Saturday, August 15, 2015

Make a Card from Recycled Materials and Scraps

This post is brought to you by Lesley from Decorque Cards

My name is Lesley, I run Decorque Cards and like most designers I tend to hoard fabrics, paper, cards, lace, buttons, beads, cuttings; in fact, anything with patterns and colours that spark my imagination.  

Of course, one of the easiest ways to make your own cards is just to use images from original cards you have already received, by selecting and cutting out images then remounting them in a more inventive way.  But why not try creating your own images with items you don't use anymore?

The card that I am making today is called 'The Pink Lace Butterfly' and you will see why as the card develops.  When you receive a present of a lovely plant or bunch of flowers quite often the flute shaped cellophane paper has a pattern; I always cut and keep the best pieces.  

Here are some examples in greens which I intend to use.  Alongside is a lovely pink lace patterned tissue paper used once but in good condition with a soft material like texture.  Then of course there is my button tin, well one of three!  I really like buttons, old and contemporary, I always take any really nice ones off clothes before discarding them.  Then there are the packs of extra ones you get when buying new garments that you never use or the oddments sold in charity shops, just can't resist them!


Some of the links in my supply lists may be affiliate links. 


To start, I chose a border of green leaves on cellophane; the matte print on the shiny background is a nice contrast.  I recommend that you first stick it on a firmer paper to strengthen it - which also makes it easier to cut around.  I have chosen a scalloped edge card, to complement my design.  I have also taken a simple white linear rose, cut it out and stuck it straight onto the card surface, this will add a little interest and subtle pattern to the background.

Used paper is so easy to use again by simply ironing it flat, using a protective layer of paper and a moderately hot iron, it will in most cases remove the creases and look like new. In this case, I'm reusing some pink lace patterned tissue paper to decorate a beautiful butterfly. Try looking for butterfly clip art online to create your own template and then trace around it with the craft knife to cut it out.

To bring the card together, mount the leaf border at the base of the card and the large butterfly placed centrally above.  Next I added three pink flower buttons, one on the head of the butterfly and the other two mounted in spaces among the leaves. I finished it off by adding a smaller butterfly in the bottom corner and few pink gems. While some have been bought, many are removed from cards sent to me and kept to be used again. 
See how the glossy cellophane stands out in the foreground against the matte leaves and the soft patterned tissue of the butterfly? Different textures and finishes of materials will add interest to a design, as will changing the colour and pattern. 

The images also stand out in relief with the use of the doubled-sided sticky foam pads - a 'must' for all handmade card crafters, which bring depth and interest to a card allowing layers of pattern; as shown by the white linear roses flat in the background behind the butterfly. You can either cut out a free hand design or look for white stickers that will add just a bit of texture when added to the card.

I hope I've inspired you to have fun making your own cards!

While this card was made mainly from paper products; other great sources of material are old rolls of wallpaper, packaging, magazines or even old photographs, postcards and of course the newspaper popular for its element of print. Recycling and re-using materials you already have around the house, with a little imagination really can produce a very individual card that just might make someone's day!

If you enjoyed this post and like my designs please check out my range of handmade cards over on my website: Decorque Cards.

About the Author: 
Lesley Rudman Stevens is a textile designer and blogger who writes about her passion for colour and pattern, inspired by her favourite designer Matthew Williamson.  When she’s not blogging, she’s designing and creating for her handmade and personalised greetings card range at Decorque Cards. Her unique style and wide range of home interiors products, from the quintessentially British to the tropical and exotic can be seen over at Decorque.  Follow along with her on social media at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.

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