AIM SHOW + TELL: Paper Scrap Birds, from the Vault

From 2014-2016 I chronicled my crafty endeavors on the site Adventures-in-Making. I’ve selected a few of those DIY’s, Recipes, and other posts to share on the site.


We’re not happy unless we’re making things- which means we have a whole slew of projects from the time before A-i-M. We thought we take time now-and-again to share some of these projects from the DIY vault. This one’s more of a Show + Tell, but it’s a great example of how you can add creativity into you life anywhere…. even with scraps.

Have I mentioned I am unable to throw anything away?

A few years ago, after printing and trimming massive quantities of cards, I was left with a treasure trove of cotton, cover-weight paper strips (which I have since started using to make handmade paper).

I grabbed a bottle of Elmer’s glue and started working them into simple Christmas decorations, using the strength of the stock, and a few tricky reinforcing pieces disguised as decoration. Eventually the pieces began to turn into birds, trees, and other fun critters.

I would find a picture of an animal, and work with the paper scraps until they started to take a shape I liked. It was fun trying to recreate animals with the strips, using just glue and the natural resistance of the cover-stock.

I enjoyed playing with them, and making scenes and patterns out of the shapes. Nothing beats a quick, simple exercise that uses scrap materials.

I’ve got to go now- there’s a box of black paper scraps calling my name.

AIM DIY: Watercolored Business Cards

Watercolored Business Cards
From 2014-2016 I chronicled my crafty endeavors on the site Adventures-in-Making. I’ve selected a few of those DIY’s, Recipes, and other posts to share on the site.

Last week I combined a few of my favorite things and letterpress printed A-i-M cards on scraps of cotton paper. I wanted to make them super special (and representative of our creative spirit) so I pulled out my handy-dandy liquid watercolors and went to town.  I tried a few different methods, and wanted to show how they turned out.

I really like working with Blick Liquid Watercolor. I use it for my paper flowers, and pretty much everything else. I can water it down as much or as little as I want, and it washes out of everything I accidentally spill it on. (Very important. I’m a little messy.) I keep several plastic containers around to mix colors in.

The paper scraps were Crane Lettra 110# Cover, and I used a rubber based letterpress ink on them.

I think this would also work on other papers, including watercolor paper and uncoated card stock. You could also try adding your print with a stamp (like this tutorial from Akula Kreative) or use a non-watersoluble printing method (like a laser printer, or copier.)


Dipped and Dry Brushed

My first instinct was to take each card individually and dip it into a few colors. Some of them I then tapped on the table, to distribute drops, and some I used a dry brush to sweep through watercolor puddles.

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Edge Painting

I discovered a really wonderful thing while I was dipping small stacks in the watercolor. The color would soak into the edges, but not into the face of the pieces in the middle of the stack. I started dipping each side of the stack into a different color, and ended up with these lovely ombre edges. There is a little bleed onto the face of the cards, but it’s very subtle.


A Happy Splatter Accident

Remember what I said earlier about being a messy experimenter? Well, this time it worked out for me! I was partially working on a glass palate, which eventually was covered with lots of little drop of watercolor. I pressed one of the cards against the splatters, and ended up with these lovely color patterns.

IMG_2506IMG_2569I had a great time playing with the liquid watercolor (again) and love how easy it is to introduce color and pattern on a simple card.

The splatter was definitely my favorite. What do you think?

AIM DIY: Plastic Free Card Wraps

From 2014-2016 I chronicled my crafty endeavors on the site Adventures-in-Making. I’ve selected a few of those DIY’s, Recipes, and other posts to share on the site.

Instead of using plastic sleeves for my cards, I like to hold the card and envelope together with a strip of recyclable paper. I also use this as a chance to price my cards, and provide a little story to go along with each design. (Stories can make your products- more on that in the Packaging Post).

Since I’ve been using the photo corners to package my prints, I decided to move over to a similar method to pack my cards. I played around with folding until I came up with a method that needs no tape or plastic, but still looks pretty nifty!

First I print out my card descriptions, and cut them into strips with a rotary cutter. Each strip is about 2.5″ tall and 11″ wide.

For smaller cards (up to 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″) I use a decorative blade or punch on one edge of the strip.

A Then I turn everything over, and center the envelope diagonally on the paper strip. B Once it’s centered, I fold the non-decorative corners in, using the envelope as a guide. C Then I fold the flap back across. The scalloped edge will now be on top…  D so that I can slip the corner of the card into the little pouch I made with the folds. Then I slip the other corner in. The card itself keeps the wrap secured.

I use a similar method to cover larger cards (up to 5″ x 7″), with a couple of changes. Since I have to use more of the length of the strip, it takes a little adjustment to make sure that I have a pretty corner to tuck into. I still center the envelope on the strip (diagonally) but then…

I fold the two opposite corners first. (Notice that the first fold doesn’t quite cover the whole corner of the envelope.) G Then I fold the second, longer, side over to make the same type of pocket for a card. Then slide in the card a corner at a time.

Voila. A plastic free wrap, and a story too!

You might not need to use exactly this method for all the things you get up to- but I hope my experiment encourages you to think outside of the box with your projects. Just a couple of little clever changes could make the world a better place.

(I’m thinking big.)