More recycling paper projects

I was happy to see the response to the covered jar lids and pencils post from a few days ago. It seems I am not the only one who saves paper scraps and needs a use for them. I have a few more projects up my sleeve here. First, I made some paper garlands which can be use for gift wrap or party decorations. Second, I made several different birthday cards all using cut paper collage. They go nicely together and make for a festive gift or party! When collecting papers, don’t overlook newspaper, wrapping paper, envelope liners, notebook and grid papers. There are often fun surprises on the inside of envelopes, even junk mail.

CLICK HERE for the full post after the jump!


paper scraps
glue stick
blank cards
alphabet stamp set
old magazine or catalog
craft knife (optional)
ruler (optional)
cutting mat (optional)
sewing machine



Birthday Cards

1. Cut out desired shapes out of paper scraps. If you want you can sketch designs on the backside of the paper, I just cut my freehand. Refer to the photos of the cards for inspiration and imagery. Use a glue stick to glue shapes down. It it helpful to apply the glue on the pages of an old magazine or catalog so you don’t get glue on your work surface. Keep turning the pages to have a fresh surface to glue on. For thin paper strips or perfect rectangles it’s helpful to use a craft knife and ruler on a cutting mat.

2. Stamp message either to the card itself or to the small tag on the stack of presents.

3. Press cards overnight under heavy books to flatten before giving.


1. Punch circles out of different patterned papers.

2. Using a sewing machine feed the paper circles under the needle one at a time. Either you can feed them butting up against the next one, or give them some space between. Leave a length of thread at either end for hanging.


  1. erin says:

    lovely. the garlands are adorable.

  2. ruth Singer says:

    lovely and simple, beautifully presented and photographed. I fancy making a garland from fabric too.

  3. Emily says:

    what a great use of paper scraps! i especially love the cards.

  4. melissa says:

    Love the simplicity and the colors! Thanks for sharing!

  5. LindenLincoln says:

    So lovely. All the projects this week have been amazing. Thanks for all of the inspiration.

  6. Jill says:

    I’ve really enjoyed all your posts. I’ll keep checking WREN handmade too. Thanks for all the lovely ideas!

  7. Sarah says:

    As a hoarder of paper scraps, this week’s posts have been great inspiration for me. I have made cards like these before but the garland is a new one that I might have to try!

  8. mariimorii says:

    Hey this is too cute. It’s a great idea for cheap gifts without the beauty sacrifice. I will be using this style myself. Sooooo adorable!

  9. Carol says:

    Love these paper projects!
    Thanks for sharing.

  10. Christine says:

    I want to do this with my old Christmas cards!!!!

  11. Judith says:

    Thank you for all the projects. This has been one of my favorite guest blogs.

  12. Diane says:

    Just Brilliant! Going to start making Christmas cards straight away :-)

  13. Carrie says:

    Wow! Thanks for the great ideas! I love the garland & will definitely give it a try. To avoid using a sewing machine, I’m thinking I’ll cut doubles of each circle and then glue them back-to-back with the thread in between…

  14. bh says:

    Love all of Laura’s posts this week!

  15. Allison W says:

    Love love that garland, and the cards are adorable. Thank you so much for the inspiration!

  16. DesignWolfe says:

    Brilliant! I love every single thing about this post. Thank you for the great ideas!!

  17. Jessica U says:

    I absolutely love the garland idea! I’ve been trying to design a fun wedding garland and this might be it! I also use scrap paper to make fun gift tags!

  18. Laura. says:

    i’ve been looking for alphabet stamps in that cute little sans serif typeface–where did they come from?

  19. Jeannie says:

    I love this card idea!
    I’ll be sure to try it with my daughter!
    I admire you because you come up with such great ideas.

  20. Cassie says:

    Where did you get your hole punch? I’ve been looking for one just like it. :)

  21. mon says:

    i’ve really enjoyed all your projects this week. my pile of scraps finally have a purpose!

  22. Elyse says:

    How fantastic! I am totally loving this…I frequently collect pretty pieces of paper, but I didn’t know what to do with all of them until now! =D

  23. amy says:

    love it!

  24. holly says:

    It pains me to see people throw away lovely wrapping paper! I literally find myself in discomfort at every child’s birthday party when it all goes into a big garbage bag. {Must find a discreet way to be the garbage collector. }
    So excited to explore all the possibilities – you certainly have done a terrific job inspiring us! THANK YOU ever SO MUCH!

  25. rasa says:

    Beautiful ideas. Our young girl scouts can have an assembly line going to make garland and cards for our fundraiser in March. Thanks.

  26. pergolina says:

    nina and i are making these as i type ( my 9 3/4 grand daughter the garlands are delicious thank you

  27. claire says:

    This is awesome! Thanks for the inspiration =)

  28. I fear this is just going to reignite my tendency to save ever little scap of paper I encounter!

    Such lovely inspiring images.

    Thank you.

  29. StephQ says:

    I knew I was saving all those little scraps of paper for a good reason! Just didn’t know what that was until right now :)

  30. Rhiannon says:

    love the garlands – inspired to reduce my “saved paper” drawer by making things with them :)

  31. hannie says:

    Thanks for sharing. this is a good way to use those scrap for kids’ craft. Thx!

  32. These projects are so wonderful. Thanks for the inspiration – and the smiles!

  33. Beth says:

    Great idea . Love to reuse things.
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  34. This is a great way to use up paper scraps. I’m also curious how people store their scraps too. I can’t seem to find something that works. Any ideas?

  35. Anna says:

    I love this DIY project. The garland seems quick to whip up! I think I’m going to make yards and yards of it (maybe even in fabric) and string them all over my apartment :) It’s a great use of leftover fabric and paper (no wasting here).

  36. Maven says:

    Jamieofalltrades, I store paper scraps in clear envelopes with velcro closures. It’s not super-organized, but at least I can (mostly) see what’s in there.

    About to get my garland on!!

  37. Jad Smith says:

    Wood paper can be recycled 4 to 6 times until the fibers become too weak and short to be made back into paper.

  38. Naturelover says:

    I am totally impressed by what can be done with paper scraps. These garlands are fantastic. Very inspiring and environmentally friendly! Thumbs up!

  39. Nina says:

    Great ideas. Thank you for helping me recycle. I’m having a small class at our local library on how to make cards from re-purposed things.

  40. Wow! I found you through Barefooted Blessings and am so glad she linked to you. I love this project and look forward to exploring your blog further. My husband and I were just saying last night that we should try to make this year’s Christmas Cards out of 100% recycled materials. You’ve given me just the inpiration I was looking for! Thank you!
    Jenn @

  41. Charissa says:

    I did it! You can see my version here:

    Thank you for such a satisfying project!

  42. Christine says:

    This is an awesome idea! I have about 100 leftover wedding invitations and I have been wondering what to do with them. This will be perfect!

  43. Shell says:

    Just found your site! So adorable! Thanks for sharing!

  44. fuzzyfoal says:

    I can’t wait to get creating!!!

  45. Robert Peers says:

    These ideas are so original and creative! I can’t wait to get my kids into this!

  46. kelly says:

    *love* where did you get the blank cards? thanks!!

  47. One hady suggestion I have seen is cutting sections out of plastic milk/fruit drink bottles to make storage containers (with the added bonus of the handle and the ability to stack a number of items).

  48. i always look for party decorations on amazon, there are many party decoration options that you can buy from them ,”-

  49. Var says:

    These make for such unique and easy to do birthday cards :) I love originality!

  50. Just bumped in to this great diy idea. I made my own garland too, but yours is really a better idea. It’s a time-saver and really nice. Thanks. I made a link on my blog to project of yours.


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