Thursday, October 16, 2008

Small Things

There are "small things" we can each do in our lives to live a thriftier, more earth-healthy life. In looking at my own habits, I've identified some things that while not earth-shattering, have simply become a way of doing things for me. I thought perhaps I'd share some of these things weekly and hope in turn you'll share some with me.

Today's small thing is....thinking "repurposed" for your envelopes and tags. Let's face it, we like pretty papers, and there are a lot of pretty papers out there to choose from. There are many offered now that are made of recycled content with earth-friendly dyes, but many more that aren't.
If your aesthetic runs like mine, however, you'll be inevitably drawn to vintage and repurposed papers. See, I love the slightly yellowed look of old paper, I like its texture, and I love its history. Instead of buying new, I make my envelopes and tags out of old book pages, vintage sewing pattern instructions, and vintage sheet music. But hey, why stop there? In the photos below, I'm using a 1933 shorthand textbook that I found in a free pile at a yard sale, but you could use phonebooks, catalogs, junk mail, your kids' endless supply of take home information sheets from the PTA, whatever you have around. How about paper shopping bags or old holiday cards?

Last week, Kelly from macaroni and glue, commented that she saves "...little bits of kraft paper, snippets of patterned paper, etc. It's amazing how often you can avoid buying something new if you're not wasteful in the first place!"

Impact? Depends. If you use a lot of paper, opting for a free source such as a catalog or saving those snippets of paper, could save you a fair amount of money and make you feel good too. What's better than that?

And if you don't have the time or inclination to make your own, a quick search on Etsy will yield some beautiful results.

Stop those unwanted catalogs at:


Kelly said...

Great post! Your pictures are beautiful, as always. Just thought of another thing I re-use - my daughter's endless supply of crafts and paintings from school make great cards/tags/decoupage elements for friends and family.

Lisa at Lil Fish Studios said...

Thanks Kelly! You know, I love that idea about using the kids' artwork too. Always colorful and so special.

Sonia said...

Hi Lisa !
Thanks so much for this very inspirational post ! I love the simple look of your envelopes, they look so great made with these vintage papers ! I reuse the inside of the envelopes we get in the mail to make tags for my shop, I stamp on it, make a hole & that's it. They'll make pretty Christmas tags too, sometimes the patterns are very pretty ! :D I'll def. have to make a similar post soon. {note to self here !}
I hope you're doing fine, as well as your loved ones. Take care ! OXOXO hugs

t does wool said...

such beautiful repurposing...I love,love the shorthand papers!!!

Brittany Noel said...

This is a really nice post, Lisa. I have a bunch of old books that I need to start using! Those shorthand papers are really beautiful.

Janice said...

Any chance you might post a pattern for your envelopes? I love the curved shape of them!

Anonymous said...

Just discovered your blog--so lovely. The shorthand envelopes are fabulous.


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