Re-cycling used cards

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Re-cycling used cards

Post by lyndaejane on Thu 24 Nov 2011 - 18:53

Mostly Christmas cards: it's surprising how many birthday cards don't fit in any of the recycling categories, mostly because they tend to be pictorial and the greeeting is often too large.

1. Ultimate recycling: if it's a card with an insert, carefully remove the insert (see also below) and replace it so you can use the card again.

When removing an insert, the left-hand side is often blank or with a design on it: as these are usually larger cards, you can use the left-hand side as an insert for another card. If it's not big enough (it's often glued to the card, so you have to trim off a strip) then consider cutting it up as sheets for your jotter block.

2. Cards with inserts: if you are not using them as in (1) above, remove the insert and trim off the back. This will make another card blank: you may be able to cover the printing with your paper or whatever or you can fold the printed side to the inside and cover the printing with correcting fluid or tape - the new insert will cover all traces. NB: when you fold the card blank, score first on the side which will become the inside. Fold it, then re-fold it so the outside is now outside (iykwim). This is to prevent the folded edge breaking up, as you don't know what type of card it is.

3. Large cards: with some larger cards, particularly tall ones, you can sometimes trim off the bottom section to produce a new card blank, as this is often too far down for any printing/writing on the inside. So a DL card can become a 4" square card for example. Don't worry if the front isn't reusable: cover it with paper.

Look at the card front: it can sometimes be folded in half, depending on the design, with areas of the design being the back of the new card. If you fold it left to right so it's a bottom-opening card, make sure the design on the back doesn't finish upside down. If you fold it top to bottom, make sure the more important-looking bit of the design is on the front: if necessary (and if it doesn't make it too small), trim off the greeting that went all along the bottom. Folding top to bottom works very well with cards showing a snowy village or a line of trees: add a bit of white glitter to snowy areas on the front to make it look more important.

3. Greetings: trim the greeting off cards for re-use. If the greeting is in a rectangular box (eg gold greeting in white box on red background), leave on some of the surrounding background - it will save you mounting the greeting.

4. Embellishments: remove all re-usable embellishments. If they are mounted with sticky fixers, I use an old dessert knife without a serrated edge and carefully "saw" where the fixer meets the card. Once you have removed the embellishment, it's often easier to take the fixer off than trying to do it while it's on the card - or leave it and add your own adhesive if you want to mount it 3-D again.

Gems often leave their silvered backing behind, but can be worth removing.

Even if you don't like the colour/pattern of the flower, stocking or whatever, remember you can cover it with your own paper/paint if the shape is good. Or you can use it as a template.

Ribbons and bows can be salvaged. Check to see if the bow is still undo-able, as you can finish up with too many bows: even if there is some glue left where the bow was stuck, it will still be usable as ribbon provided you cover the gluey area with an embellishment or greeting - or it may be fine if you turn it to the other side. Remember short pieces of ribbon are still usable: if you are mounting an embellishment with ribbon going either side, you can use a different piece on each side - even a different colour.

5. Backgrounds: cut out usable areas of colour, pattern, glittering etc. These can be used for mounting or die-cutting, or for tags if big enough.

6. Motifs: cut out any re-usable motifs. Square/rectangular ones need the least work, or use a circle punch for round ones, provided the card isn't too thick. Remember to keep the greeting with the motifs if they are colour-co-ordinated.

7. White/cream blank areas: these can be the back of the back of the card, or the insides. Can be used for stamping on, or for making tags (cover the side with any printing on with your own paper if the tag is to hang free), or for die-cutting.

8. Frames: often the frame area of a card is nicer than the picture in the centre. Trim off the front of the card and mount it to a new card blank, putting your own picture or motif in the centre.

9. Unused grotty cards: if you have some awful cards that came in a mixed box, use them as card blanks and cover them with your own paper. They already have a verse/greeting inside, too.

It's more than two years since I had large numbers of cards to recycle, so I may have missed some things: will come back and edit this if I remember anything.

Lynda

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Re: Re-cycling used cards

Post by Guest on Thu 24 Nov 2011 - 19:04

Thanks for a lovely long post Lynda. I am lucky as my brother part owns a
printing firm and they have those Christmas catalogues with card samples for
people to order from. He passes them onto me and I have a field day.

Will print your post out so I can read properly and see if there are any ideas
there for me, and maybe add some of my own.

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Re: Re-cycling used cards

Post by lyndaejane on Thu 24 Nov 2011 - 19:31

Ah - just going down for some tea, but I have something else you can do with those catalogues!

Lynda

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Re: Re-cycling used cards

Post by Guest on Sat 26 Nov 2011 - 18:02

I have used old cards for making advent calenders. Might try that
again next year. I always remove embellies, bows and any letters go into
my A-Z box. It's also possible to make small boxes.

I rarely get left with much. I use what I can for for postcards, tags
and bookmarks. I often put a bookmark into a card that I send. Even the
white back piece is kept for a postcard or even packing for the post.

Realised that last year my brother didn't give me the catalogues, but got
one of the office girls to tear all the fronts off for me. The second part
-the back piece wasn't there last year as they were stuck to the pages.

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Re: Re-cycling used cards

Post by lyndaejane on Sat 26 Nov 2011 - 18:27

Glad you posted again on here, Steph, as I'd forgotten about the catalogues.

Get your brother to give you the whole thing. Sometimes - not always - you can peel the backs of the cards off the pages. And you can definitely salvage the inserts. But even better than that is the card they are mounted on - usually cream: you can turn some of that into card blanks. It will provide plenty of 4" x 4" square cards, but if you cut and fold it carefully you can produce bigger blanks, although you would need to cover the front with paper to blank out the maker's name (maker's name also inside, use the correcting fluid/tape technique). Other offcuts for cream card, useful for all sorts of things including making matchbooks. Am still using mine, from when a friend used to get them from the copy shop across the road.

Lynda

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Re: Re-cycling used cards

Post by Lorraine on Sat 26 Nov 2011 - 18:58

That's a cracking post Lynda. Mr Green

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Re: Re-cycling used cards

Post by lyndaejane on Sat 26 Nov 2011 - 19:30

Thanks, Lorrraine - praise indeed, may I say.

Lynda

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Re: Re-cycling used cards

Post by Guest on Sat 26 Nov 2011 - 21:43

Lynda - the catalogues were big and clumsy - all cards
were really stuck down so no back pieces could be saved.
Also Den moaned that he always had to get rid of the rubbish after Smile
Don't know if I'll get any after this Christmas, but here's hoping.

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Re: Re-cycling used cards

Post by lyndaejane on Sun 27 Nov 2011 - 10:14

Yes, Steph - the last ones my friend got had the cards really well stuck down, although I still managed to salvage some of the cream pages for card blanks. Tell Den he's doing his bit for recycling with the remaining card! The catalogues will be ready to be disposed of now by the printers, as they will have taken their last orders earlier in November, if my friend's contact was anything to go by.

Lynda

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Re: Re-cycling used cards

Post by Guest on Sun 27 Nov 2011 - 11:06

In the past I have had up to 18 catalogues but it has ecreased a little, and with the
way things are I would imagine people and companies are cutting back on specially printed
cards. They aren't cheap, but you get some lovely fronts.
Most of the pages have been glossy - not really much you could do with them.

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Re: Re-cycling used cards

Post by lyndaejane on Sun 27 Nov 2011 - 15:23

Oh - maybe they've changed the pages since my friend used to get them: last time I had one was for Christmas 2008, I think. Nice cream card it was then.

Glossy - well, alcohol inks, I suppose!

Lynda

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