Thursday, April 20, 2017

Making cards with leftovers

I had a spare background paper from demonstrating in class (see the recent travel layout here) and I wanted to make it into a few quick cards. First I cut my 12x12" paper into equal 4x6" pieces, one for each card. I then rifled through my stash of small embellishments (see my super cheap organised stash idea here). 

I let the colours on the mixed media background guide me in picking some embellishments. I wanted mostly masculine birthday cards and avoided flowers (except on one). It's easy to find matching bits and pieces because I sort them all by colour. 

Next I simply picked a matching cardstock or patterned paper for a mat, cut it to size and matted everything on a kraft card base.

My rule of thumb is a 4x6" card base, a 3 3/4 x 5 3/4" mat, a 3 1/2 x 5 1/2" background. Every layer is 1/4" bigger than the one above. That way I get 6 card bases out of 2 sheets of cardstock and 6 backgrounds out of 1 sheet of background paper. I broke that rule on the red card, since I wanted the stripes to show more, but you get the idea. 

I had punched 6 tags from my leftover map paper, so they all share that too.The rest is scraps. 

Everything you see is bits and pieces I hold on to, like most crafters do. Of course it means that no two cards are the same, but it's a great way to use up what you have.

Sticking it all together was the fun bit and I did that while watching a bit of telly. I hope you find some inspiration to use up your stash too!

Organising small embellishments on a shoe string

If you're like me, you probably hoard lots of pretty stuff, most of which you don't even remember you own! And when you're in the middle of creating, you spend a lot of time looking for that special little something and before you know it, the mojo is gone / the kids cry / dinner needs to be cooked etc etc. 
A little while ago I organised all my little odds and ends by colour into one container and I have actually been using them too. 

I discovered that the cardboard boxed that the Aldi coffee capsules come in, fit perfectly into quite a few of my drawers and storage boxes. I don't actually own an Aldi coffee machine anymore. We didn't want to create so much landfill anymore and switched to a machine that grinds coffee beans fresh. It's delicious, but I digress. Anyway, you're bound to know someone who buys the Aldi capsules and you can beg a few empty boxes of them.
I open the empty box, flatten them and use my trimmer to cut them down to fit the height of my storage container (usually just a little under 1/2 the height of the coffee box, so you get 2 storage boxes out of each one) and glue the bottoms shut again. 
I fit 15 of these boxes into a 12x12" storage container from Spotlight. I sorted all my little odds and ends into colours, which is how I prefer it. I manage to fit a lot in each little box! Little chipboard pieces, tags, stickers, butterflies, buttons, flares... anything small gets chucked in there.

Now when I need something white, for instance, I simply pull out the little coffee box with all the white bits and pieces and I'm bound to have something that will fit. 
Apart from the 12x12" storage box (about $12 on a sale), it cost me nothing, I reduced waste and it means I actually use my stash.
Maybe I've inspired you to sort out your stash.