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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Beating the business card blues

Recently, my employer was taken over by another firm, which necessitated the destruction of thousands of business cards.

I had only recently been given reprints of my previous ones - which meant I had 200 cards sitting unused on my desk. My colleagues, likewise, had more than 100, as did my husband (we work for the same company).

It does grieve me to see waste. Even though most people in my immediate vicinity dutifully put their unused old business cards into the recycling bin, I thought there had to be another way to put these to good use, rather than simply relying on a very energy-intensive industry to process them and probably turn them into new business cards. Or a shirt. Either way.

At the same time that I trundled home with five heavy plastic boxes filled with old business cards, my husband managed to buy me: 20 sheets of Mr Men stickers for £1, one 20m reel of orange ribbon and one 20m reel of turquoise ribbon for 50p each.

I had a long weekend planned - ie, one without additional freelance work, hosting Sunday lunches for family or friends, and without anything at all to do. So I ensconced myself in my teeny-tiny 'office' (aka craft room) and began to make batches of cards.

I experimented first of all with the Mr Men and Little Miss notelet series, on pale cream card and using scraps of orange card that someone had given me several years earlier.
Close-up of card front Image: SimoneySunday via Instagram

The work in progress. Image: SimoneySunday via Instagram
Having made about 40 of these cards, I batched them up into sets of six (with some left over) and started to sell these on my Original Shimmering Designs Facebook page as notelets - ideal gifts for people who live a long way away. Light, unusual, original and using recycled/repurposed materials.

It should be stated that I used liquid paper (Tippex for the Brits, Copydex for Americans) to blot out the details on the backs (fronts?) of the business cards before sticking them onto the card fronts. 

I then received in the post some gorgeous little doggy buttons in painted wood. I'd ordered these way before Christmas but they took a while to arrive. Again, using the backs of old business cards, and coloured card which had once been marketing material from my office and I found in the recycling bin (yeah, sorry, I went bin-raking like a tramp), I experimented a week or so later with the darling doggy cards. These are also for sale via my Facebook page. 

The work in progress Image: SimoneySunday via Instagram
I also used up some other wooden buttons that I had lying around, as well as some of the pages of an old book about British Woodlands. This book had been left outside someone's house, in the rain, without any covers. When I asked about it, the lady had left this, along with other cover-less books, for anyone to take to use for craft. I jumped at the chance!
Close-up of the doggy card. Image: SimoneySunday via Instagram

Two of the finished products. I think they are really cute (but then I would, I made them). People say I am a cat-lover but I hope this tribute to our Scottie Dog friends might make people realise I love ALL animals (except spiders but then they do not count as an animal as they are arachnids).

Two of the finished products. Image: Simoney Sunday via Instagram
Who knew that old business cards, leftover pieces of scrap marketing material and discarded books could make such beautiful things? Well, it beats buying cards for £4.50 from an 'artisan' shop when you can get them from £1.50 upwards from the Mermaid of Moorgate!