Up-cycled ATCs

So. You already know that I can’t bear to throw away anything that could possibly be one day useful for crafting. And here is some more proof.


This is a bit of a cheaty ATC really. The little ‘dude’ is actually cut from a pair of swimming trunks my son had grown out of. It was just the perfect size!! I mounted it onto card, put a matching green brad in each corner, and coloured a white ATC blank to match, and stuck it on. Pretty straightforward really, but too cute!



More ‘rubbish’ used up. I always keep the remnants of cross-stitch thread I have left at the end of a project. For this ATC I just took two lengths of blue thread that were about 5 or 6 inches long, painted a dark blue ATC blank with PVA glue, and randomly draped the threads across the ATC. Once it had dried I realised that some bits of it hadn’t stuck very well, so I painted another coat of the glue on, and now it’s all secure, and nice and shiny. The three little blue flower gems in the centre just give it some focus.



Random ATCs

Here’s two more ATCs made for swaps on Swap-Bot.

Recycled Robot

So many random bits and pieces on this one! I wanted my robot to look metallic, so I hunted down lots of… well, rubbish really. I used a sweet wrapper for the head, and the foil top from a bottle of milkshake for the body. The antennae were made with leftover pieces of craft wire, gems for the eyes and nose, and a teeny tiny bit of leftover peel-off for the mouth (never throw anything away – see?!). The legs, as you can probably work out, were just a couple of paperclips, with some silver ribbon arms, and brown gems to make grabby hands. I drew rivets on the robot with a fine permanent marker pen, and decided to do the same around the edge of the ATC to match.



This ATC was made specifically for my swap partner. Her favourite constellation is Orion, so I gathered up all the peel-off sheets I could find that had stars on them (a surprising number, actually!), and set about placing them accurately to create the constellation. Luckily I had a few picture to copy (thank you Google images!), so it was just a case of working out which star to put where, so that they would all fit on nicely. I added a couple of gems, and used a white pen to connect the stars together in the traditional shape of Orion. A few peel-off letters in the corner clarifies it!


Rainbow wallpaper ATCs

These are not your ordinary wallpaper samples! I nabbed a sample of some white textured wallpaper a few weeks back, as I thought it might look good painted. I cut the sample up into squares of about 6″ or so, and my son and I set down with his paints. He did a couple of pictures, whilst I set about preparing some unusual backgrounds. I painted a few squares in single colours, to create potential backing papers. Then I decided to use multiple colours, and this is what I ended up with. I made sure that I only painted lightly, so that the texture still shows through.

Rainbow Owl

I love my rainbow colours, so painting a rainbow backing page was obvious to me. To make the ATC I simply mounted the wallpaper onto some card to make it sturdy, and glued on a rather unusually coloured owl! The owl was, I think, cut from some free papers from a craft magazine, and I coloured him in with my marker pens. I love his bright yellow eyes!


Wallpaper Rainbow

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll recognise this quote. It’s one I use a lot, because it works so well with rainbows. Before I painted this one I made sure it was pretty much cut to an ATC size as I didn’t want to end up cutting off one side of the rainbow or something equally daft. Writing the quote onto a thin strip of plain white card was like revisiting my childhood – I used to love writing every different letter in a different colour! After I cut the strip up I coloured the edges in with a marker pen – my marker pens tend to bleed into certain types of card, giving quite a rough finish to the edging. I thought this worked really well with the textured look of the backing.


New home card

I can never throw anything away, no matter how small it is, and as a result I have a big box full of odds and ends of pretty papers, material, ribbon scraps and allsorts. It’s surprising what can be created from such scraps, as this new home card will demonstrate.

I like to make things from scratch, using collage techniques, and I’ve used lots of different bits on this card. The main part of the house is made from a scrap of wallpaper sample – it’s a textured brown sample, with wonderful golden flecks running through it. Once I’d decided on that, it was easy to rummage through my scraps box to find other bits that matched the theme. Some sparkly gold card for the roof, a tiny rectangle of brown handmade paper for the chimney, and some orange corrugated card for the door all serve to create the house. I cut out the windows from both the wallpaper and the card blank, and covered the holes with acetate, with some tiny left over bit of peel-off border for the window frames. Some green patterned paper was used to make the grass (using decorative edged scissors) and the trees (with a small round punch), and I drew the tree trunks on with a brown pen. The finishing touches were a black gem for the door handle, and my friends house number on the front of the door (another tiny peel-off). Finally I added a peel-off sentiment underneath.


I’m really pleased with the look of this card, and I love that it was created with mostly bits and pieces that could easily have been thrown away. It also goes to show that you really don’t need a host of expensive gadgets or items to create easy and really pretty cards.

Recycled ribbon ATCs

Here’s a couple more ATCs I’ve made recently.

‘Love Ribbon’


This was a recycled ATC! The card heart originally came in a pack of ready-to-make handmade cards. I made all the cards, then gave a selection of them to my mum for her birthday, for her to use throughout the year. She sent the one with the heart on back to me. Usually I will keep any handmade card I receive, but this time I felt a bit weird about it, as I’d made it in the first place! So I decided to reuse and recycle! The heart turned out to be a perfect size to fit on an ATC (the ribbon was already on it). All that was required was some decorative scissors to trim the backing paper, a coloured marker to edge the ATC blank, and some Card Candy, and Bob’s your father’s brother.



This one was also made using recycled materials – mum went through her wardrobe and cut out all the hanging ribbon from the inside of her skirts and tops, and donated them to me. There was plenty there to make this lovely woven ATC, plus some left over. It took quite a while to make, and was a bit fiddly (and sticky – I coated the ATC blank with double sided tape to ensure each ribbon layer stayed put. I nearly stuck it to myself several times!), but I really love the look of it. I didn’t feel there was any need to add any further embellishments, I like the way the colours and widths of the ribbons are quite random.

A – Z challenge: H is for…

H is for Happy Birthday!

Apart from Christmas, birthdays are my biggest events in card making. I make loads throughout the year in an effort to have some in stock when a birthday creeps up on me unnoticed. Cards for men are always the most difficult. I have found 3D decoupage useful in this respect. 3D decoupage is the art of building up a three dimensional picture by layering aspects of the same picture:


You can find a decoupage sheet of an appropriate interest (or alternatively make your own by printing multiple copies of the same picture) to tailor the card perfectly to your recipient.


Kids birthdays are the best fun, here’s a couple I made yesterday.



I love to personalise kids cards with their name. It makes it that bit more special (I do the same with baby cards too). The second of the above cards is for my nephew, who be 6 (obviously) at the end of the month. I’m particularly pleased with this one as the Beano backing paper is actually just gift wrap. It was received last year by my son on his birthday (“take the paper off carefully, Isaac, CAREFULLY!”) and I have been waiting for a good opportunity to use it. The number 6 I drew free-hand onto paper, cut it out to check sizes and proportions, and then used it as a template to create the gold card version. I then highlighted the edges of the card and the 6 in brown marker pen, attached the number with sticky foam pads to raise it up a little, and finished it off with some sticky peel-off letters.
It was an easy card to make, and so much nicer (and cheaper!) than a store bought equivalent.