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Topic: Paper Ideas and Inspiration?  (Read 1272 times)
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« on: April 13, 2009 02:48:50 AM »

I've rescued several glass jars, plastic containers, and sturdy boxes from my household and have been saving them to make into pretty containers. I need organization on a set of shelves for my craft supplies so I can get them out of the ugly plastic drawer bins! Also, I might use some of the smaller ones for banks to save up cash for special things.

I want to cover them in fabric and paper, and I'm looking for ideas of where to get it! I'd like not to buy pretty paper, because I'd just go nuts in the craft store shopping for it. I'd like to make this project about upcycling and being frugal! I don't know where to get free or rescued pretty paper, especially in large pieces for some of the larger boxes. Any ideas?

As far as deigns and stuff, I know I want to stay away from newspaper, and I don't get many gifts so wrapping paper is out because I don't want to buy it. I am particularly enamored with maps! Anyone know where I could find an old atlas?
Also I was thinking I could maybe find a bit of a wallpaper design that I liked or was special. I want to have a this be a big matching set with three or four patterns, and i'm trying to choose colors that will work well in my deep pink room.

Just any inspiration or recommendations for sources that you paper-finders have used in the past would help!
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2009 11:22:47 AM »

I know you are trying to avoid buying stuff, but one of the Dollar stores, when you buy something glass or breakable, wraps it in rather pretty papers. It is somewhere between tissue paper and wrapping paper in weight, and they usually use several sheets that are each like 18" by 18". Maybe they would give you some? Otherwise since you mentioned upcycling, you could look up a paper making tutorial (I'm sure there are many on here) and put some pretty flower petals in the paper, a technique called inclusion. It's spring so there should be some around. Maybe some with colors that match your room?
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« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2009 03:40:39 PM »

Does your local library ever have clearance sales where you can pick up cheap books? Kids books with funky pictures would be really good for this. Or maybe you have some already lying about that you might otherwise throw away that you could use (if you can bear to cut them up Roll Eyes)

Ask in your local wallpaper or fabric shop if they have any old sample books that they can let you have.

Flyers and adverts that come through the letterbox can be used too if they're a nice colour.

You could use cut up, brightly coloured plastic bags with the jars as they'd create a 'stained glass' effect.

« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2009 12:25:10 AM »

I know your not trying to buy pretty paper but do check the clearance aisles for scrapbook paper or wrapping paper.

One year I got Martha Stewart general every day wrapping paper for a $1 role.  I have bought scrapbook paper for a dime.

Some of the stores will give you scrapbook paper for free if it has been damaged. 

You can make your own paper.  Dye paper, collage it, use old magazines, books, etc...

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« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2016 11:41:33 PM »

I know this is an old thread but maybe a new suggestion might inspire someone. Regarding maps, maybe thrift stores will have old atlases or schoolbooks. They have lots of other old books with great images--children's picture books, coffee table books, kitschy/vintage craft books, magazines.  And, I don't know if this is done anymore since everyone uses GPS, but I recall car rental businesses used to provide maps or local area atlases (although probably not the pretty world maps you are envisioning). 
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« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2017 12:19:23 PM »

not free, but cheap; christmas wrap is discounted a lot right now.  Some of it doesn't even look christmassy (I have my eye on some multi-colored metallic polka dot paper...)

Library sales often include old National Geographics, with great maps. 
Tourist maps are easy to get, too; ask friends who are travelling, there's often a display of freebies in the airport.

Make your own pattern:  decoupage the item with newspaper or book pages, then apply pictures on top.  I like to do it all in black and white, then add washes of color.

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