DIY Christmas Cards: Recycle that Old Wrapping Paper!

Each year, there’s a lot of excess wrapping paper that’s left behind from oddly shaped presents – and it’s hardly possible to reuse the same wrapping paper each year, let alone free wrapping paper that has a company’s logo proudly emblazoned across it… it just isn’t classy, no? So instead of throwing away oddly sized shapes and bits or paper that’s semi-crumpled etc, I’ve employed my crafting spirit to making my own handmade christmas cards this year! :)

You will need:

  1. at least 2 designs of wrapping paper
  2. cardstock paper in a plain colour – i used Gloss White, 220 gsm
  3. magazines/stickers
  4. cutting tools – pen knife, scissors, papercutter (optional)
  5. sticking tools – double sided tape, glue, mounting tape
  6. ruler

First, look at your old wrapping paper and see if it has any outstanding symbols/images that you’d like to use. Likewise, you can pick an outstanding image from a magazine etc., depending on the type of card you want to make. e.g. for this tutorial i picked a Christmas Wreath, but for a friend who’s a shopahaulic, you might want to pick a high heeled shoe from a magazine :) Cut out that image with a small border around it. You don’t have to be extremely precise.

Wrapping paper is relatively sturdy as compared to magazine paper, so you might want to reinforce your magazine image by pasting cardstock behind it. Place the image on the cardstock and proceed to decide what type of card you want. For this tutorial I’ve chosen a small palm-sized card that I’ll be affixing to the present.

When you’re done with your measurements, proceed to cut out the card. I highly recommend using the “natural” edges of the paper as your guidelines if you’re afraid of cutting crooked lines. Alternatively, use a paper cutter.

Paper Cutters actually aren’t very expensive. I got mine for $19++ at Art Friend @ Bras Basah. It can also be found in some of the Popular Book Stores. It can cut 8 pieces of regular paper max and 2 pieces of cardstock. It’s not necessary to my daily life, but since I love doing paper crafts, it’s great for me and I love the convenience and speed at which it allows me to do all sorts of things. Plus I tend to have shaky hands, haha.

When using a paper cutter, you should make full use of the ruler/grid on it. Placing a ruler on top of the paper that’s in the paper cutter won’t measure as well as the measurements on the paper cutter. If you have difficulties dealing with measurements not beginning/ending with zero, it might be advisable to have a calculator on hand. Hold the paper firmly and press the blade down as you slide it across. loosely cutting the paper without holding it or securing the blade will result in ugly edges (and fixing it with a scissors totally defeats the purpose of using the paper cutter in the first place)

When creating a folded card with cardstock, the thickness of the paper means that folding it with your fingers will result in ugly creases along the edge. So try using a ruler and quickly sweep along the edge you wish to create. Pressing too hard might result in “frayed” edges, so don’t linger too long while doing it.

Next up, affix your cut out image to the card you’ve made. Ideally, place it exactly in the centre, as it will definitely make a difference. However if you’re like me and rather lazy/in a hurry, simply paste it where your gut feeling tells you it’s the middle. Things can always be fixed :)

Here I’ve used mounting tape as I want the image to “pop out” slightly. Mounting tape is essentially double sided sticky foam. It can be found in any Popular Book Store and most art shops and costs anywhere from $5-$10 per roll. Don’t purchase the mounting tape from Hardware/DIY shops as those are extremely expensive and meant to carry loads of 1.5kg for affixing objects to the wall. However, you can also simply use double sided tape, or a combination of double sided tape + cardstock + double sided tape to create the “pop up” effect as well.Choose a complementary piece of wrapping paper. It doesn’t need to be of a similar Christmas design! Here I’ve chosen a Japanese Origami paper to complement the wreath. A small card also means I need a very small amount of paper, so it’s pretty much perfect for this project where recycling odd bits and paper is the objective.

It also helps to think of colours to suit the season/occasion. It could be a friend’s favourite colours, or in this example, the complimenting Christmas colours of red and green.

From the image you’ve affixed, measure its surrounding borders and mark it down on the other piece of paper. Proceed to cut it (a pen knife is highly recommended for this step) so that you have a “hole” or “window” for the image to pop out from, as shown below.

Trim the edges to ensure that it’s all straight and aligned well. Write your message on the interior of the card! For me, I cut out the flowers from the leftover piece of paper (from the hole in the middle) and used them to decorate the inside :)

If you’re worried about slanted/uneven edges of the hole, you can also use a black marker to “even it out”. I did so quite messily here, but it’s also quite a nice effect as it enhances the border more distinctly.

Yup! So this is my DIY project for the Christmas Season – I hope to come up with more DIY card designs over the week! It’s simple, easy to make and uses inexpensive materials you can easily find at home :)

About ruth

whimsical, nutella-obsessed, shopaholic, bookworm. A huge fan of fantasy novels, she sees the magic in everything :) Life is too short to waste time feeling miserable. Serendipity!

Posted on December 19, 2010, in 2010, Crafting and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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