by Barbara Bechtel
About 6-8 months ago, while looking around at all my unused craft supplies, I decided to make a concerted effort to start using up all the bits and scraps of paper, wood, craft supplies, etc. and try to make a 100% effort not to purchase anything that was absolutely non essential.....ahh, the sweet horde of a mixed media artist....I'm sure many of you can relate.....
Specifically, I'm talking packaging. Although, I've always waffled between buying boxes, business and jewelry cards, packing supplies, etc. I've always used the excuse, "I don't have enough time to do ALL those things." For myself, though, I realized that in the time I spent researching, comparing prices, doing graphic design, layout, and printing, I really could make the time with a little extra effort to make these supplies to truly make my jewelry and designs unique from start to finish AND use up my extra paper supplies at the same time.
Instead of using bubble wrap, I've been shredding beautiful catalogs after I'm through perusing them and shredding vintage clothing patterns that I've been hoarding! Almost anything can be shredded to use as filler! So much more fun than shredding old bills and receipts, eh?
A selection of completely handmade business cards. All have their own unique personality. Clockwise from top: Beth Schaible ( letterpress by the artist), Second Surf (designed, printed, and handcut myself), Canoo (stamped and screenprinted on recycled household paperboard), Dacey Hunter (scrap watercolor paper, then inkjet printed with contact info), Sara Lee Parker Textiles (screenprinted)
The back of Canoo's card....she recycles all the paperboard from their home into business cards! This fits in nicely with her upcycled sweater goodies!
Here are some other great ideas for using upcycled or handmade supplies:
~Patty from My Life Under The Bus takes those ugly bubble mailers that we always mean to reuse and don't and makes them PRETTY!
~From the Love My Art Jewelry archives: Make an origami box to hold your jewels....This would look great with a little of that shredded tissue inside...hmmmmm......