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6 Tips for Green Scrapbooking—Make Environmentally Friendly Scrapbooks

Updated on November 18, 2016
Altered Wall Hanging Made from Packaging
Altered Wall Hanging Made from Packaging

Green Scrapbooking: Reuse, Recycle and Restore

Hey Scrapbooker, Card Maker, and Paper Crafter! Did you know that "going green" is not only good for Mother Earth? That's right—it's also good for your pocketbook!

This article offers tips for reusing, recycling and making your own environmentally friendly scrapbooks and other green arts and crafts projects. I know these tips work because I have made every one of these items myself.

If you have an eco-friendly tip to add, please leave a comment. Tips related to card making, stamping, altered art, mini albums, decorations and the myriad of other projects that fall loosely into the scrapbook category are welcome.

 Envelope Made from Glossy Brochure
Envelope Made from Glossy Brochure

Tip #1: Make Envelopes from Recycled Paper

Calendars, catalogues, and glossy folders make great envelopes.

If you already make your own cards, you know that finding the right sized envelopes can be a challenge. Why not make your own envelopes, using paper that you have around the house? Old calendars are perfect. So are many catalogs, brochures, and assorted advertising materials that show up in your mailbox daily. You can also use wallpaper samples or leftover strips of wallpaper, brown paper bags, packaging material or most anything else that folds easily.

You don't need a pattern. You simply wrap your card as you would a parcel, and shape a flap. You will need to use labels for the "To" and "From" data. I print my From labels from the computer using Avery labels. For the recipient's address, I attach a strip of plain paper and write the address by hand. In the picture, I have not yet attached the recipient's address, but you can see the return label quite nicely.

Scrapbook Made from Altered Board Book
Scrapbook Made from Altered Board Book

Tip #2: Make an Album from an Unwanted Book

Children's board books convert into clever, imaginative albums or journals.

In this project, I turned an unwanted ' board book into a St. Patrick's Day mini album. It was a gift for a child. Board books work well for this type of project, but you can use other types of books too. Using recycled books is called making "altered books".

The good thing about altering a discarded book and converting it into a scrapbook is that you are saving the book from the trash heap while avoiding buying or making a new book or journal.

There is one word of caution, however. Books are not acid-free. I would not advise using this type of album for heritage pictures or for memorabilia that you want to save for a long time.

The video here demonstrates how I made the altered book album. This was my first attempt at a video—I managed to improve over time.

Video Demonstration of Album Made from Recycled Book

Tip #3: Convert Junk into Gifts and Decorations—an Altered Art Video Demonstration

Take a quick peek at the picture at the top of this lens. I made the wall hanging using cardboard inserts that came with new cookware. I painted the cardboard, glued a picture from a greeting card in the middle and trimmed with paper flowers and ribbon. It's an attractive wall hanging in real life—no-one ever guesses its hand made from junk.

Be alert and keep your eye open for unusual items that you can use to create green arts and crafts projects.

Recycled Christmas Card
Recycled Christmas Card

Tip #4: Make a Recycled Christmas Card

If you create your own handmade greeting cards, this tip will save you time and money, and is a more eco-friendly solution. Use the cards that you receive from others (except for the ones you save for sentimental reasons, of course). Cover these items with papers, embellishments, and trim. Be sure to conceal any images or text that appears on the original card, both inside and out. Alternatively, you can purchase a box of cards at the Dollar Store and redecorate them. This way, you get the envelopes as well.

Naturally, you are not limited to holiday or Christmas cards. Messages for any occasion work as well.

Tip #5: Recycle your CD or DVDs

Mini Album Made From Recycled CDs
Mini Album Made From Recycled CDs
Photo Frame Made from Recycled CDs
Photo Frame Made from Recycled CDs

Recyled CDs or DVDs Make Great Albums or Photo Frames

Old CDs and DVDs are like gold to those who create altered art, as well as other crafters. Save all you have and ask your friends to give you their old ones as well. In the big picture above, I made a stand-up photo album using eight CDs. I have seen these CD albums made using as many as 16 disks. The album closes to lie flat or you can stand it upright and fan it open like a flower.

