How to Make a Mosaic with Your Old Plastic

comments (38) July 11th, 2014     

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kaytet kayte terry, contributor
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Put old credit cards and such to new use by making a beautiful mosaic!
Leave a small amount of space in between each piece.
I started laying out pieces in the upper left-hand corner. Try to mix up colors and textures.
Put old credit cards and such to new use by making a beautiful mosaic!

Put old credit cards and such to new use by making a beautiful mosaic!

Photo: Kayte Terry

The beginning of a new year is a time for regrouping and reorganizing. So far, my husband and I have cleaned out the refrigerator, under the sink, and then I conquered the big doozy: my overstuffed wallet and bag. After I collected the loose change from the bottom of my bag and filed away the receipts, I noticed that I had an awful lot of old credit cards and expired insurance cards in there.

As I was cutting them up, I had a burst of creative inspiration: All these colorful squares of plastic would make lovely mosaic! I added a few old MetroCards, used gift cards (after the holidays we sure have a lot of those!), and even those fake credit cards that come in the mail. If you don't have enough on your own, ask around: I'm sure lots of people you know have old plastic cards they don't need anymore, but just don't get tempted to use them!

What you'll need:

  • Wood frame or mirror (I used a cheap Ikea mirror I bought a while back)
  • Paint and brush (you can use acrylic craft paint or even house paint)
  • Plastic cards in assorted colors (for a 10x10 frame, I used 12 cards)
  • Craft glue for wood and plastic such as Beacon Multi-Grip
  • Sharp household scissors
  A few of the old cards I used. That one on top is fake, so don't try to use it!

1. Gather your collection of plastic. You can use old credit cards, gift cards, Starbucks cards, MetroCards (and other transportation cards), and expired health insurance cards.

  I used some old house paint I had lying around to paint the frame.

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Comments (38)

cacaocaca writes: great idea,I love it
Posted: 9:20 am on October 24th
nasrilee writes: i love with your job
Posted: 8:27 am on October 7th
1Suprise writes: Thank you, for sharing or very good Idears.

for 1 Suprise
Posted: 10:30 pm on July 11th
Sphynx writes: If you're like me and have a zillion old cards (gift, credit, library, ID, membership, insurance, etc.), you could even fashion the pieces into a scene on wood or canvas. The plastic pieces are lighter in weight and cheaper than tiles or stained glass.
Posted: 11:25 am on August 17th
Tess1960 writes: OMG, I love this and you just gave me a great idea. A mosaic Spring Flower Scene for a mixed media art board. Painting with credit cards. Cool, thanks for the tutorial and inspiration....
Posted: 11:07 am on March 25th
jenyerkes writes: I did this technique on flower pots last year w/cement adhesive. Get tons of compliments on it! Love the picture frame idea too, thanks!
Posted: 9:04 am on March 25th
Louccee writes: Excellent idea! Wish I had thought of this. No messy grout, etc. Wonderful
Posted: 6:04 am on March 25th
inmyownstyle writes: I save lots of stuff to recycle, but never thought to save all those cards. I think this is such a clever idea and am now going to start saving the cards now.
Posted: 8:36 pm on March 24th
Pumpkinbear writes: It's exactly like the license plate crafts that I've always wanted to do but haven't done yet, only smaller and actually do-able!
Posted: 7:55 pm on March 24th
creativecrone writes: What a great idea! I love it. It would remind me of the days when those cards ruled my life...he he...I don't think I have any left though. I'll have to look around.I'll tell my kids, "See, this is what these things are good for." Thanks for sharing
Posted: 7:31 pm on March 24th
walkinthewoodsllc writes: What a great crafty project *and* clever way to keep all that horrid plastic out of our landfills. Nice!
Posted: 5:26 pm on March 24th
ianmoise writes: Hi Kayte,

This is an amazing display of what can be done with creativity, imagination, and used stuff!! One of our users recently posted this article on our FB page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/ReUseConnection/253021991560

If you have more reuse examples (or if you've written more articles on them), I would love to hear about them and post them

Thanks again for your article.

Warmest wishes,
Ian Moise
imoise@reuseconnection.com
@ianmoise
Posted: 12:26 pm on March 20th
sophiecai writes: great...i have a lot of wasted cards...
Posted: 9:38 am on February 17th
syedmazhar writes: Great ideas....love it.http://www.plasticcardmonster.com
Posted: 2:01 am on February 4th
syedmazhar writes: This is great way of converting and recycling. I like the idea of making such types of the plastic card.
plastic card
Posted: 2:00 am on February 4th
Flippincool writes: Hi!

Just wanted to let you know I featured this tutorial in a post all about upcycle crafting. Thanks!

