A Thoughtful Way to Recycle Letterpress Cards

• 07 April 2010

Scenario: A thoughtful friend or acquaintance takes the time to send you a letterpress card (or small desk calendar). You relish in opening the weighty card and run your fingers along the paper, admiring the texture (don't tell me I'm the only one who does this!). You read the handwritten note and come to a full appreciation for the person who gave you such a lovely card. Now what exactly do you do with such a lovely piece of paper?

Well, in the past I've pinned every letterpress card I've received on my inspiration board. I enjoy admiring it for several months, or maybe even a year or two! It's a pleasure to see them every day and to think of the person who gave them to me. I've seen others place them in a decorative bowl, or clip them to suspended wire. I'm sure there are lots of great ideas for display, but there does come a time--whether it's 2 months or 2 years--when one needs to creatively refresh, be it a bowl or a board. For some time now I've felt the need to create some kind of system that involved recycling, but in a thoughtful, respectful, way.

First, using a small paper cutter, I trimmed the front of the card off, separating the graphic portion from the handwritten portion. I placed the pretty "covers" in one pile and the notes in another. Using a hole-puncher, I put a hole in the top left corner of each note and then ran a small satin ribbon through each hole, binding the cards together (one of those loose metal book rings would work nicely too, although you'd sacrifice a little visual appeal). Also, I couldn't resist adding one of the hearts from our Valentine's Day garland to the top of the pile--it seemed an appropriate "label".

Now, when I need to add a card to the bunch, it's easy to do--just punch another hole and re-tie the ribbon. Voila!

Now on to the pretty little pile of card "covers"...

Using the three large punches I own, I created little cut-outs of each. It was fun figuring out how to maximize each card and what shape would look best.

Note: if you don't own any large punches, but live near a scrapbooking store, look into using their dye-cut machines. Usually it only costs a couple dollars per hour if you bring your own paper goods. They would have most of these shapes as well as a bajillion other choices.

Next, I punched a little hole at the top of each cut-out and slid a piece of ribbon through, tying a knot at the base (works best for weightier ribbon, like grosgrain). For other tags I took the piece of ribbon, folded it in half, and then slid it through the hole, from the back. Then I took the two ribbon pieces hanging out back and placed both of them, together through the front loop. It's a dressier look and works best for thin ribbon.

Now I have an ecclectic bunch of beautiful letterpress gift tags to use and a lovely stack of thoughtfully-written cards to save forever!


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