Recycled Magazine Craft Project: Greeting Cards
After I wrote my article about junk mail crafts, I began to contemplate recycled papers that would make make great greeting card components. Not only will recycled papers save you money with your paper crafting projects but they'll also add whole new dimensions.
I have experimented with magazine components for cards before, but I decided that this would be a perfect opportunity to try a whole bunch of new techniques. I had just started a big magazine purge and pulled everything that I would need for these cards in no time. I hope that these techniques will be helpful for your own card making. Happy crafting!
In addition to magazines, these are a handful of additional recycled paper options to consider for greeting card making:
Other Recycled Papers
Old Greeting Cards
What if you don't subscribe to any magazines? If you want to use magazines for your card making and don't subscribe to any yourself, ask family and friends who do to save them for you. Additionally, ask any offices with waiting room magazines (i.e. doctor, dentist) that you frequent to save them for you.
Backgrounds: Large and Small
A magazine paper can create a large or small background for a card. As magazine papers are thin and can warp easily, I like to layer larger backgrounds over cardstock to minimize warping. Layer magazine paper behind words or photos to create mattes.
Tearing for a Natural Look
Create card components with a natural feel by tearing instead of cutting papers. I think that the torn look works well here, as it compliments the nature aspect of the leaf theme. Of course there are many other options for this, including using torn components with kraft papers.
Using Existing Borders
There are a number of ads and articles that have great printed borders. Many of these borders are an appropriate scale for most standard sized greeting cards. I like to cut borders longer than the cards, glue them down, and then cut off the excess to ensure clean lines.
There are numerous possibilities for this. For my examples here, I primarily used circle punches and layered in three different ways.
- Using punched papers on their own
- Layering punched magazine papers together
- Layering punched magazine papers with other papers (scrapbook paper, tissue paper, etc.)
Don't feel limited by this. You can use just about any punch shape with or without any other papers.
Cutting Out Letters, Numbers, Words, and Pictures
Many magazines are full of letters, numbers, words, and pictures in a wide variety of fonts, colors, and sizes. Even magazines that primarily have articles without a lot of color photos and fancy fonts often have interesting ads that can work well for cards. I created three cards for this technique, which are as follows:
- A 2012 graduation card. I cut out the green numbers from an article with a Top 10 for 2012. This design has been well received. I'll be on the lookout for 2013's for next year!
- Letter initial birthday card. Design a birthday card for someone with a large letter initial. Many articles start with a large first letter, often in color.
- "Love your life" over a bare feet picture. I cut up two different ads for this card, which I then layered over green card stock and green plaid scrapbook paper. When you find photos or phrases that you like, save them. Even if you don't know exactly how you'll use them right now, you never know when inspiration will strike later.
Paper punches and rubber stamps are by far my favorite paper crafting supplies, largely because they are so versatile. You can use the same stamps over and over again to create a wide variety of cards.
For my example here, I chose to stamp my leaves in green ink over black text. If you want your stamping to stand out even more than it will by simply contrasting colors, considering embossing.
You can create magazine paper colages out of text, pictures, or both. For my example, I chose to layer lots of different colored texts. I got these texts from Entertainment Weekly and Parenting, both of which regularly have articles with different colored headlines and text capsules. I typed "Live, Love, Read" in Microsoft Word and printed it on dark turquoise card stock.
While you're creating your own greeting cards, you might want to consider making your own envelopes to coordinate with them. There are a lot of great envelope templates and tutorials online. Check out these resources from Judy. She includes both templates as well as instructions for creating your own envelopes from deconstructed envelopes. For my example, I chose to make an envelope out of a text page, but you can use pages with pictures, too.