Making Greeting Cards from Recycled Art Scraps

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This article is written by Laura Shelton Thykeson

I know that there are many, many artists that make their own beautiful and original greeting cards for all occasions, and they have so many creative ways to do it! I love the variety and beautiful cards I see out there. I wanted to write a short tutorial for those who may be just beginning to venture into this fun field and are maybe looking for some easy tips and techniques.

Handmade Greeting Cards are quick and easy to make

The card I have made may not be to everyone’s taste, but I love mixing up colors, textures and designs to really make for an interesting card to look at. It has several elements, but it is really easy once you know the details and instructions.

Materials

Below is a list of supplies you will need:

  1. Blank watercolor card w/envelope, or a piece of cardstock if you would rather work with that. You will have to cut and fold your cardstock over in half to make the card shape.
  2. Bits and pieces of our recycled art, old art journal pages, paint splattered pieces of papers, collage material, pretty paper napkins, stamps (optional), any 3d embellishments you choose. (I chose the yellow sunflowers for added texture, ribbons, buttons, sequins, etc….
  3. Coordinating scraps of “stencil play” pages, scraps of cardstock that may not be your favorites and you won’t be using for anything else.
  4. ATC’s in abstract, colorful and textured designs, or even postcards you have made that you don’t mind cutting up to reuse

Instructions:

  • After you have chosen your blank watercolor card or made one from cardstock, take your colored papers and glue and layer them on the front page of the card to start your colorful background. This is layer 1. I used a piece of brown paper, with a stencil design of a tree that I had been playing around with in an old art journal.

Handmade Greeting Cards are quick and easy to make

Handmade Greeting Cards are quick and easy to make

Handmade Greeting Cards are quick and easy to make

  • Once that is dry, open up your card and spread glue or your fav adhesive all over both sides of the inside pages of the card. Then take the paper napkin and lay over the glue, pressing and smoothing to get any wrinkles out. It is ok if you have some wrinkling, because the texture is always nice, but for this card I wanted it smooth. Let this dry well.

Handmade Greeting Cards are quick and easy to make

Handmade Greeting Cards are quick and easy to make

  • Using your choice of stamps (optional), or if you prefer your own handwriting, add some cool sayings or words on the inside of the card.

Handmade Greeting Cards are quick and easy to make

  • I also ran across another old ATC size scrap of art that caught my eye, and using decorative scissors, I trimmed all around the edges of the card to give it some interest and texture, then glued it to the right side page of the inside of the card to finish it out.

Handmade Greeting Cards are quick and easy to make

  • Now, take any old ATC’s, collage papers, gelli print papers, etc and cut them into triangles. Take these triangles and glue them to the corners of the front of your card to add more color and texture. If you are using an old ATC, cut it first in half, then cut the two halves into triangles by cutting from opposite corners to make the triangles. Also add some stamped words.

Handmade Greeting Cards are quick and easy to make

Handmade Greeting Cards are quick and easy to make

  • At the bottom of the front page of my card, I cut small strips of abstract, glittery watercolor paper scraps I had painted a long time ago, and glued them on as stems for the 3D yellow sunflowers that I added at the last minute.

Handmade Greeting Cards are quick and easy to make

This is a really fun and easy way to make a unique and interesting card for any occasion! Using different papers, napkins, stamps etc, you can fashion it to fit any occasion. I really hope you have enjoyed learning how to recycle scraps into something both unique AND useful!

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Laura Thykeson has been totally immersed in mixed media art for many years. She discovered altered books and art journals about a year ago and have been hooked ever since! She has always loved mixed media art because of the variety and the “no rules” aspect! Laura lives in Granbury, Texas USA.

You can see more of Laura’s work at Taz’s Corner

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Mixed Media Artist: Joy Bathie

Our Mixed Media Art community is a diverse bunch; from all around the world, with different interests and reasons why we create and a wide range of skills. This week Joy Bathie shares her passion for mixed media painting and handmade books.

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I live in Australia, on the northern headland of beautiful Port Stephens, north of Sydney. From childhood I have always loved arts and crafts of all descriptions, and over the years have worked with papers and fabrics, machine and hand embroidery, stained glasswork, metalwork, sculpting, painting – you name it!

For many years I painted in both oils and acrylics, mainly abstracts and contemporary art, which I enjoyed enormously.  Then for a while I was absorbed with scrapbooking techniques with an online group in the United States, long before the craft became known in Australia or even mainline in America.  There were no scrapbook stores back then, so we used to gather and recycle scraps of anything and everything.  I guess this was my first real introduction to “mixed media” as an art form. I later continued gathering, altering, and recycling materials to use in collage and altered books for a number of years.

