pleasing pattern (eg arrange these at different angles down one side of the card)

5. Mail – keep an eye out for good quality envelopes particularly those with patterned paper on the inside and card. These make fabulous backgrounds.

6. Buttons – raid your stash of spare buttons even those cut off from inside shirts and use these in your card designs.

7. Stud earrings – go through your jewelry collection and pull out any you don’t wear or are missing its mate and the use these as you would a brad. You will need pliers to bend the back and add a spot of glue to the point end or cut off the back and glue directly to your card.

8. Cards you have received – Look for good quality cards with square or rectangular designs to cut out and use as an embellishment – use foam tape or wobble springs to make them a feature.

9. Wrapping paper – cheap wrapping paper from the dollar shop with a regular design which can but cut out also make great focal pieces as do patterned paper for backgrounds. Used wrapping paper and foil from your Easter chocolates also make great background paper. If these seem to light to use by themselves stick them to some card first.

10. Clear plastic in packaging – you often see these in toy boxes can be used to make shaker cards or embossed.

Till next time, happy crafting.



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