Handmade Notecards With Recycled, Repurposed Paper Products

Lotus Flower Notecard Made Using All Recycled Materials

Lotus Flower Notecard Made Using All Recycled Materials

Handmade Recycled Paper Bead Necklace

Handmade Recycled Paper Bead Necklace

It’s been my mission for several years to find a purpose for all the catalogs, junk mail and other paper products I’m constantly throwing away or tossing in the recycle bin.  I’m a creative person, I thought, there must be a way to reuse and repurpose these raw materials. I’ve tried numerous notecard ideas, handmade paper, paper beads and more.  The problem has always been that, though the finished product may be beautiful, it simply took too long to assemble and therefore, wasn’t saleable. 

Monogram Letter A Notecards Made From Recycled Materials

Monogram Letter A Notecards Made From Recycled Materials

The lotus blossom notecards pictured at the beginning of this post are my latest attempt.  They’re made almost entirely from recycled materials.  The card stock came from cereal boxes, the white background paper was put together from junk mail or other scrap, the colored paper was taken from mail order catalogs and the brown paper on the back was once packing material.  Although it’s not recycled, the cards are fastened with sustainable hemp cord and the envelopes are made (elsewhere)from 100% recycled paper.

Lotus Flower notecards are all stamped on the back "Made Using Recycled Materials"

Lotus Flower notecards are all stamped on the back “Made Using Recycled Materials”

The lotus flower notecards, so far, have come the closest to being worth my while and I admit, they are fun to make.  I’ve listed several of these recycled cards in my Etsy shop, Catalina Inspired and I plan to offer them at the Catalina Festival of Art in two weeks along with my tile necklaces and crochet headbands.  Whether anyone else finds them as fun as I do, remains to be seen.

On to the Next Thing…

I’m still working with the “pile of sticks” but, as usual, I’ve been distracted by another project.  I was replacing all the old brochures in the hotel office with new ones and I ended up with a pile of colorful, glossy paper to throw in the recycling bin.

Looking at the pile, that same old nagging thought kicked in…”These must be useful for something.  I can’t just throw them away”.  The gears start slowly churning and, of course, whatever I’m doing at the time gets pushed to the side while I ponder this newest problem.

I’ve made notecards with recycled paper before, but this paper was of a heavier stock.

I finally found my trusty paper shredder, pushed some of the brochures through it and they were transformed into 1/4″ wide strips.  Some of the brochures had old sepia toned photos and colorful landscapes.  When shredded, the original image is unrecognizable and you’re left with pure colors and tones.

I used a glue stick to adhere the paper to some blank notecards and the strips created nice contrasting vertical stripes.  After they dried, I used a mixture of white glue and water to add a translucent layer of recycled tissue paper on top that gives the cards a matte finish and beautiful texture.

I printed out four different ornate letter “O”s on some recycled paper and mounted them on brown craft paper that came as padding in a package I received. 

I glued the mounted letter to the card.  When I finish the rest of them to the other note cards I’ll have a set of four completely unique note cards.

Here’s a photo of some letter “T” cards I made with the sepia toned photos in the brochures.  Click on the photo to see the listing in my shop.  When I finish the “O” cards I’ll post those as well.