Sunday, January 17, 2010

Calendars into Envelopes

January, 2010! Time to take down the old calendars and post the new! But don't discard those obsolete calendars... I say turn those pictures into one of a kind envelopes and matching cards. They're fun and easy to make.

Find an envelope you like and open it up to make your a template. Transfer the template to chipboard or plastic and trace around it on your calendar page. Carefully cut and then score the paper for the folds. If your calendar pages are thin you might want to attach them to a duplicate sheet of white recycled paper prior to folding your envelope. (This is especially important if you plan on sending them through the mail.) Glue the envelope together using double sided tape. Use a lick and stick glue for the flap on matte paper and double sided tape on glossy paper. Don't worry if you can't write an address over the picture - just use a plain white adhesive address label. So simple, yet so elegant.

Chances are, you did not use the entire picture for your envelope. Use the leftovers to create a matching card. If you have a large enough piece left, cut it appropriately and mount it on textured cardstock, then on a card that will fit your envie. Otherwise, use a punch for smaller cuts and assemble them in a mosaic arrangement. Use your imagination!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Notebooks from Recycled Materials

Handmade notebooks are unique and fun to make. It's a great recycling project for almost anyone because there are so many options available. All you need is a suitable recycled front and back cover, paper for the inside pages, and something to hold everything together. This adorable notebook is made from a postcard and a zutter binding.

COVERS: The size of your finished project will determine what you use as the covers. Small notepads can be made from playing cards, board game cards, old photos, postcards, etc. Larger notepads can use covers cut from boxes with great graphics. You can even use thin wood or metal. I like to use plain chipboard for the backs.

PAGES: Your choice! Use recycled paper, handmade paper, parchment paper, cardstock - whatever you have on hand.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER: Punch holes in your covers and pages using a hand held punch, hammer punch, or one of the reasonably priced binding system punches for the home crafter: Rollabind or Zutter. If you're not using a binding system, you can start with a simple tied binding using ribbon or twine, or just hold everything together with book rings or o-rings.

Rollabind Binding System
Punch your pages and bind with plastic disks

Zutter Bind It All
Wire binding system.

Sewn Binding Technique
Make or repair books with this easy technique.