Thing-A-Day: Plastic Leaves

Inspired by this epic post at CrookedBrains (via DudeCraft) of things made out of credit cards (and these rat pins, specifically) I decided to see if I could cut complex shapes out of plastic gift/rewards cards.  Turns out that it’s not too difficult, as long as you only cut in towards the center of the card and don’t try to curve your lines too much — perfect for making leaf shapes for holiday wreaths.  Last year I made this wreath and it took forever.  Each leaf was constructed by tying together seven separate plastic triangles with wire.  Each leaf was then tied onto the wreath form one by one.  Oy.

creditcardwreath

This year, I’m thinking of making some mini-wreaths, but with just one piece of plastic making up each leaf.  Yesterday I practiced a few different leaf forms to see which ones were easiest to cut.  Here are some of the more successful examples, which only took a minute or two each to make.  I’ve got a maple in there, a couple of oakey/hollyish ones, and some toothed leaves.  I tried a few really simple shapes as well, but they didn’t seem as autumnal as these.

creditcardleaves

Do you have any other ideas for iconic leaf shapes?  What have you made from plastic cards or other recycled materials?

Today I am Loving

The blog “Junk Mail Gems.”  Written by a fellow product designer, I found this blog via one of my other favorites, Girl on the Rocks.  Both of these talented ladies are extremely resourceful when it comes to “junk,” recycling everything from post-Halloween jack-o-lanterns to net produce bags, turning them into truly useful items like baked goods and dish scrubbers.  Both women also have a thing for the patterns inside security envelopes, which they’ve turned into gorgeous nameplates, collages, price tags and yes, other envelopes.

With the holidays coming up and the economy slowing down, crafty recycling just makes good financial (And organizational) sense. I’m knitting my double balls of discontinued yarn into little “scarflets” that fasten with (leftover) buttons since they are too short to wrap.  The single balls of yarn are becoming pom-poms and “ribbon,” which will adorn my recycled holiday gift-wrap.  Also, I’m turning my canister of cut up credit cards (yes, I save them, shut up) into a wreath for the Hayes Valley “Circle of Joy” benefit auction.  The leaves are pretty much done, but I still have to add the flowers.

credit card wreath for hayes valley circle of joy benefit auction

Maybe I’m old fashioned, but to me, it really is the thought that counts.  That’s why I like handmade gifts so much.  They’re completely original and really show that you are loved, because they took valuable, valuable time. I probably won’t hold on to that sled-shaped peppermint candle holder from Wal-Mart, but I will treasure those mittens, that cheese board, and those earrings until they disintegrate.