Thursday, March 8, 2012

Handmade....from start to the very FINISH!

 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!

This is the packaging I did for Lori Anderson's upcoming Cup of Bead Soup. I've been painting tiny paper doilies from my estate sale stash to use in my paintings. Torn and taped to the pillow boxes (whose supplies are ever so slowly dwindling) with washi tape and tied with some pretty string and a little tag from leftover watercolor paper scraps.

 Vintage postcards that have been tea stained and with quick sketches and collage elements make great earring cards for more involved earrings and the buyer gets a cute little piece of art to keep!

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......

10 comments:

My Life Under the Bus said...

Thank You for including me Barbara! You know I love to upcycle!!! I love the recycling of shredded paper and the custom cards! *Beauties* : )

Alice said...

I make my own tags and earring holders, though they are a little plain. I struggle the most with packaging; making it pretty without totally depleting my small bank account while at the same time making it safe for travel through the postal system.

Thanks for the lovely ideas!

Sandra Young said...

Love the idea of shredding old catelogs!

Izzy said...

Brilliant I say, absolutely brilliant. Thanks so much for the wonderful ideas!

mairedodd said...

this is terrific barbara - i used the shavings that are put in gift baskets etc for filler as well... i have this saved from claire maunsell about packaging from cereal boxes (i recently used my yogi tea boxes for small things) http://stillpointworks.blogspot.com/2011/08/lot-of-cereal.html

stacilouise said...

I love this. Such great idea's....and it makes me happy that so many artists are thinking green! REcycling is always part of our home, and I love to see others put it to such creative use. Mine is not so pretty. I recycle my bubble mailers and almost never purchase envelopes. My son used to raid the recycling to make new "toys" with a roll of tape and some old cereal boxes, he would make sculptures and space ships and houses! You have inspired me, along with this spring like weather, to dig in and clean out! I feel some "hoard" de-stashing mixed media work coming up! LOVE the cards on the boxes. Great idea. I often have requests for boxes at shows, and I think I may try to cut out some old cereal boxes and make pillow boxes to offer. wheels are turning. Thanks barb!!!

Off the Beadin' Path said...

Thanks for the useful ideas! I know I will use Patty's idea to cover the envelopes! "Green is clean."

Cindy said...

Barbara, this was a inspiring post. I love what you're doing for your packaging - so original and a great way to recycle. Just today I received a package from an eBay purchase and was really impressed by the fact that the outside envelope and everything inside was constructed from recycled envelopes.

Cindy Pack said...

I agree with everyone! I am inspired too. Thanks so much for the post! :)

Stacie Florer said...

A lot to absorb here...great ideas and boy, I need to revamp my packaging!!

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