Similarly, you can convert CDs or DVDs into lovely photo frames. In the picture here, I have used two CD disks to make a heritage photo frame.

Brooch Made from Recycled CD or DVD
Brooch Made from Recycled CD or DVD

Recycled CDs make Great Jewellery or Embellishments

Wear them or use them as embellishments.

Recycle your CDs and DVDs to make brooches, earrings or embellishments for your artistic projects. You will need craft paint, a stamp and ink, Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel (UTEE) and a pin for the back if you are making a brooch. Brooch pins are sold at Michaels and other arts and crafts stores.

  1. Heat the CD in boiling water to soften it a bit. Then, using old scissors, cut or break the CD into irregularly shaped pieces. Be sure to protect your eyes when you do this. Little pieces can fly around when the disk breaks.
  2. Paint the front of the CD piece with any color craft paint. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly.
  3. Stamp an image on the dried surface, using all or part of a stamp. Allow to dry.
  4. Apply two or three coats of clear UTEE to the CD piece. Allow to dry, or while the UTEE is still melted, you can stick in some tiny beads or sprinkle with glitter.
  5. Optionally, punch a tiny hole in the CD piece, and attach a charm
  6. If making a broach, attach the brooch pin to the back.

Recyeled Hardware as Trim for Tag Art
Recyeled Hardware as Trim for Tag Art

Tip #6: Find Toolbox Treasures

This is all about hardware put to good use.

Rather than buy embellishments, take a look through the toolbox or the junk drawer. You often find great little doodads that you can use or trim to make wonderful and original trims for layouts, cards, tags or other projects. Bits of cord, washers and what-not are super for the grunge look and also great embellishments for masculine projects

In the tag art shown, I have made two grunge-look tags. They are decorated with pieces of cord, metal chain and little metal washers.

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    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 5 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @anonymous: Thank you so much for visiting and commenting.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      You have inspired me to start going greener! Thank you.

    • profile image

      kevinidf 5 years ago

      I think, it is high time to use recycle material. Cost of these recycled material is smaller than others. I am experienced person of the packaging industry and i know importance of recycled cardboard. Not in just packaging industry, this thing is useful for all purpose.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hey I have reviewed your squidoo lens and I really liked it. Because of this I went ahead and âlikeâ you on squidoo. Giving your lens another like.

      When you have time, please take a look at my lens. It is located at

      http://www.squidoo.com/appliance-removal-louisvill...

      If you like my lens, please add a like to my lens as well. I am new to squidoo and I would appreciate any comments at all.

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 6 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @mistyblue75605 lm: Thank you!

    • mistyblue75605 lm profile image

      mistyblue75605 lm 6 years ago

      Lots of creativity here!! Love it all!

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 6 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @JJNW: Thank you so much. I am thrilled to receive your blessing.

    • JJNW profile image

      JJNW 6 years ago from USA

      *** Blessed by a the Craft Ideas SquidAngel *** for excellence of ideas, instruction, content and all-around green wonderfulness!!

      â¥â¥â¥ I love your lens. Thanks for making it! â¥â¥â¥

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @ajgodinho: Thank you so much. It's always wonderful to receive a Squid Angel Blessing

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Wonderful and creative ideas on green scrapbooking...**Blessed by a Squid-Angel**

    • profile image

      aishu19 7 years ago

      me too!! I love how you re-use the CDs.. Great Lens and Congrats on the lens of the day!! That is a great achievement!

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @rasik-life: Thanks. Yes, CDs have so many great uses to crafters. Thanks for commenting.

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @rasik-life: Thanks. Yes, CDs have so many great uses to crafters. Thanks for commenting.

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      rasik-life 7 years ago

      like the CD photobook... lately i was thinking what to do new with them...

      beautiful lens..

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @lasertek lm: Thank you! Yes, junk materials have the added benefit of being both unique and cheap! In fact, most are free.

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      lasertek lm 7 years ago

      Nice! I have been using junk materials on my scrapbook ever since because it allows my mind to create unique designs plus I need not shell out a few bucks. Great lens! 5*

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @anonymous: Thank you!

