DIY Wedding

DIY Wedding

How to Make Three Greeting Cards with Recycled Materials

comments (8) May 5th, 2009     

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leethal Lee Meredith, contributor
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Some papers from the recycling bin and scraps of thread can make for an awesome custom card!
You can make recycled paper envelopes from grocery bags.
Some ribbon and a button give this card a super-personal, crafty feel!
Some papers from the recycling bin and scraps of thread can make for an awesome custom card!

Some papers from the recycling bin and scraps of thread can make for an awesome custom card!

Photo: Lee Meredith
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And for my last card, I used a recycled blank greeting card. I am lucky to live near a reuse store where items like blank greeting cards get donated and sold for pennies apiece, but if you're not so lucky, you can reuse cards you've received and cover the insides with blank paper as I did with the thank-you card.

For this card, I machine-sewed the paper to the card, first with a zigzag stitch around the border, then with a messy straight stitch, scribbled above and below the text.


Don't glue the paper to the card for this method, as it could mess up your machine!

I used blue thread on top and orange on the bottom, so bits of orange would peak through and add color to the card.


Here's what the inside of the card looks like.

I love the look of scribbled machine stitching! Just sew back and forth, moving the paper from one side to the other.


My finished graduation card!

And now for the envelope! Use a piece of grocery bag paper, cut to about 2 inches wider than your card and 1 to 2 inches taller than twice the height (depending on how big you want the flap). The image below shows how to cut the paper-the bottom section of envelope paper should be a little shorter than the envelope height (about a half inch). First, cut the orange lines to get the rectangle, then cut the red lines next to form the flap and the bottoms of the tabs...


These simple cuts will give you an envelope custom-fit to your card.

...then cut the pink lines, which form the tops of the tabs, and the sides of the top flap. First, fold the bottom flap up over the card to mark the lines. The tab side lines should each go from the top corner of the card, to the edge, lined up with the top of the envelope flap, as shown in the photo below:


The bottom of that pencil line is exactly lined up with the top of the envelope flap.

The exact angle of the top flap is up to you-you can choose to make it curved if you want. Now crease and glue those side flaps in, and your envelope is done! You can close it with glue, tape, or a sticker.


A custom recycled paper envelope is the perfect wrapper for your recycled card!

I made some other envelopes from leftover pieces along the sides and the bottom of the bags, making the envelope size more limited. So, one of them has smaller side and top flaps, and the other has flaps that go around to the other side because of the way the bag was cut. Using what I had left over and making it work meant using up parts that would otherwise be trash-ultimate recycling!


You don't have to follow my exact template to make envelopes that function.

Of course, all of my decorative details are just ideas-be creative and personalize your cards to your crafty taste!


Some papers from the recycling bin and scraps of thread can make for an awesome custom card!
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posted in: paper, card, recycle, cardboard, celebration, envelope, greeting card

Comments (8)

sallywinget writes: wat anice idea ialways thin project as bore bt this help me alot and iam a new user ............ hiii friends
Posted: 7:55 am on November 28th
Lupana writes: This a great idea! I've got a lot of embroidery floss and paper bags stored away. Both printing from the printer or even rubber stamping are great creative ways to send a message! And, it makes it much more personal too! Thank you for sharing! ;)
Posted: 11:54 am on March 28th
clothingeng writes: Such a creative idea! I love to recycle :)
Posted: 6:58 pm on March 25th
0Tree0 writes: I love the envelope idea. I have paper brown bags from Chinese ordering and I always know the right things to keep for later recycling! I have a pen pal and I'm sure she would love this envelope with the origami ones I use.
Posted: 7:34 pm on March 17th
Stile writes: thanks, the tutorial is thorough, and as well as the ideas presented, springboards other ideas for me. Looking forward to making my own cards - much more personal touch.
Posted: 2:17 pm on January 17th
ptquilter writes: Wonderful idea. Only thing I would add is I would take a dry iron to the paper to make it flatter to fit through my printer with more ease. That way it can be printed with any Greeting I can make up.... Wonderful use for that pile of paper bags...
Posted: 9:54 pm on August 12th
littlednme writes: What a great idea! I can't wait to dig threw my recyclables!
Posted: 4:19 am on May 11th
Sweet_Dee writes: Love this idea! The catds are so personal and creative! Good use of old paper!
Posted: 4:29 am on May 6th
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