Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Project 24: Repurposed Greeting Cards

We all have them: tacky greeting cards from greeting card collections or misguided purchases, sitting around, never to be given to anyone because they're just too hideous. Or perhaps you have a collection of greeting cards given to you for birthdays and holidays that you can't bear to throw away.

Here's a way to turn the cards into something unique and new. Take these two hideous specimens below. By cutting out the bugs and flowers from one card, and the kitty from the other, we can create two brand-new cards that you won't be embarrassed to send.

Ugly greeting cards, awaiting transformation

What You Need

  • ugly greeting cards to cut up
  • blank greeting cards
  • paper scraps, stickers, trims, embellishments
  • pigment ink pad
  • decorative scissors and regular scissors
  • dimensional foam tape
  • glue stick

First, the most satisfying part: cut out the parts of the ugly cards that you would like to keep, and discard the rest.

Now, the challenge: how to make two new cards out of these bits of old cards. I stockpile decorative papers, images, felt shapes, and stickers. When I'm working on a card project, I pull out a bunch of papers and items with a similar theme and choose among them. Here's a stash below; I ended up not using most of the items, but just looking through them helped me plan the composition.
Cut out the parts of the cards you want to keep, and grab an assortment of scraps and embellishments to consider.
These two cards are for a young girl, so the plan is to keep them simple, bright, and cheerful. Starting with the cat card, the paper with colored circles caught my eye. A card with an inked background, overlaid with the paper, with the cat on top seemed like a good start.

Start by using an ink pad to color the paper, inking the paper directly with the ink pad.

Ink the paper directly with the ink pad
Use decorative scissors to cut out the paper. Glue it down with a glue stick, then affix the cut-out cat on top with dimensional foam tape. The dimensional tape helps the cat stick up a little, giving a bit of a 3-D look to the card. Alright, that's a good start to the card. We'll add more later.
First card in progress, with papers and image affixed
On to the second card. On this card, leave the background white, so as not to compete with the busy pattern of the printed paper we're using here. It's a funky nature-themed paper, perfect for the little bugs we'll add in.

Glue the paper down with a glue stick, then position the bugs on the card, some coming in from the edge, others pointing outward to give it a dynamic look.
Give paper an attractive edging with decorative scissors 
We're now ready to put the finishing touches on both cards. For the cat card, I added a decorative sticker border, and two big colored star stickers. Again, this is for a young girl, so the big, bright colors work. I finished it with glitter glue in a blue-green patina color, using it to rim both the edges of the paper and to add dots on the edges of the card, the stars, and the sticker border, tying the look together.

For the bug card, a felt flower with an added flower sticker in the middle added dimensionality and a different texture to the card. And no card is complete without a bit of shine; red Dresden foil trim at the bottom adds that shine and ties in with the red of the ladybugs.
The finished cards
That's two cards, repurposed! When creating cards, keep the age of the recipient in mind - this look wouldn't work for anyone over the age of ten. But you're sure to find old greeting cards that fit the occasion perfectly - once they're chopped up, of course.

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