The 3R's of card making – Recycle

Recycle – packaging materials from crafting tools

Card using recycled cardstock from a stamp set backing paper.

 I have recently become aware of beautiful backing card from various unmounted stamps and dies that I have bought. I have also seen some other beautiful cardstock that can be used for card making that is sourced from other packaging material.

Another card using the same recycled backing cardstock.

The card above uses one of my newer die cuts –happy birthday with optional matting. I saved the backing paper on this card and the one at the right from a stamp set I bought some time ago. The card above also shows an example of paper from a serendipitous incident as matting for the birthday sentiment.

I will soon make a page dedicated to some of the many cards that I have created from this serendipitous incident.

Card using Backing cardstock from the die used for the first card

The card on the left uses another recycling in card making technique. It was from the backing cardstock for the new happy birthday diecut used in the top card. 

Instead of using the card stock as matting/ background material, I cut out elements of the card stock.
I cut out the happy birthday sentiment. I also punched out two flowers from an unprinted area of the page and two circles to represent stamen from the printed area which gave them a variegated effect.

The card was finished by using a piece of recycled ribbon to mount the sentiment and flowers. As it turns out the darker centre of the ribbon is almost the exact match to the printing on the card stock that is shown in the stamen of the flowers. This looks deliberate but is really serendipitous, as I found this ribbon discarded while I was out one day.

Red panel is from the backing card of an unmounted stamp set.

The  variegated red panel containing the flowers in this card also came from cardstock recycled from craft materials. In this card, the sentiment was stamped on lightweight card and attached to the centre panel to disguise other printing. The background paper for this card was from scrapbooking paper.

Recycle – other packaging materials

Recycled cardstock is from the inside of a Twinings herbal tea box.

A month ago when I was sorting out the recycling in my kitchen, I noticed that the inside of small herbal tea bag boxes from Twinings and other tea manufacturers have a beautiful backing paper which was too good to throw out. I also noticed that other areas of this box had the same background colour which could be used for matting of sentiments.

This card is made from the Twinings box. To get the length required for the 'present' box, I had to use part of a second side. This meant there was a fold line in the middle of the box. This fold was disguised by the ribbon and bow (from recycled ribbon).

Another source of recycling is to make double use of any dies that you cut. Often both the positive die that is wanted and its negative part that would be discarded is usable. The sentiment in the cart above is diecut. If you check out my business Facebook page from the link at the bottom of any page, you can see a card that is made from the negative of this (the headline purple card).

Mesh bags that I have used for card making. My local shops bundles vegetables in these for sale. White for garlic, red – capsicum, green – avocado, purple – salad onion, etc.

Another recycled product I have used in my card making is the mesh bags that are used to contain vegetables. These come in different colours and grade of mesh depending on what vegetable is inside.

I have previously used these to make cards containing various motifs. For example, I have used them for fishnets, butterfly nets, and as cricket nets (i.e. the practice area for a cricket game).

They could also be used for other sports where nets are involved, or for tennis rackets, etc. And I can imagine the nets stretched out to show the grid pattern could be used for garden themed cards.

Other sources of recycled materials for your cards

These examples are only a few of the recycled materials that can be incorporated into cards. Check out your local recycling facilities, or ask your friends to collect things for you.

In my hometown there is a company called Reverse Garbage which collects off-cuts, unneeded bits and pieces and unwanted materials from many different businesses. This is then sorted and made available to the community to purchase. You may have some sort of similar system in your own locality.

Another source of recycled materials could be garage sales. The things that are for sale can be very varied and you're sure to find something that you can incorporate into your cards.

I have recently been volunteering at a charity event called the World's Biggest Garage Sale, which encompassed two large warehouse spaces full of donated goods. I managed the arts and crafts section of this event. This area encompassed office and paper craft supplies; yarn, wool and fabric crafts; etc. A substantial proportion of the stock in this area had been donated from a deceased estate; and from a paper craft shop that had gone out of business.

The cards that I make and put up in new pages may incorporate some of the material I got from this event. This event allowed me to get some beautiful new supplies; some of which are marked at up to $3.75 per sheet whereas I paid $10 for an inch thick wad of cardstock.

This charity event originated in Brisbane, Australia. It incorporates circular economics and charity funding in the same model. They have firm plans to offer communities in other parts of Australia and internationally the opportunity to run their own World's Biggest Garage Sale within the next few years.

Using the 3R's in card making can really pay off.

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