Using up recyclable paper, like magazines, catalogues, Christmas wrapping paper, and Christmas cards are not only fun but very practical. Let’s check out how these creative crafters are recycling paper into functional goodies.
These matchboxes are so cute for wrapping jewelry or even gift cards. All you need are some paper, knife, and glue! Who needs to buy gift boxes? You can see the instruction on Mary Zoom.
Upcycled Card Envelope
This short video by Herban Luxe shows how easy it is to make envelopes. These are like card envelopes but can use it for gift cards too. Totally cool video tutorial!
I sew edges of several sheets of catalogue pages together to make these shipping envelopes. You can use them as inner envelopes or even as gift wrapping envelopes.
Origami Clutch by La Alicia
I love origami. I know how to make cranes, boxes, hats, sail boats, ball, and speed boats. But don’t be jealous; I’m sure you made at least one or two of these in your youth. I don’t know any kid who didn’t make things to pass time at school. Ahem.
But if you don’t know how to make origami, check out La Alicia. In fact, I think her clutch is so awesome that I am giving it away this weekend.
1. Like I said, I don’t know any kid who didn’t try origami but you’ve taken this ancient Japanese art to a whole another level. How did you come up with the idea of recycling and using origami to start a business?
My mom and I made origami together when I was little, we checked out books from the library. I think this is where my affection for making things by hand began. It was a woman named Paula (a friend of my grandma’s) who taught me the technique I use most. I think that my grandma was happy that it kept me occupied and out of mischief. I was happy to learn something new and had no idea I would still be using what I learned this many years later.
My day job is as an art director, so I spend lots of hours in front of a computer. Although I enjoy what I do, I really missed the satisfaction of making something by hand. I think the business aspect grew naturally out of my work days. On days that I was brainstorming, I found myself folding paper (magazines usually) as a physical outlet for what was percolating in my brain. Later away from the office, those paper doodles were joined together to create fun eco stuffs that became gifts for friends. Pretty soon, I had so many requests for items, that it became a business and I opened my Etsy shop.
2. Where do you find this eclectic collection of pages and magazines?
That question has a fun answer. I find many of my materials at garage sales, estate sales and my own mailbox. I pick materials that look like they have a good story and a bit of adventure – things that catch my eye. The rest comes from friends that know what I’m up to. They’ll call and ask if I want to raid their recycle bin. I also have a supportive network of artists who I regularly get together with and we trade supplies.
3. How long does it take for you to finish a purse like the one for the giveaway?
A purse like the giveaway one usually takes a few hours to complete. I do everything by hand except sewing the zipper and the lining together. I use a sewing machine for that part. I generally make a small batch of three or four bags at a time.
4. How does one protect the finish? Is it water resistant? What do you use to protect the surface? How should a person care for the purse?
Yes, they are water resistant. I use a water based sealer to protect my bags. It’s earth friendly and effective. If the bag gets wet, simply blot it dry with a cotton cloth. I would avoid immersing it in water or taking it snorkeling.
5. What are your plans for 2012 with your shop?
In 2012, I will go forward splitting my time between handmade and art direction. The idea of teaching classes intrigues me and I am enjoying teaching a few small classes. Showing that handmade and recycled can be beautiful as well as realistic is really important to me. Different thinking and repurposing are great habits for everyone to get into for the new year. 2012 is gonna be so much fun. I’m ready to unleash my creativity.
There you go. See how you can totally use up all those old magazines for catalogues that you still get, despite your efforts to stop junk mail?
If you don’t know how to make this type of clutch, check out La Alicia for jewelry, garlands, photo frames, and so much more cool items! Or, you can win this cute clutch.
Just leave me a comment and let me know what home made paper crafts you are making for Christmas this year. You can also let me know what other items you like in La Alicia’s shop.
**The giveaway ends on Sunday December 4, 2011 at 11:59 PM EST and is open worldwide to all ecokaren e-mail subscribers. The giveaway is ONLY for the clutch and not the pictured items inside.
Just in case you missed it, here is “24 Days of Green Christmas; Day #1″.