Friday, June 17, 2011

Repurposed Project #6 - Fun, Inexpensive Business Cards

 Upcycle many types of chipboard boxes into business cards or post cards. Most of us usually have an over abundance of gift boxes around Christmas, birthdays, weddings, graduations or special events. Why not repurpose them into useful postcards or business cards? For this project, all you need are:
  • Scissors
  • One or more gift boxes - the kind retail stores give for wrapping clothing items in.
  • A 12" ruler or yard stick
  • Pencil and Eraser
  • A flat table or workspace
Let's Begin!
 1. Separate the lid from the bottom of the box.

2. Flatten both pieces by cutting or undoing the corners.

3. Cut off all four tabs on the lid and bottom of box. Cut as straight as possible, along the fold, so that the cardboard edges will be straight for this project. This will leave you with two rectangular pieces of cardboard, similar to the one in the photo. Discard the tabs or save them for another project.

4. Turn the pieces of cardboard over so the decorated or glossy side is face down on the table. The "wrong" side of the box should be facing up.
5. Now it is time to measure and draw lines for the post cards or business cards. Start on the shorter side of the rectangle piece. Place your ruler along the edge and start drawing really small dots every 2.25" for business cards, or every 4" for postcards. Draw them as close to the edge as possible. Now do this on the opposite, short edge of the cardboard too. Depending on the size of your box pieces, you may not be able to use the whole piece of cardboard, and that is OK.
6. Once the dots are drawn on both edges of the short sides of the box pieces, you can begin to connect them, using your ruler. Connect one dot to the opposite dot, to create a straight line across, and repeat until you have divided the whole sheet with lines.
7. When your lines are drawn across the sheet, it is time to start the vertical lines. This time you will draw dots every 3" for business cards and every 6" for postcards. Connect the dots like you did in #6.
8. Now your pieces of cardboard should be divided into business card or postcard sized rectangles.
9. Cut along the pencil lines as precisely as you can to create the individual business or postcards. Or, if you are lucky enough to have a cutting board that cuts thick paper, you can use it.
10. The decorated side of the card becomes the front of the card. The plain side of the card is where you write, stamp or label your message. I had a custom stamp created, so I use it to make my business cards, but a printed label or hand written card is fine too.

What a great way to upcycle those old gift boxes!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Upcycled Pinback Buttons and Magnets

I am obsessed with old paper ephemera, from book pages, to greeting cards, postcards, paper party decorations, magazines, books, patterns and stickers. If it is made of paper, I like it and I collect it. Unfortunately, this has led to an over abundance of paper ephemera stored away in boxes. Recently, this collection has become so overwhelming that I decided to create pinback buttons and magnets from some of the paper hidden away in those boxes. I carefully select unique imagery from old advertisements, wallpaper, books, wrapping paper, and whatever I can find that looks appealing to the eye. Instead of copying the image, I use the original, so that the button/magnet picture is crisp and clear, and the buyer gets a one-of-a-kind piece. Now you are probably getting a little antsy at this point, thinking that I am destroying such wonderful, potentially collectible, paper ephemera. But don't you fret. This is what is used: the book pages come from books that are not complete, badly torn and abused. The wrapping paper has already been used to wrap a gift, and I am careful to select great graphics while working around the wrinkles, tape and rips. And the ads I use, well, they may eventually be priceless, but currently they aren't and look much better pieced into a magnet or pinback button. So don't worry, I am trying to recycle while preserving little pieces of history. For the paper items that I think are worth keeping whole, in one piece; well, those items get sold in my Recycled Wares Store.

Earth Keepers


- 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.

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