Saturday, 16 June 2012

diy bookmarks from upcycled/reused credit cards and shirt tags

its kind of my unwritten mantra in life - recycling is good, reusing is better.
you could be someone like me who meticulously sorts through everything to ensure that nothing that is recyclable escapes its way to the trash. yet, there are some of those sneaky pieces of plastic that leave you feeling stumped. 
old credit cards,debit cards, store loyalty/rewards cards, library cards - i have accumulated a good number of these which have become unusable/expired over time, and i wanted to come up with a way to reuse them. you could also be having old giftcards, travel cards like NewYork city Metro cards or London Oyster cards, hotel keycards etc - if you dont want to simply send them to the landfill, here's a way to reuse or upcycle the unused cards.

reuse recycle upcycle credit cards diy bookmarks
this is the before :)
i decided to make book marks out of them . i chose an old credit card and an old library card. i also have some good thick tags that came attached with shirts, trousers, dresses etc. though these arent plastic, they are thick cardboard-ey stuff, and i thought it'd be a shame to waste them.
it is no big deal to give a makeover to these  - all it takes is a little bit of imagination and a little patience, and you could come up with so many ways to reuse your old credit card .

i chose a few quotes that i liked and printed them on coloured cardstock. i also like the 'keep calm' signs, so i printed them out for the other side.
i just created a table in the word processing document , typed out the quotes and printed them. you can select 'insert table' from the 'table' menu. another idea would be to use the mailing labels option - from the 'tools' menu, choose 'labels'.  you could use the labels option if you have a lot to print out, and will use a whole sheet, but if you are going to do just one or two, simply use the table option. that way, you can use the rest of the sheet to print out something else beneath. (yes, i take the word frugal to whole new levels :) )

once you are done printing, cut out the quotes. i used mod podge to stick the quotes on the credit cards. i then used con-tact paper to cover the edges. for the shirt tag, since it wasnt plastic, i just used glue instead of mod podge, and used some gift wrap for the edges. finally puched a whole in the cards and tied a thin ribbon. thats it, all done !

now, some notes for my friends who live outside the US :

  • cardstock is just thicker paper, which you could use for postcards, greetingcards, invites, etc. if you dont have it on hand, just use plain printer paper and get creative on the border decorations, embellishments, etc !
  • mod podge is a brand of decoupage glue, hugely popular in the US, but am not sure of its availability in other countries. i've used it here because it effortlessly sticks paper on plastic. if you dont have it, another alternative could be to tape down your print-out in the centre and then glue the border wrapping paper over it. paper-on-paper should be easy with any normal glue. (or if you have the patience, google for diy modpodge options to make your own.)
  • con-tact paper is a brand of adhesive backed shelf liners in the US. i use it since i find it easily in the nearby dollar store - you could simply glue giftwrap, or any coloured or patterened paper you want. or even fabric scraps. 
here are the pics - (click on them for a larger view)

reused creditcards reuse credit cards upcyle old creditcards
the 'after' pic !

diy bookmarks diy luggage tags reuse creditcards recycle creditcards
and this is the other side

diy gift tags diy luggage tags from old creditcards

and here are two of them a little bit up close - 

reuse credit cards to make bookmarks gift tags luggage tags

reuse recycle upcycle creditcards recycled reused upcycled credit cards re

the font i have used for the quotes is 'jane austen', and a 'keep calm' font for the other side - both of which are available for free downloads online. (press shift 6 to get the crown in the keep calm font :) )

you can see i've made two with 'read on' signs and one with a 'travel on' - i thought these would also make a great luggage tag, the next time you are travelling :) it would either be a nice touch to your carry on, or make it easier to spot your check-in luggage when it comes down the carousel !
you could also make cute tags for your kids' school bags, lunch bags etc, with their favourite characters, stickers and so on... 
these would also make great gift tags with a personal touch ! (help your kids make them and write their message on the back with a marker - just in time for father's day !)

i'm sure you can come up with a bajillion ideas to reuse that old card or shirt/dress tag, just get your creative juices flowing :) 


  1. never thought you could reuse tags. imagine writing the fabric design, date, place of purchase and price. will serve a perfect memoir of what you wore from where. all this preserved for years to come.

    1. aplogies for the delayed reply...

      thats actually a very nice idea... maybe you can save the tags from kids' birthday dresses each year and it'll be interesting to see what brands and sizes they had, when they are older...

      or if you are the scrapbooking kind, you could stick the tag along with the pics from the special days each year...

  2. Do you only make luggage tags and bookmarks ? Or do you also make hand made greeting cards ?

    1. well, the last time i did handmade greeting cards should have been in school :) - and thats a looong time ago :)



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