Monday, April 18, 2011

US Shipping Charges Increased on April 17th

If you use the US Postal Service to ship boxes, you probably already know that the shipping prices increased yesterday. A postage stamp remains at 44 cents, but domestic shipping rates have increased to 20 cents an ounce. For more information on the rates, here is a link to the USPS website:
http://www.usps.com/prices/welcome.htm?from=home_lgpromo&page=NewMailingPricesApril2011

•First-Class Mail letters (1 oz.) remain unchanged at 44 cents
•First-Class Mail additional ounces increase to 20 cents
•Postcards will cost 29 cents
•Letters to Canada or Mexico (1 oz.) increase to 80 cents
•Letters to other international destinations will remain unchanged at 98 cents.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Repurposed Project #5 - Vintage Greeting Card Mini Notebook

Those vintage greeting cards from the 1950's are so cute to collect and use in altered art and scrapbooking projects, but why not upcycle one into a cute mini notebook that you can carry around with you? Recently, I did just that. I don't have the step by step photos available for this project, but I did include detailed pictures and step by step instructions to help you.
You will Need:
Vintage die cut greeting card
Plain white poster board or medium weight cardboard
Pencil or Pen
Plain white or lined paper
Glue
Scissors and/or Exacto Knife



1. Pick a card that is die cut already, so you don't have to do any trimming to the card image. Cut the back off the card and discard.
2. Choose a piece of medium weight cardboard that is big enough to trace two of the greeting card shapes on. I like to reuse cereal boxes for this, so a cereal box or other larger food box will do.
3. Place the greeting card image face up onto the printed side of your cardboard and trace the shape with a pin or easy to see writing utensil. Then cut the shape out with a pair of scissors, being very careful to follow your exact lines so the cardboard will fit the shape of the card image. You can use an Exacto knife in hard to cut areas if you have one. Also, be careful not to bend or crease your cardboard while cutting.
4. Glue the greeting card image to the piece of cardboard that you just finished cutting, making sure to get glue along all the edges for a secure bond.  Press firmly down and smooth out any rough spots for a professional look.
5. Place the piece under a heavy book, for 24 hours, so it will dry and remain flat.
6.  The next day, take that same piece and trace the shape onto another piece of medium thickness cardboard. It is best to choose a plain colored piece and not a cereal box, because this will be the back of you notebook and you may not want random graphics on the notebook backing. Once the shape is traced, cut it out with scissors or an Exacto knife.
7. Place your notebook cover on top of your cardboard notebook backing and make sure the shapes are real close in size and shape. If you need to do any extra trimming or adjustments, do them now.
7. Measure how small your notebook paper should be to fit inside your greeting card shapes. Measure the smallest width and height of the shape so that no paper will show when the book is closed. Then cut as many pieces of paper as you would like for your notebook to hold. This might be determined by how thick of a stack of paper your stapler can go through, for this is how you will bind the book, with your stapler.
8. Once you have your papers cut, stack them straight and as perfect as you can. Begin assembling the notebook with all three parts: backing, paper and cover.
9. Staple the three sections together near the left edge of the notebook. Don't staple too close to the edge or too far from the edge, about 1/4" is the best.
10.  Cover the staple binding of your notebook with colorful duct tape that matches the colors in your card.
11. You are Done!!
Extras: Seal the greeting card image with a clear acrylic coating to protect it.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Repurposed Project #4 - Using Your Junk Mail

I walk to the mailbox, open the lid, and pull out several unsolicited pieces of mail every single day. At first, I would dump the envelopes, local grocery ads, and occasional magazine into the green recycling bin that my area recycling center picks up each week. After a few months of feeling wasteful, I began to wondered how I could turn that useless paper into something I could use for my business.
With my handy new shredder by my side, I started to shred my daily junk mail piece by piece and gather it into mesh sacks for easy storing. I shredded envelopes, magazine pages, grocery ads and anything that didn't have important financial information on it. Now I have about four sacks full of shredded paper and I use it during packing. It comes in handy for those small items that need a little extra padding during shipping. The best part about it, is it's free, except for my time and electricity used for shredding.
So get to shredding, if you can...

Earth Keepers

re·cy·cle

- to alter or adapt for new use without changing the essential form or nature of.
- to use again in the original form or with minimal alteration.
- to help to pass through a cycle again.

Get Paid to Recycle