Monday, February 15, 2010

New Uses for Old Things #3

Enviro-friendly & Cost Effective Business Cards

I eat cereal everyday. I eat it for breakfast, sometimes as a midnight snack and truth be told - I've had it for dinner.

As an avid (up)cycler, I am interested in creating new stuff from discarded stuff. As a graphic designer, I love the colours and shapes that can be found on cereal boxes.
There are a few things I do with my old cereal box card - this is by far the easiest!

You need:
  • a paper cutter with a sharp blade (an x-acto will work, the cutter is just quicker/easier)
  • stamp of your choice (I use this stamp kit so I can change my stamp when needed)
  • cereal box card
  1. Unfold the cereal box (tear along glued edges) and cut the front and back panel out (be sure at least one of your edges is straight).
  2. Trim the box card into business card sized pieces (3.5 inches x 2 inches). Pay attention to the images and shapes that will end up on your cards. You may not use ALL of the original image - you want your cards to look funky and fun!
  3. Stamp your info on the "back" of your fab cards! Your name and web address should do the trick. Have fun!
  4. Hand out your fabulous enviro-friendly and cost-effective business cards!

New Uses for Old Things #2

Fortune Teller Box

I have always enjoyed creating. Drawing, sewing, sculpting... anything! I especially enjoy what is now called "upcycling" — finding new uses for discarded objects. For example, this was once a box of AfterEight chocolates but now, instead of selecting a chocolate from the box, you select a fortune!

If you would like to make a Fortune Teller box of your own, here are the instructions (sorry I don't have any step-by-step pics as I made this one quite some time ago and never thought to document the process! When I make another one I will be sure to do that):

  • An empty box of AfterEight chocolates (but keep the little envelopes the chocolates come in —you'll need those!)
  • Acrylic paint and acrylic paint sealer
  • Paper (preferably card stock)
  • Stamps, markers, stickers and any other fun stuff you have around that you can use to create each "fortune"
  • Glue

1. Get yourself a box of AfterEight chocolates.

2. Remove the chocolates from their little envelopes (but keep the envelopes!!). I suggest you don't perform this step all at once! :o)

3. Paint the box any colour you like. Dark colours work best as the paint needs to totally cover the wording on the box. You may need more than one coat (allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next). Allow the paint to dry over-night.

4. Meantime, to replace the chocolates, cut out square pieces of paper that will fit inside the little envelopes the chocolates came in. Make one for every envelope.

5. Now the fun begins! Use stamps, markers, stickers, paper embellishments — anything you have that you'd like to use for each fortune. I used stamps with words like "create", "dream","love" & "happiness" on them. I created this fortune box for a friend and I wanted it to be all about positive thinking and uplifting sentiments... but you could choose any theme you'd like. You could make a fortune box for Valentines Day and write something you love about your mate on each card, or make one for a special birthday and write something that happened the year/day your friend was born on each card (e.g. #1 song, Best Movie at the Oscars that year, famous people who share the birthday). You can embellish one side of the fortune or both sides — have fun and be creative! The possibilities are endless!

6. Cut three pieces of card stock that are just a bit smaller than the long sides of the box, and two square pieces that are a bit smaller than the ends. This is where you'll write (or you can use your computer and printer) the instructions for your "Fortune Teller".

The top of this one I made says:
Get Ready! Get Set! to Choose Your Destiny!
(well, for today anyways!)

The side panels say:
Pick a card from the box…
you can dream it! you can do it!

The end panels say:
Let Your Day Begin!

8. Glue the paper "panels" you've made to the top, sides and end of the box. Allow glue to dry.

9. Coat the entire box with acrylic sealer (again, you may want to apply more than one coat).

10. Fill the envelopes with the fortunes you made and place them in the box. Your done!

Give your gift to the lucky recipient (which could be YOU of course!)

Have fun!

New Uses for Old Things #1

"Stained Glass" Sun Catchers

You know those clear discs you get when you buy a tower of CDs/DVDs? Well, if you drill a small hole near the top and then paint on them using Gallery Glass paint — you'll have some pretty fine looking suncatchers! The one's pictured above are the first three I made... kinda test samples I suppose – I think they'll get better as I go along.

Since the discs are clear, you can lay them on top of any image you'd like to use and easily "trace" over the image with the "lead" paint. If you haven't worked with
Gallery Glass paint yet, I highly recommend it! It's very easy to use and the effect is quite realistic. I've used it on old wooden window frames to create some lovely "stained glass" windows!

[special thanks to Bruce for saving all the discs for me!]