Beautiful Cards from Recycled Cardstock

Using recycled and repurposed cardstock can be a way to save money in your card making. I have made the cards on this page using the recycled postcard and other saved cardstock pictured below. The postcard was a thank you from a company where I purchased supplies for my garden. This is a company with passion for environmental protection and lowering our impact on the earth. So recycling the thank you postcards I received from them is particularly appropriate.

These three cards were made from the recycled postcard below.

These cards were made for an ongoing project to acknowledge the work of shop attendants in the Coronavirus crisis who were being abused due to the stress of panic buying. I have extended to this to thank the staff at local medical centres who are at the forefront of the virus fight and putting themselves at risk for the public benefit.

The thank you postcard from a company where I purchased garden supplies, and the backing cardboard I saved from quilling strips I purchased. These are used in the cards on this page.

Card One using Recycled Cardstock

The garden card picture in the group of three cards above was created from the postcard. I cut off the above ground portion and trimmed it to fit. The trimmings and below ground portion were used in the other cards.

I layered the picture with backing cardboard I saved from quilling strips I purchased some time ago. The layered picture was mounted with low height foam tape, then I stamped a message below the picture.

This backing cardboard was inserted in the quilling strips package to keep it from damage in transit, but I noticed the reverse had a lovely variegated light brown pattern, so I kept it for a later project.

Butterfly Card with Recycled Cardstock

For the butterfly card, I cut out the message from the postcard and mounted it with an extended mat for the butterfly. then a second mat from the same backing cardboard. The flowers were cut from the variegated brown ground opposite to the message, thus tying the flowers and message background together colour wise and to the off-cut brown strip saved from a previous project used under the message. The bronze/gold diamantes as studs on the brown strip were cheap ones sold for children to decorate their mobile phones, etc. I used these for the stud between the flowers and flower centres as well, to tie the card together. The butterfly's head, body and antennae were painted gold with metallic ink to match the theme.

The Third Card using Recycled Trimmings

This third card uses leaves cut from the trimmings  of the postcard picture. When the picture was cut to fit card one, some bushes on the left side were cut off. I cut leaves from this area which made them a variegated green.

The strip under the message is a trimming from the backing cardboard mat of card two. The woodgrain strip on top of this trimming was set aside from a trimming off another card made many months ago. The flowers and the butterfly in card two are thin woodcuts. I lightly inked the flowers with the same ink used for the message.

The message mat, a deep greyed purple with dull lustre tied the message to the background vellum. I cut a circle from the middle of each end of the message, then re-cut the circles after attaching the mat. The circles were not quite even, so show a tiny mat colour edge with the flower centre appearing to be the woodgrain under strip, tying them all together. The antique gold brads pick up on the dull lustre of the mat cardstock and tie the golden browns of the strip to the washed out purple of the background vellum through the purple-brown flowers. 

Other Cardstock Recycling Ideas

I used the white circles cut from the centre of the flowers from card three in another card with flowers, as their centres. I habitually save extra cutouts not needed for the current projects. Circles and flowers are endlessly useful. Two major uses for circles is for flower centres and as pseudo brads, when it is hard to match commercial brads to a project. Both the flower centres and brad circles can be made 3D using the proprietary product from Ranger Glossy Accents. Check it out on the linked page.

Thin trimmings can be used as strips under message blocks as in cards two and three. I also save white or ivory trimmings. These are very useful as they are the major colours for backing cardstock. Wider trimmings can be used to stamp messages to match background cardstock without cutting into a new piece of cardstock. Thinner trimmings are very useful when I need to check if an ink is the best colour for my project. I will swipe a little ink on the appropriate colour trimming and place next to the project to check if the ink matches my project.

I often also can get two cards when I diecut a message. The negative of the message mounted on contrasting cardstock can make a very different but still beautiful card, which appears to be deliberate, using something otherwise discarded.

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