The 3R's of card making – Repurpose

Are you already a crafter? Is your craft paper-based? Are you into home crafts such as sewing, knitting or crocheting? You can use your existing stock, equipment and techniques and repurpose them into cards. These are only two types of crafts easy to incorporate, but many other crafts can be used to make very unique cards.

Repurposing your existing craft tools and stock will not only give you the most unique cards but will save money on start-up and make best use of your existing crafting investment.

One paper-based crafting technique that lends itself to card making is paper quilling. Handmade cards look best if there is a 3D aspect to them. Paper quilling is naturally 3D so is an ideal technique for card making.

Repurposing paper quilling into cards

In this paper quilling medallion the tulips take up the entire backing card stock. This style of medallion would be used on a card as a feature.
The quilling image in this card was mounted using textured adhesive cardstock.

Paper quilling is a cheap a very creative craft that lends itself well to card making. The usual technique I use is to make a smaller medallion using a mounted quilling image, such as the tulips, modern stylistic flower and holly in the surrounding images.

The card on the left shows how paper quilling medallions can be turned into a card. The medallion for this card is the orange cardstock with a thin white cardstock border. To mount this medallion extra identical yellow cardstock was added to the base card and the medallion adhered.

The holly image is placed to the top left to allow space for a message to be added. In this way a decorated message block is created for the card.

Other repurposed crafts sources

While other paper crafts may be a more obvious source for repurposed ideas; for the most unique cards; ideas, techniques or equipment can be obtained from much more diverse crafting techniques. Haberdashery equipment such as buttons and ribbons, hand or machine sewing, along with knitting, crocheting and other yarn/string based crafts can in be incorporated into cards. Various painting/ drawing techniques can also be used for cards. 

The novice card maker, or more experience card makers can make the best use of other crafting equipment they have invested in by incorporating their use into card making.

Creative repurposing from discount stores

Another way of using repurposing in card making, is to use items in different ways to what they were intended for. Discount shops are favourite place for me to trawl, as they are a great source of cheap repurposed imputes for my card making.

For example, I have used red and white striped party loot bags and straws from the party supplies area of a discount store to make a masculine barbershop themed card. 

There are also many items in the Christmas supplies area of discount stores that can be repurposed. Gift cards as in the "Merry Square" in the above card and stickers such as the Christmas tree in the card below are common things that can be incorporated into Christmas cards.

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