6 Tips for Green Scrapbooking—Make Environmentally Friendly Scrapbooks
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
- 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.
- Paint the front of the CD piece with any color craft paint. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly.
- Stamp an image on the dried surface, using all or part of a stamp. Allow to dry.
- 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.
- Optionally, punch a tiny hole in the CD piece, and attach a charm
- If making a broach, attach the brooch pin to the back.
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.