Thrifty 101

There are lots of ways to shop the deals and / or use coupons to save money on supplies. This is a given and thrify crafters know to search for a coupon, or coupon code, before any purchase at Michael's, JoAnns, Hobby Lobby, Blitsy.com or Scrapbook.com. It is also a good idea to check Amazon, Ebay, Etsy and Facebook sales groups before you buy.  Bottom line, that still requires spending money. Some days you are not going to get away from that, especially for things like tools and adhesives or specific designer papers. 

Today, we are going explore what you can do for FREE. This is ultimately a recycle & reuse post; some ideas may not be new to you. Hopefully, this is at least a reminder to use what you have and save where you can so that you can spend where you must.


Chipboard 
I do not buy any chipboard. Use boxes from pantry items and other packaging cut down to size for your projects. ATCs. Flip Books, Junk Journal Covers and more can be made with these as the base. The cover the right started as a cracker box that I painted the edges black before adding decorative paper. If you are going for a craft look, glue 2 pieces together so writing is no longer visible. This also works if you need a sturdier bad, advised when making a larger project. TIP ~ Cut your pieces and dry fit before glueing for best results. 


Acetate
Save Acetate from packaging to make shakers or tags. The tag to the right was made with clear plastic packaging, hole punched for ribbon and made the perfect Washi sample spot for this project. 


Paper

Ok, some paper. Recycle brown paper bags and any paper bags and tissue from retailers you visit. Some have fabulous colors and patterns, others great texture or glass finish. Use them! Cut around the logos / printed portioned you have paper.  Wrapping paper and gift bags can be given a second, or third life with this technique as well. 
TIP ~ If you glue the printed sides of brown paper bags together, you have a heavier paper that can go through an embossing folder without tearing in most cases. The photo in the middle was made with this technique and then painted with gelato and selectively heat embossed.


Embellishments 
Use scraps with logos or writing and 'laminate' them print side together to create embellishments. Carefully cut a shape from your scraps and glue 5 or more together for a chipboard embellishment.  In the heart example to the right, the top layer was selectively embossed using an embossing folder then glued to the stack. It was then painted white, edges inked and the embossed area was misted with pink shimmer.  This techniques works very well for Hearts, Circles, Flowers and other simple shapes or items that can be die cut.  

TIP ~ Save those scraps for mixed media! Mist paper with water, crumple for texture and glue to base for dimension. This moves easily and can be built up. Once dry, mist with paint or inks for color. 

The ATC base above was made using a recycled playing card covered by wash samples and scrap paper cut with decorative edge scissors. TIP ~ Use old game pieces, cards, etc in your crafting. Playing cards can be purchased 2 packs for $1 at Dollar Tree. 

Other items to recycle into your paper crafting supplies:
Toilet paper and paper towel tubes
Decorative envelopes
Maps, brochures and other travel propaganda
Book Pages
Return mail envelopes from your monthly bills
Bubble wrap (for mixed media projects OR wrapping)
Clear plastic from stickers, paper and stamp sets .... *post coming soon on this*
Jars to use as containers in your craft room


I hope this post inspired you to expand your craft supplies with items you have on hand.
Please share your ideas in the comments below.

Happy Crafting Y'all!



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About Me

I'm a Texas mom of adult kids who has been playing with paper my entire life. I love to create! What's more, I find that I am overall a happier person when I spend time creating things. Be it Art, Food or Decorations. I am an event coordinator by profession and have used my skills to create elaborate room designs, tablescapes, invitations and favors for weddings, parties of every occasion, fundraisers and corporate events. I create jewelry, stained glass and paintings but mostly, I love paper! Many of my projects are for others as gifts or swaps with other creative people I am blessed to call friends. I use tools to create pattern paper and embellishments to get the most bang for my buck. In my blog, I share my creations along with tips, tricks, techniques and tools used to get specific effects.

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