Monday, November 2, 2009

Eco-friendly Business Cards

There are lots of little things to think of when you start selling jewelry. It can be overwhelming and the costs add up when you already put so much time and effort on your precious creations.
Business cards, packaging, gift boxes, displays, etc. It gets crazy really quick especially if you want to start selling at craft shows. Being eco-friendly might be the furthest thing from your mind as you scramble to get everything you need.
Thankfully eco-friendly can be easy and actually cheaper than buying everything new!
You see 'thrifty' is my middle name. I hate HATE having to spend money on stuff that I know will end up being thrown away anyway!! Thus you can be sure that, through my thriftiness (and laziness), only the cheapest, coolest and most eco-friendly techniques have survived.

Today I'll show you how to make cool business cards using upcycled paper~

1- Get a custom stamp with your shop info. Make sure that your stamp will be business card sized although you can play around with that to make your own unique design. They are not expensive and you will only have to buy it once! Etsy has many sellers that are willing to work with you to get exactly what you want!

2- Get some paper!
You can find good quality recycled card stock at the art store but you can also make some really awesome cards using vintage book illustrations! The best I think are ones from old children's books. I buy the sad broken ones in the bargain bin  so the kiddies get the pretty ones - they're also dirt cheap! The paper must be matte because your ink will not adhere to glossy ones - this is great since older books don't have glossy pages. The other thing to remember is that your text needs to stand out so the illustrations have to be bright without too much black. Luckily children's books are usually pretty cheery:)

Another option is to use thin cardboard like that used for cereal boxes. The inside is uniform and matte to stamp on and the outside of your card will show your favorite breakfast cereal:)

Info on the front

Breakfast on the back!

I also regularly find paper supplies at second-hand stores like Value Village. People often get rid of school or office supplies and a lot of it hasn't even been used. I  recently found a plethora of file folders someone no longer needed in a veritable rainbow of colors. The paper has a nice thickness and is matte enough for ink.

3- Making clean cuts
I don't use any special equipment to make clean cuts - I just use a good metal ruler and a sharp exacto knife.
You can also find templates at the craft store that allow you to trace perfect rectangles every time although I just use an actual business card to trace the right dimensions. You could also look around the house for an object that is the right size and sturdy enough to use as a template.

plastic templates!

My favorite touch is the corner punch. It makes the corners look clean and pretty even if my angles aren't perfect! You can get them at an arts and craft store in the scrapbooking department.
You can get ones that just make a rounded corner or fancy ones with designs, multiple holes and even embossing. Just be sure the size is appropriate for your card and you don't end up cutting out some of your info.

Plain corner paper punch

Super deluxe Fiskar 3 in 1 corner punch!

You could also opt for a tiny punch out inside the card. There are oodles shapes out there that can be chosen according to your store theme or name.

 small detailed leaf punch

The best thing about upcycling paper is that every card will be unique and they are cheap enough to make that you can send them out with every order with a thank you written on the back!
Happy crafting!