How To: Be Smart With Leftovers

Last week I shared how to make book safe with an old Audubon Book of Birds. I was left with a stack of these great bird illustrations, though some were ripped and brittle from age. I took the torn paper and punched as many mini stamp shapes as could fill a small container and saved the rest for future projects.

My left over Audubon illustrations and the tiny stamp shaped punches I made from them.

So what could I do with those tiny stamp shaped scenes of nature? In celebration of the first day of Spring, upcoming Earth Day on April 20th, and National Letter Writing month, also in April, my solution was to create nature inspired stationary.

You can try it out too, in different themes, sizes, or shapes. Organized collections of similar items, tend to work well together.

1. Collect images with a similar theme and play with arrangements. I stuck with a square compositions made up of 9 equally spaced stamps. Create a template if you plan on repeating the design. I used a 2.5" x 2.5" square and placed it slightly high in the center of 4 greeting cards.

2. Glue the punched out shapes in the 4 corners first. It will make visual spacing easier and eliminate the trouble of drawing an entire grid. Yes! paste is my favorite glue for collage, because it goes on smooth and doesn't wrinkle the paper.

3. Once all the pieces are glued down, create captions for each collection. I tried to create puns, based on the collection of images on each card. An old school address label stamp kit helped me lay out my captions.

4.  Add another 4 punch outs to the opening flap of the envelope. A LITTLE BIRD TOLD ME...A sweet card of congratulations for the person who is too humble to brag.

5. BRANCHING OUT...A fun message for someone graduating , moving or being promoted.

6. FEELING BLUE...A good question for a friend who just got dumped, let go or is generally pessimistic

7. LET'S TURN A NEW LEAF...A nature inspired apology note.

8. Finally, don't forget to sign your work. I stamped the back of my cards with the address of my Etsy shop.


  1. Ooo! Where did you get the stamp punch? I'm sure I can do the same thing with pinking shears (in fact, I have for my envelope needle book I made http://kirascraftylife.blogspot.com/2011/06/make-it-monday-little-letter-needle.html), but a punch would be so much easier!...at least with paper, I'm probably stuck with pinking shears when it comes to fabric!

  2. Hey Hey Kira! I got it at Hobby Lobby in PA. You can probably get a similar one at AC Moore or Jo-Ann's in the scrapbook section.

  3. Thanks! I'll have to keep an eye out. Maybe I'll check at the Hobby Lobby that's in Webster.