diy project: recycled argyle notecards

there are so many charming things associated with school that it’s hard to narrow it down! argyle socks are way up there on the list though, mainly because i love patterns. argyle is great because its shapes are so universally familiar, so you can isolate and abstract them and they remain recognizable. i played around with that idea for these correspondence cards, which were made form materials i have lying around the house: magazines, newspaper, old books, etc. all you need is a ruler, some glue, and a nice metallic ink pen. have fun!! –kate

CLICK HERE for the full project after the jump!

1. scraps of paper (magazine tears, newspaper, colored paper, etc.)
2. metallic ink pen (i used gold)
3. ruler (metal or wood is best but any will do)
4. glue (elmer’s or glue stick)
5. stationary or note cards



1. use your ruler to measure and draw exact squares on the back side of the scrap paper you are using. my squares range from 1″ width to 2″ width. you can also choose to make more sever diamond shapes for your argyle. just draw the shapes on the back of the paper you can have guides for ripping the paper.

2. lay your ruler along the guidelines you have drawn and fold the paper over it to make a crease at your guideline. then carefully rip the paper along the line while pressing down on the ruler to prevent it from moving. the edge of the ruler should help you make a clean even tear. you can also purchase tools for this (i think martha stewart calls it la bone folder? she sells it in her craft collection), but a ruler works just fine.

3. when you have all of your shapes ripped cleanly, lay them on your note cards until you have settled on a design you like. put a dab of glue on the back side and press each shape down. let your cards dry completely.

4. using your ruler, measure and place a small dot in the center of each shape. then move your ruler to a 45 degree angle (different if you are doing diamonds) intersect that point. use your metallic pen to draw a clean dotted line along the ruler edge. repeat this going the opposite direction. you can also eyeball these, or change them around to create any kind of argyle pattern you wish.

5. let the marker dry. repeat these steps with all of your cards and envelopes.



  1. This project is so creative, but I’m truly in love with the blue typewriter! Where can I get one like that?

  2. Mo says:

    I’m partial to argyle. =)
    Great idea, thanks!

  3. Ruth says:

    What if, instead of maker…the lines were made by a sewing machine?! That’d be a pretty modification!

  4. Carmen says:

    Very simple, Great Idea!!!

  5. Duk Design says:

    using a sewing machine to make the lines is a great idea! These are fun ‘everyday’ cards. Maybe I need to start writing letters again more often

  6. Incredible! These are great.

  7. mk says:

    absolutely love it! i’ve been holding on to old artsy calendars and just picked up some blank cranes notecards. this is the perfect use for both – thanks so much.

  8. Jamie says:

    great idea! I send thank you cards an little notes for everything, and I’m always running out! Perfect at home solution.

  9. Paulette says:

    What a great idea!

  10. Tonje says:

    these are great cards.Kind of burberry like…

  11. Nicole says:

    so cute! can’t wait to go home and try!

  12. yippeee, it’s fall! thanks for a simple project using materials we all have. i am always thinking about the bottom line, and this is a fun, doable project with NO GUILT involved.

  13. Renee says:

    this is such a cute idea!!

  14. Sarah says:

    What a great post!

    I just made some! And I used little leftover fabric scraps for the diamonds, and embroidery thread for the lines. (Thanks for the ideas y’all!)

  15. Kate says:

    this is a really cute idea!

  16. Namita says:

    Love this! Was just about to start looking for projects to help the kids make gifts and decorations from the slew of catalogs we receive each day — love this idea, thank you

  17. Tina says:

    I was thinking exactly what Ruth said. Use a sewing machine to make the crossing dash lines!

  18. Jen says:

    This is such a great post – thank you. For fantastic typewriters, check out – my favorite place to drool over vintage typewriters.

  19. Heather T. says:

    What a fabulous concept–great ideas! Thanks for sharing!

  20. What a fantastic idea for the kids to make their teachers!

  21. So cute! I want to go make a set right now!

  22. Tinabobina99 says:

    Did you tear the paper for the added texture? I love these and will make some up this weekend.

  23. Brandi R says:

    These are fantastic! I’m doing this today!


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