Cards from Cards

A.k.a. FREE Love Notes...a.k.a. A Frugal Scrapbookers Dream...a.k.a. Beat That, Hallmark...whatever you wanna call it, this here's a post about what I concocted last week during my painting-while-I'm-pregnant-need-to-sit-down breaks.  First of all, let me explain my situation/thoughts.  If you're anything like me, you have a shin-dig (birthday, wedding, baby shower, etc...), you get all these pretty, heartfelt cards, and you save them to write heartfelt thank yous back to their authors, then tuck them away because if you throw them away, what with all their lovely words and encouragement, you'll feel like a bad person.  (Keep in mind I'm not saying you are a bad person if you throw them away, I just feel like I can't...maybe it's just me.)  So then you find yourself in a situation like this...
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…and you have all these great cards taking up space that could be used for other things.  By the way, I still have every single wedding card (the majority of the pile shown above) we received taking up half of one dresser drawer.  Now, in another part of that same dresser drawer I have a stack of postcard-style cards with envelopes that I scored from Target for like $2 or something a year ago. 
mar302012 002 I’ve used them here and there but really haven’t used them to their full potential…until now.  My thought, while looking from one pile to the other, was “Hey, why not use each baby shower card to make a custom thank you card for the person who gave it?  That way, our thank yous will not only be cute and one-of-a-kind, but I’ll have the peace of mind that I didn’t simply throw away each persons affections AND it’ll allow me to get out some of this creative tension building up inside AND it'll be free AND it’ll be more cherished by the receiver (if they even realize I used their card to make their thank you).”  :) 

So in between sanding sessions and waiting for coats of primer or paint to dry courtesy of our mini kitchen remodel, I sat my rear down and played with paper.  Here’s a basic run down of what I did:

First, I grabbed a card.
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Then I cut out anything I liked that could be used to construct another card – words, blank parts of paper, designs, and pictures.
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Last, I grabbed a blank postcard (pink, purple, or yellow for this project) and created away.  Using this particular card, here’s what I came up with:
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That’s it.  That’s all it took – a little time and effort and some supplies I had laying around.  Wanna see more?  I didn’t take before shots of each card but I definitely took afters so that I could remember and use each design for inspiration in the future. 
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I didn’t buy a single thing to make these cards, just used stuff I had laying around – a decorative corner punch, scissors, glue, a silver sharpie, and some random things like the top to my lotion bottle used as a circle stencil.  As for some of the geometric patterns, I just free-handed them first using a pencil (in case I messed up) and then traced over them with the sharpie.  All of the shapes I used were free-handed onto scrap card stock and then traced…and then saved to use in the future. 
  After all was said, done, and mailed, I had these pieces leftover to use for future cards:mar302012 036

I also re-used an almost empty card organizing box I’ve had for years to store my new-found hobby:mar302012 039
I’ll sort pieces of cut-up cards I can reuse based on what category they fit into here.  As for the unusable remains of the cards I mutilated, they’re now laying in our paper recycling bin and I’ve got less paper clutter – both of which score me at least 10 points.  :)

Needless to say, I probably won’t ever spend money on a card again, unless I’m in the market for a sound-making one or something.  I even found a pack of 50 white, blank, single-fold cards for about $17 at Target with which I plan to make everything from birthday cards to sympathy cards using our stockpile of received cards yet to be “reinvented”.  Such fun!  I’m sure I’m not the only one to hatch this crazy plan – anyone else into becoming Edward Scissorhands with used cards?  Do tell!  I have a long life of card making ahead and more ideas I will need.  :)

Oh yes, and by the way, the kitchen?  Painted.  Show-and-tell next week.  :)


  1. Those are all soooo cute!! I love all of your designs and shapes that you added to the stuff you cut out from the cards!! My birthday is May 24th...just sayin' ;) haha