Making a Card for My Father from Recycled Materials

handmade card for a man

I find that the most challenging greeting cards to make are those for men. I have no problem making pretty things for women or cute stuff for children, but crafty-combined-with-manly don't come together so well for me.

So I thought a while about what to do for my father's birthday card this year.

In fact, I was stumped so did some chores while I pondered it. While going through the pile of newspapers for recycling (during which I do much of my catching up on paper reading!), I saw this story about the previously unknown-to-me designer and artist Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo (May 1871 – 3 May 1949). I was struck by the full page image illustrating the story and knew that this was something I could use for my dad's card.

Also on my list of housework tasks was going through a shopping bag of used gift wrap that I'd just put in a corner after Christmas. That bag contained a piece of gold tissue paper that looked slightly gilded, that was primed to be re-purposed.

With these two things, and a pre-made card base, a piece of card stock, a glue-stick and two-sided tape, I made this card.

handmade card using repurpo

supplies to make card

making card with used tissu

making wrinkled tissue pape

This is what I did :

To make the frame I cut the card stock to size. Then I cut a piece of the tissue paper so that it would be about 3/4 inches bigger all around, and crumpled it as tightly as I could. Next I coated the frame with glue-stick and stuck the wrinkled tissue on, shiny side up, pressing it down all over with my fingers. I then trimmed the tissue to about 1/2 an inch on all edges. In order for the paper in the centre to fold back well, I clipped each corner diagonally right to the inner points. Then I applied the glue stick to the back of the frame and folded the edges under.

I attached the image from the newspaper by taping it, all around, to the frame with one side of the two-sided tape. Then I used the other side of the tape to attach the framed image to the card.

To make it prettier inside, I used another piece of card stock and cut it with some fancy-edged scissors. I wrote on that card, and then attached it to the inside of the greeting card with two sided tape.

It turned out that he loved his card!

handmade card using tissue

handmade card using tissue

And if there is one person in this world that I don't mind giving a card that I made from items of trash, that's my dad. He has always been one to conserve and re-use.

I have fond memories of being a teenager and receiving a large piece of fabric that he salvaged from a trade show booth he was involved with. It was the skirting they had used around the table and after the convention it was just going to be thrown away, so my father brought it home to me. It was royal blue and 100 percent cotton, and I made it into a drop-waisted dress that I designed which I absolutely loved and wore until it could be worn no more.

He also gave me his work shirts, that were a bit too worn for him to wear with his suit, but were perfect to be altered and worn by his daughter. I clearly remember his proud and amused smile when he saw what I had done with one particular shirt, turning it into a baby-doll style tunic that I wore with leggings.

This is the second card I have made recently using items salvaged from the trash. If you haven't seen the first one the post about it is here.

Thank you for taking a look.
xo loulou

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15 Responses to Making a Card for My Father from Recycled Materials

  1. Krysten says:

    I would never have thought of doing that, good job!

  2. The card looks beautiful! Thank you for sharing how you created it and happy birthday to your dad.

  3. It's A Dome Life says:

    Your dad must be super proud of you!

  4. rosyragpatch says:

    I love clever recycling and this is very clever. Great job!

  5. Louise says:

    I think it’s difficult making stuff for men, in general. This card has turned out lovely though,

  6. Hand made cards are such a wonderful thing to give to someone I wish evrybody will hand made their own cards!

  7. Vix says:

    That is such a beautiful card, very regal looking! x

  8. Laura says:

    Very cool! I love how you added the extra detail of making the border pop up with the card board. I swear to you that you are the next blogging queen of DIY!

  9. It’s a beautiful card!

  10. Kati says:

    The card is so pretty!


  11. That card is very cool, and great for a man! I love your creativity. Re-purposing items is such a good skill to have! :)

  12. Marisa says:

    Wow, Loulou you just keep the cleverness coming. How sweet to make a card for your dad like that. Handmade ones are so much more thoughtful – and sadly I never made one for my own father for the very reason you mentioned. They are so difficult to think up! Much much better than the typical Hallmark sailboat, lighthouse, or golf themed ones :-)

  13. Shoko says:

    This is so wonderful, Loulou! How sweet!

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