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      Congrats on Earth Day for Charity LOTD! Selected trash makes very good scrapbooking materials indeed. ;)

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @Dorsi: Very true. I have even asked my friends to save trash for me. Selected trash, of course.

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      Dorsi 7 years ago

      Great collection of ideas. I love making things out of "junk". One persons trash, another persons treasure as they say!

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @HorseAndPony LM: Thank you so much, Horse and Pony Angel! Happy Earth Day also

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @Lee Hansen: Many thanks. Happy Earth Day to you also

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @paperfacets: Thank you! I live in an apartment and there is no compost bin, but add my scraps to the recycling paper bin that we have in the building.

    • HorseAndPony LM profile image

      HorseAndPony LM 7 years ago

      This is a great collection of ideas! Happy Earth Day. Blessed by The HorseAndPony Angel, http://www.squidoo.com/horseandpony-squidangel.

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 7 years ago from Vermont

      Happy Earth Day and congrats for a fitting lens tribute to living and crafting "green."

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 7 years ago from La Verne, CA

      Good practices and ideas. When my small paper scraps are not reusable I up them in the compost bin. I am known to use strips of paper 1/8" wide. Balloons and confetti for a perfect LotD for Earthday.

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @modz: Many thanks.

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @Tarra99: Thank you for visiting and your lovely rating.

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @Tarra99: Thank you for visiting and your lovely rating.

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @coppertantrum: Thank you for dropping by and for your kind words.

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @RhondaAlbom: Thank you so much for your gracious comments.

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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @Heather426: Thanks so much for stopping by and posting.

    • modz profile image

      modz 7 years ago

      Very nice!!! Congrats

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      Tarra99 7 years ago

      Congrats on LOTD!...great green scrapbooking lens! 5*

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      coppertantrum 7 years ago

      Beautiful! I love the grunge tags and the recycled envelope will help me greatly! Thanks!

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 7 years ago from New Zealand

      Congrats on LOTD - well deserved.

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 7 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      fantastic ideas and beautiful! congrats on LOTD!

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @SandyMertens: Many thanks.

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      Sandy Mertens 7 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Congratulations on your LOTD. Very nice lens.

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @anonymous: Thanks Deb. What a nice thing to say. Thanks for visiting.

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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @norma-holt: Thank you. Squid Angels are the best.

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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @GonnaFly: Thats a great idea. I do iris folding as well. I'll be sure to check out your lens.

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      This ideas are fabulous! What a treasure chest for my kids and I!!

      We are so inspried. Thanks for sharing all of your great ideas.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 7 years ago

      Fabulous ideas and great resources. Congrats on LOTD and blessed by this angel and featured on Sprinkled with Stardust

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 7 years ago from Australia

      I use the insides of old envelopes to make cards (shown on my iris folding page). Another way to recycle "junk" paper. Great lens!

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @Mickie Gee: Thank you, Squidangel! CDs and DVDs are like gold to me. I beg my friends to save me their old ones. They keep asking me what music I want on them and I keep saying I don't give a hoot, just bring the CD. :-)

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 7 years ago

      I have seen some brooches made from CD's in our Art Museum. Thanks for telling me how I can use CDs and DVDs for something other than drink coasters!

      For that you get a blessing from this SquidAngel!

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @kimmanleyort: Thank you, and thanx for the video thumbs up! LOL

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @Amy Fricano: Your art sounds fascinating. I'll be checking out your lenses. Thanks for commenting.

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @noxid25: Thank you! And Happy Earth Day to you also,.

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @KeithWinter: Hey, what a great idea. I'd love to see a picture of those earrings somewhere. Thanks for posting.

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @anonymous: Thank you J and the FFIDS. I take it you are all having a good day?

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      kimmanleyort 7 years ago

      One person's trash is another's treasure. Very creative ideas for recycling and making keepsake gifts. By the way, I loved your video. Congratulations on LOTD for Earth Day!

