Monday, December 19, 2011

Repurposed Project #7 - Thank You Cards

Two years ago when I ran out of the manufactured thank you cards that I put into the packages for customers, I made a decision to make my own.  Coming up with the paper, printing and design for these cards was a challenge and proved to be more expensive than purchasing the store bought cards.  In addition, it was a waste of resources.  This made me rethink the whole handmade card process and helped me invent the old book, thank you cards that I send today.

Using old books that are missing pages and falling apart is the best option for making these cards.  For the price of an used, old book (about $2-$3) you get at least 50 to 100 cards depending on the number of pages.  I do not recommend using books in good condition because as we know, book stores and books themselves are barely surviving in this technology savvy world.  Some wonderful book ideas for these cards are used coloring books and dot-to-dot books, used children's work books and magazines.  I have included the instructions below for these easy, inexpensive, eco-friendly cards.

You will need:
  • Scissors
  • Glue Stick or Glue Bottle
  • Used Book that is at least 8"x10"
  • 2 Junk Mail Envelopes
  • Black Permanent Marker
  • A flat table or workspace

Let's Begin!

1. Start by gently removing the pages from the book. First, tear the cover off the book, this makes it easier to access the pages. Don't be scared, you can rip the cover off the book as long as you don't destroy too many pages. It may take some force, but you can do it. Once the cover is removed, you should be able to find the middle of the book and cut the string that holds the pages together. If the pages are glued together then you can start by separating the pages one by one. Find the center of the book and bend the pages back in the opposite direction. This will help to loosen the glue and make it easier to separate the pages. It gets easier the farther along you get. If the book is in bad condition, then it may be an easy task.

2. Once the pages are separated and removed from the book, make sure to cut all the pages into single sheet if you have double sheets. Now you should have several single pages or sheets to work with.

3. Cut each sheet in half. To make it easier to find the middle, fold the page in half and then cut along the fold.

4. Now take one half of the page and fold it in half again to create the body of the card.
5. Gather all the junk mail envelopes you can find. To make one card, it may only take two envelopes depending on the type.

6. Cut one envelope into 3/4" or 1" inch strips, length wise. I prefer to cut jagged lines for my cards, but you may prefer straight lines.

7. Then cut the strips into 2" or 2.5" length pieces trying to work around logos, words and graphics to get as many blank strips as possible. Even if a strip has graphics on it, the backside might be usable if there isn't a heavy security design on the inside.
8. Write THANKS on each piece of paper, remembering to use as many pieces as you can to save on waste. Check the back of each piece for possible writing space. The graphics on the back won't be noticeable once the THANKS tags are glued to the card.
9. Glue a THANKS tag to the front of a card. It is up to you whether you want it straight, upside down or at an angle. I usually put the tags at an angle.

10. Use the second envelope for the blank area inside the card. I use any possible blank space I can find on the envelope. Sometimes it is oddly shaped or has some sort of graphics on it, but I think that adds to its character. Cut a piece large enough to write a message on and small enough to fit into the card when folded. Don't forget that the security printed side can sometimes be used if it isn't too invasive and a black marker or pen can be seen on it.
11. Glue the piece of paper into the card. I usually only glue the top of the paper to the inside of the card to conserve on glue and allow the recipient the option to lift up the paper to see the book graphics underneath. Also, you can glue the paper on the right or left depending on the graphics of the book page. I hate to cover up really cute graphics, so I sometimes put the paper on the left.
The card is now ready for a message and to send out. Since I put the cards in a package, no envelope is needed. If you need an envelope, you can create one from a full book page from the same book.

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- 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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