Thursday, January 31, 2013

Recycled Greeting Cards (and a Tutorial!)

In our world of digital communication, handwritten letters, cards, and postcards have become sentimental keepsakes for me. I've found a few ways to display them in our little home.

When my grandma died a few years ago, I found a box of vintage Christmas cards from her house to remember her by. Last year, I used twenty of these cards to make a large paper globe as a Christmas decoration. I think that globes like these would look really cute to decorate for a baby shower or birthday party, too. You will find a tutorial on how to make these at the end of this post!

I was so touched by all the handwritten notes on cards from my baby showers that I decided to display a collection of them in a large poster frame. I hung the frame in Jadon's room, above the crib. I reread the well-wishes and congratulations often to remind myself of all the love and support Jon and I have as new parents.

I hang recently received thank-you notes, invitations, birthday cards, and photos on a decorative clothesline in our kitchen. My brother made me this clothesline for Christmas when he was in kindergarten. My mom set him up with all the materials, and he strung the beads and clothespins together on a strong fishing line.

So, if you still have some Christmas stuff out and waiting to be put away (it's okay, it's still January, right?), put those old Christmas cards to use! Here's the tutorial on how to make the paper globe:

Gather up the cards you wish to use for your globe. Use a circular object, like a bowl, candle base, or cup to trace twenty-one circles. Insides and outsides of cards are fair game for circles! Twenty will be used to actually make the globe. The extra circle will be used for tracing.

Draw a dot in the middle of the one extra circle you cut out. Using your same circular object, draw a curve that intersects the dot. Then, draw two more curves so that the edges meet on the circumference of your circle. This will help you create an equilateral triangle (I know, it sounds like geometry class!). Cut out this triangle and use it to trace an inscribed triangle on the back of all twenty of your other circles. Fold the edges of the circles so that they poke up towards the design you want seen.

Using tape, glue, or a glue stick, attach the flaps of five circles together so that they create a pentagon. Repeat this process with five more cards. The remaining ten cards should be attached in a long, continuous chain.

Take the chain of ten circles and make a loop. Attach the two ends of the chain to each other. This is the middle section of your globe. The two pentagon pieces are the top and bottom. Line up the flaps on the middle section with your top and bottom and attach.

Your globe of cards is complete! For all you math geeks out there, you have created a icosagon, a twenty-sided polygon. I guess you can take this third-grade math teacher out of the classroom, but you just can't take the math applications out of the teacher! I plan on making a new globe after every Christmas with each year's favorite cards.

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