Did you know that Valentine's Day is the second largest card-sending holiday of the year? Instead of contributing to the waste created on February 14th, create something truly unique and meaningful for your loved ones: upcycled cards made of your old clothes & rag scraps. In this special edition blog post, we'll show you how to make your own (in less time than it will take you to find parking and wait in line at the gift shop).
If minimizing waste isn't reason enough to make your cards at home, think of the money. Homemade cards will save you up to $10!
Another idea is hosting a Valentine's Day card-making party, as this is a fun activity to do together with friends, family, and colleagues. We are even offering limited numbers of card-making kits available for purchase at the end of this tutorial to help you plan a *seamless* event. Included in our card-making kits (available in single or 6 card packs) are blank card(s), envelope(s), an 8 x 10 paper of cardstock, and fabric scraps in various Valentine's Day colors.
Alternatively, if you don't have the time this year to make your own cards but still want to support textile recycling, you can also purchase one of our pre-made cards directly from our website.
So you want to learn how to make your own cards using recycled materials. Read on!
In the spirit of love for the environment (and distaste for waste), we recommend making the most of your materials and creating multiple cards at once. We estimate that using an 8 x 10 piece of cardstock, you can make at most 6 medallions (which are the decorations you'll put on your cards). For reference, we used one heart medallion per card.
Here's what you'll need to make one card (simply multiply by the materials by the number of cards you plan to make):
- One sheet of cardstock paper (8 x 10 preferred + more if you want to create a stencil)
- Rag scraps in red, pink, and purple shades (3 - 4 small 1 in. strips)
- Blank card + envelope
- Hot glue gun + one glue stick
- Craft glue, like Zipdry (optional but recommended)
- Pen (we used red to blend with the fabric)
Pro-Tip: Gather your materials beforehand and choose an open, well-lit area as your workspace. Put on your favorite playlist to make the environment more fun and enjoyable!
7 Easy Steps To Create Upcycled Valentine's Day Cards
Prep time: 20 mins
Craft time: 25 mins
Estimated total time: 45 mins for each card (less time required as you make more cards)
1. Decide on the shape of your medallion. The medallion, you might remember, is the object made of fabric scraps on cardstock and is what you'll be attaching to the blank card. We chose a simple heart for our medallion example, but you may choose another shape that is more fitting. One thing to keep in mind is that you'll need to cut this shape out by hand - so choose a design that is structurally uncomplicated (unless of course, you happen to have a fancy laser cutter at home).
2. Outline your shape on the cardstock paper. We created a separate stencil out of cardstock so that we could have the shape for future use, but you may also freehand the shape if you prefer. Take this time, if you're making more than one card, to trace multiple outlines for your medallions (we estimate about 6 small hearts, or 6 total cards, can be made from one 8 x 10 paper).
3. Gather fabric scraps. Now, here's the fun part! Bring together your red, pink, purple, or other Valentine's-themed fabric scraps. You'll want them cut in small 1-in. strips, as instructed in the preparation section. You can essentially use any material you want; though you may want to reconsider thicker materials that may be harder to hot glue. Use your creativity to mix-and-match different shades and textures. In our example, we used one scrap cut from red denim pants and one from a checkered tablecloth.
4. Glue fabric scraps on cardstock. Using your outline as a guide, begin to glue your scraps on the cardstock. Start with just one medallion first, if you plan on making more than one. Trim fabric around your outline as you go. Also, be sure to work quickly with the hot glue, so it doesn't dry messily on your fabric. Play around textures and layout. You may want to turn the fabric here and there to create more "depth."
5. Allow to dry. While you're waiting, press gently on the fabric to solidify the shape. You may want to trace the design over the fabric scraps again before you prepare to cut your medallion out.
6. Cut the medallion. Take your time to cut your shape from the cardstock paper. You want to make sure that the cut edges are solidified. Take your glue gun and "seal" the edges with a thin layer of glue.
7. Paste the medallion on a blank card. We recommend using a craft glue like Zipdry, as it creates less distortion with the paper. However, hot glue works as well. Be sure to use a thin, sparing layer as you glue the medallion on a blank card in your seventh (and final!) step.
The Final Product
Congratulations! You've now made your own Valentine's Day card using upcycled material, demonstrating your creativity and respect for the earth to the recipient of your special handmade card. Remember, you can apply this idea to any occasion, such as a birthday (balloon medallions are fun and easy), graduation, or any other event. The possibilities are as endless as the fabric scraps you can get your hands on.
Find more on our WOVIN store
Note: Guaranteed delivery by Valentine's Day available for orders made by Tuesday, February 9th. As cards are made of recycled materials, actual colors/textures may vary (but will be in the Valentine's Day color scheme of red, pink, and/or purple).