Green cards

I’ve amassed quite the collection of supplies over the years. Stamps, paper, punches, “bling,” ribbon, stamps, rub-ons and stickers, ink, embossing powders, glitter … did I mention stamps?

Somehow, I keep it all organized in a craft cart on wheels and on a 72-inch shelf in a closet.

The majority of all this fantastic stuff was bought in craft stores, at scrapbooking events and online. Often, though, I turn to items I find around the house to use in card making.

Beads. I have beads leftover from making bracelets when I was a kid, and I’ve kept beads from broken jewelry. For this card, I strung glass beads onto thick string to act as a “stopper” for the letter slides.

Buttons. They’re easy to find in my house. I have buttons from my grandmother’s and mother’s sewing collections and a ton of buttons that came as extras to items of clothing and were never used. I made this spider using two black buttons, wire and two embellishments for eyes (which cover the button holes). The Thanksgiving card features mostly “found” buttons.


Paper. Sometimes, the paper I use is not from a craft store but from the mail. Out of the patterned papers I used for this card, can you tell which one if from a retailer’s postcard?

Answer: the snowflake paper.

Tags. When you buy clothing, look at the tags and see their potential. In 2009, I used two similar clothier’s tags for holiday cards. That year, I made duplicates of my cards and I thought the tags would look great with a reindeer embossed on them. Both tags already had a clear embossed pattern. The first embossing went fine but on the second tag, the clear pattern must have been applied differently because it curled up when the hot air from my heat gun touched it. I chopped off the damage and used the tag for a different card. As Tim Gunn would say, “make it work!”


Ribbon, thread and yarn. Not only did I make jewelry when I was young, I had an embroidery hobby, too. From that, I have a lot of thread and crewel yarn that I occasionally use on my cards (such as for the spider above). More often, though, I use ribbon from an uncommon source: clothing. Women’s shirts sometimes have ribbon loops on the inner shoulder seams so that they won’t slide off hangers. Most of the time, these ribbons drive me crazy, so I cut them off immediately. They come in great colors and are the perfect width for cards. Who knew? I also use ribbon from packaging. The first card has “hanger ribbon” and the second has ribbon from a Victoria’s Secret bag.


Safety pins. Who doesn’t have at least a few of these? One obvious use for cards: anything for a baby. So easy and fun!

Staples. I have large, fancy staples and a Fascinator, but I use the average staples, too. They add something extra but don’t overwhelm the design.

Need an embellishment for a card? Stuck in a card-making slump? Go hunting in your house and get crafty!


One thought on “Green cards

  1. Pingback: Paper trail |

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