    • Amy Fricano profile image

      Amy Fricano 7 years ago from WNY

      loved it. I don't scrapbook, but you gave me some great ideas for stuff I make art objects that I call "Arbage Garde" art (avant garde made with would be garbage, with a touch of pigLatin). eat-gray!

    • noxid25 profile image

      noxid25 7 years ago

      I love to scrapbook and these are wonderful green ideas. I like to re-use wrapping paper and only use paper made of recycled goods. Featuring on my facebook page today. Happy Earth Day and congrats on LotD.

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      KeithWinter 7 years ago

      Great lens. I was at a party a few months ago and one of the guests was collecting the ring pulls from beer and cola cans. I asked her what she was doing and she showed me her earrings, bracelet and necklace. They were all made from ring pulls. She has started a craze amongst our friends. It's difficult to find ring pulls these days!!

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      June is soooo talented. I admire all the work she does. Being earth friendly is a major bonus. Good on ya, June

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @ZenandChic: Thank you so much. Will lensroll as well.

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @verymary: Many thanks for stopping by and your kind comments.

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @JenOfChicago LM: Thank you so much. Always love Squidangel Blessings!

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      Patricia 7 years ago

      Great lens! Blessing it and lensrolling to my Being earth friendly lens!

    • verymary profile image

      Mary 7 years ago from Chicago area

      fitting lens for Earth Day!

    • JenOfChicago LM profile image

      JenOfChicago LM 7 years ago

      Great tips! Blessed by a squidangel

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @eclecticeducati1: Thank you!

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      mariejoy 7 years ago

      Congratulations! Very informative lens, gotta love it! =)

    • eclecticeducati1 profile image

      eclecticeducati1 7 years ago

      Cute lens! Congratulations on your LotD! :)

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @Rachel Field: Thank you! Perhaps you will try it yourself?

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @Kiosks4business: Thank you!

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @Ecomum: Thank you! Perhaps you could do the same if you knew the techniques. All of us went through a learning curve where we attended classes or studied books and learned how to do these things.

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @anonymous: Thank you kindly! And good luck with your weekend project. I hope you will post a picture somewhere and share it with us.

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @Rose6851: Thank you!

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @Kiwisoutback: Thank you! I am thrilled to be LOTD

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @anonymous: Thank you so much!

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @puzzlerpaige: Thank you! Envelopes are fun, aren't they?

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @Faye Rutledge: Thank you for visiting and commenting.

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @modz: Thank you for visiting!

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @stacy mcdaniel: Thank you! I had not realized I was LOTD -- wonderful! And thanks for commenting.

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      stacy mcdaniel 7 years ago

      Congratulations on lens of the day. I like the idea of using old DVDs for picture frames. Good Tips!

    • modz profile image

      modz 7 years ago

      Very good lens. Congrats !!!

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 7 years ago from Concord VA

      Thanks for the great tips! Congratulations on LotD!!

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      puzzlerpaige 7 years ago

      Oh, I love making envelopes. They always turn out very interesting. These are some really neat ideas. Congrats on LOTD!

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      Congrats on your LOTD! - Kathy

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      Kiwisoutback 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Very nice work. Congratulations on LOTD!

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      Rose6851 7 years ago

      Good work......................keep it up, I gave it 5 stars.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 7 years ago

      great idea and great LOTD! as an artist I do a lot of recyle art and love the challenge...great info and ideas here!

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      This is a wonderful lens! I love your Green Scrapbook Tip #2. Make an Album from an Unwanted Book. I'm going to attempt my first one this weekend with my son...using an old board book of his choice. Thank you for such great (and Earth-friendly) ideas. 5* and a huge ((HUG)) from me.

      Congrats on LotD. You are an inspiration!

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      Ecomum 7 years ago

      I wish I could same, but I can't. At least I can be inspired with this lens. Nice, and by the way, Congrats on LOTD.

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      Kiosks4business 7 years ago

      Great Lens - I really like the DVD photo frame idea.

      https://hubpages.com/technology/retail-kiosks

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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @Rachel Field: Thanks! I appreciate you stopping by.

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      Rachel Field 7 years ago

      Great ideas! I especially love the CD brooch idea!