Emily
The Handmade Experiment
http://emilyflippinmaruna.wordpress.com/2009/07/13/must-make-monday-upcycled/
Posted: 4:57 am on July 13th
ariyarga writes: This is super awesome! I need to start saving those cards!!!
Posted: 10:10 pm on June 24th
Lisingreece writes: Oh WOW! I have been saving old calling cards, credit cards, bus cards for years and had been thinking about decoupaging them and making pendants for my paper bead necklaces but I really love your idea!!!
Thanks so very much for sharing!

Posted: 5:44 am on April 22nd
aege8th writes: I made a couple of bracelets out of my cut up credit cards -- one where I used the little squares as dangling charms, another where I just linked the squares together with jump rings. But this is a great idea and I'm going to try it. I've been saving old cc for years and because I just KNEW someday there'd be another project for them!

Also, many stores have colorful gift cards which you can just take. (They are worthless until you pay to load them -- well, worthless to anyone who's not a crafter!)
Posted: 1:58 am on March 24th
Love_it writes: Great place for a credit card.
Posted: 2:19 pm on February 1st
newlifeartworks writes: awesome!
Posted: 1:40 pm on January 29th
MallysGirl writes: This is great! Who doesn't have tons cards they could (& should) cut up! I know I do! Thanks for sharing!
Posted: 2:32 pm on January 28th
Toffy writes: Absolutely terrific way to recycle plastic money. This is top on my list of greatest ideas yet.
Posted: 10:37 am on January 28th
shrtcke writes: oh I love this! I wish I had a nuch of old cards. I will have to start saving them.
Posted: 11:37 am on January 22nd
Nomdeeploom writes: That is a wonderful idea!! I am definitely going to try
that!
Posted: 9:05 pm on January 12th
amm writes: I love this project Kayte. Now I'm bummed that I just threw out an old AAA travel card. Maybe this will motivate me to clean out my wallet!!

Thanks.
Posted: 9:47 am on January 12th
SonjaLuvs2Sew writes: Okay, Sister Diane, I'm a bit luckier, I shredded a few but they are still in the shred basket. I'll post a pick once done.

Kayte Terry, I started making glass mosaics this week too. I LOVE this project!!!!!!!!
Posted: 5:08 pm on January 10th
labayou2000 writes: Wow, that's so cool with credit cards to make this frame...as I always cutting up the bad credit cards to my waste basket, eh!! Many thanks from Craftsylish.com to share us to make!!!
Posted: 12:43 pm on January 10th
BluePlum writes: Now I know what to do with all those fake cards I get with applications every week.
Posted: 11:10 am on January 10th
artlikebread writes: I see a Blick card in there! Nice! My mom is going to flip for this one! :o) Thanks.
Posted: 10:58 am on January 10th
prpldy writes: I love this...now I know what to do with the hundreds of old cards that I have saved for years. And I have some of those frames/mirrors...so guess I will be making one today myself!
Posted: 10:05 am on January 10th
pickleonastickle writes: kayte, i love this. i have been hoarding credit cards for years, just waiting for the right project to come along. this goes on my short list! really beautiful execution!
Posted: 9:29 am on January 10th
trisha0098 writes: I remember an ad some years back where Martha Stewart was spoofing herself by tiling her swimming pool with old credit cards-must pay more attention to ads for inspiration...
VEry cute project!
Posted: 9:10 am on January 10th
Fletchbrew writes: I love this idea. So much so that today I made my own framed version. While my wallet was not overflowing with plastic, there were definitely some treasures waiting to find new life. I especially liked being able to customize based on what my cards said. I recently married and have a new last name. It was great to be able to feature part of my maiden name, which also happens to be my nickname, as a special tribute to my family's history. Thanks for the brilliant reduce reuse idea, I had so much fun creating it!
Posted: 8:20 pm on January 9th
AndCalliope writes: How clever! I've seen people using colorful gift cards too...especially old cards from Starbucks. Those are especially nice if you want to keep your mosaic on a particular color scheme.
Posted: 1:18 pm on January 9th
LAURAMCHUGH writes: Great Idea. I love mosaics but alot of time and effort and the sharp edges...... This is a perfect for me as a art teacher to work recycling in to a lesson as well. Can't wait to show my students. We have been working alot with paper mosaics but this will be alittle closer to tile or glass in look. I know they will love this project.
Posted: 3:51 pm on January 8th
bethtrue writes: What a great idea - love this. You could also use expired/used up gift cards (like from the coffee shops, etc). Thanks for sharing!
Posted: 2:30 pm on January 8th
Sister_Diane writes: Absolutely beautiful! I just cut up and tossed a whole bunch of old cards. Wish I'd waited a few more days - I would have loved to make this!
Posted: 1:57 pm on January 8th
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