Upcycling crafts is easy as Joy Bathie shows with her ATC

This ATC (Artist Trading Card) uses recycled corrugated cardboard, and a piece of clear acrylic from a chocolate box.

Apart from recycling what used to be considered as ‘junque’ I like to use handmade paper to create texture, along with beads and scraps of lace etc. I also love to stencil texture with impasto medium, and tend to use gesso quite a lot too.  Over the years it’s been great fun to share my experiences with different techniques at workshops around the country.

Over the past few months my interest has moved back and forth between making textured covers for notebooks etc. and also miniature books – the latter being something I never thought I would be able to create. A recent miniature medieval-style book of quotations, measuring 18mmH x 18mmW x 12mm deep (¾” x ¾” x ½”) and safely protected in its little box is to be included in a new publication by North Light Books, titled “Incite: The Best of Mixed Media – Dreams Realized”, which is being released later this year.

This lovely notebook has a textured cover

This lovely notebook has a textured cover with nature elements

This lovely cover was inspired from medieval texts

One of the pages originally created for a Little Fat Book, but I was so happy with the result that I re-created the entire book in miniature, as mentioned above. But for the foreseeable future I am sure I will be creating and decorating books, books, and more books!

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Joy Bathie lives in Port Stephens, NSW, Australia. You can see what Joy is up to over on her Facebook page.

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Quick Handmade Mothers Day Gift

If you are in need for a quick Mothers Day gift, here is a simple project to give your Mother, and other significant women in your life, a handmade gift from the heart. If you need to pop it into the mail, this bookmark can be easily added to your handmade greeting card. Your Mom will love you for it!

Quick and simple mixed media handmade gifts

Materials & Tools

Instructions

1. Cut our your sheet of cardboard

Using cereal box cardboard to make handmade gifts

2. Add a layer of gesso and use a skewer to draw shapes or words into the wet gesso. Leave to dry.

use gesso to create a good base

3. Choose acrylic paints in two colour and splash around some paint onto the gesso’d cardboard

Use two coloured acrylic paints

4. Use your found objects and foam stamps to add interesting shapes to your background. Apply the paint with a paintbrush and don’t worry about mixing colour – this all adds interest.

add interest with these patterns

5. Cut into shapes; you can use this background to create many different items:

  • Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) – 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″
  • Postcards – 4″ x 6″
  • Bookmarks – 1 1/4″ x 5 1/2″

5. Stamp onto your chosen item. I like using black ink so that the coloured background isn’t over-shadowed by the images. Here I have used the Wildflower set by Darkroom Door. Edge with gold pen and seal with spray varnish.

Simple bookmarks to pop in with any card

Happy creating!

 

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Mixed Media Artist ~ Carmen Sanchez

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Our Mixed Media Art community is a diverse bunch; from all around the world, with different interests, reasons why we create and a wide range of skills.  Over the next few weeks we will be featuring a range of mixed media artists to tell their stories and share their artwork.

This week we are heading to Madrid to see what Carmen (aka Cuchy) is doing with her mixed media art.

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M. Carmen, from Madrid (Spain), is also known as Cuchy across the web.  She is 42 years old, has been married for almost 20 years and has 2 children (15 and 7) who also like the crafty side of life  As far as she can remember, Carmen has always been interested in any kind of arts and crafts.

“Mainly self-taught, I do not miss the chance to attend as many workshops, either online or on-site I can, being always in ongoing training”, Carmen says. “My works have evolved from “clean and simple” to mixed media layers and layers. I love to try, experiment and learn new techniques with paint, papers, textures and everything within reach.”

As a contributor and guest designer in various Spanish and international blogs, Carmen has taught several workshops in Madrid and Barcelona and loves to teach from her own experiences, and encourage the students to think outside the box and put their inner self in everything they create, to achieve a personal and unique result.

Carmen tries to balance her family life and work with mixed media, scrapbooking, music and her blog [http://la-almohada.blogspot.com], where you can see her latest projects.  In addition to all of this, Carmen also hosts an online crop every other Friday while chatting with some of her crafty friends.

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Carmen has included one of her latest ATCs to show us.

Mixed Media artist trading card

It’s a grungeboard piece which she painted with acrylics and crackle paints. To achieve that grungy and rusty look on the heart, Carmen used the heat gun until the paint made bubbles. To finish it, a layer of clear UTEE was added.  The background of the ATC is a “negative” cardboard piece from an alphabet die cut. It’s misted with glimmer, distress inks and has a piece of dictionary paper on the back that shows through the “empty letters”.

Mixed Media art heart

The border is a piece of german scrap coloured with alcohol inks.

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Thank you so much for sharing your story and your wonderful ATC with us, Carmen.

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