Saturday, February 7, 2009

Paper Chasers

Making note pads or note cards out of scrap paper is easier than you think!

Gummed Notepads: You can use any scrap paper that has printing on only one side. Cut to your desired size making sure top edges are smooth and even. Put something heavy on top to weight them down tightly. You may use special padding compound or Elmer’s glue to lightly coat the top edges. Allow to dry thoroughly and tear pads apart to desired thickness. If you have scrap cardboard you can even add a cardboard bottom sheet to make the pad sturdier (and can use the cardboard over and over again.)

Notepad options: No glue or padding compound? No problem!

  • You can also make thinner pads by stapling paper together (but remember that staples are not reusable, so if possible, think of something that can either be reused or recycled).
  • Punch 2-3 holds in one side of the paper. Use ribbon, string, raffia, yarn (use your imagination here) to tie the pages together.

Note cards: All kinds of paper items can be recycled into handmade paper and note cards. If you have a paper mold and deckle, you’re in business! If not, you don’t have to buy a kit. You can make your own and reclaim various things like wood, screens, and fabric. Various instructions can be found online. Here is one place to start:

  • Make cards by pouring a larger amount of your paper mixture into the mold.
    • Add a liner with a thin sheet of paper and use a ribbon as a binding for an elegant touch. (Tip: Use several thin sheets to create a booklet).
    • Create a natural “cut out” by placing a cookie cutter (large, open designs work the best) in the mould when pouring or straining the paper mixture … this will give you a window effect, plus a paper shape (if you pour inside the cookie cutter as well).
    • Create a watermark effect by placing objects on the screen, or using rubber stamps or cookie cutters with backs/designs to press into the pulp while it is still wet.
  • Recycle holiday cards and envelopes into your own “new” cards.
    • Cut out and decorative elements from the card designs. Use the “discarded” portions of cards and envelopes for your handmade cards and paper. Use the cut outs to decorate your new cards.
    • Even bows and Christmas paper can be added to the mix. Paper mixes into the pulp easier when it is torn (versus cut). Bows and other elements that do not mix should be cut or shredded into VERY small pieces and used sparingly.
    • Add texture by using plants … those poinsettias are perfect! How about pine needles?
  • Even packaging from a variety of products can make a nice card. And if it’s from a gift you received, what better way to say thank you?

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