Yesterday, I posted a tutorial on how to make your own journal cards. The original tutorial was brought to us by the memory-keeping revolutionary girls of Life Documented Manila. Check out their website for news on upcoming workshops and other tutorials to help you with your Project Life scrapbook. Haven’t started yet? Now is as good time as any.
If you think we have exhausted all our options in the previous post, think again. There’s still so much to be imagined. Customization is a huge, huge world and by the time you have reached the ocean and think you have explored the edge of your earth, a new world can be seen beyond the horizon.
Speaking of earth, let’s do something for Earth today. Let’s learn how to make journal cards or fillers from recycled shopping bags.
THE SHOPPING BAG DILEMMA
It makes sense to not throw away shopping bags. They are obviously reusable as bags or holders of a lot of things. But let’s face it, when you do have something that you can carry in a shopping bag, it’s almost always just one, or two, or three bags that you’ll be needing. It’s never a hundred, which is a number closer to the quantity you have stored under your bed. When buying something new, it’s also good to skip the shopping bag and just keep it in your handbag if they are smaller items, or for larger items, bring your own shopping tote. But for the second time, let’s be honest, impulse shopping does tend to happen a lot (like who would think to bring with you a spare bag when, when you woke up this morning, all you were planning to do was go to work? *innocent sheepish grin*)
Over the years I have discovered many ways I can reuse my shopping bags, from using them as quick gift-wrappers or as storage to corral all things unruly. And over the weekend, I found a new one to add to that list.
MAKING JOURNAL CARDS FROM SHOPPING BAGS
Shopping bags are slowly manifesting to be one of the most undervalued items in any household. What are they doing collecting dust in the cupboard or behind the shelves? They probably have more utility points than most decorative objects out on display, but admittedly, they do lack the aesthetics. Simply put, they do not decorate.
But that is going to change.
Meet Mr. and Mrs. Shopping Bag Journal Cards and family. Decorate, you say? They are here to bedeck your scrapbooks to high rapture.
WHAT'S IN A NAME
This one is easy, and in most shopping bags, plain as daylight. It’s getting more and more common for store names to be the name of a person (the designer’s, their baby’s, their mistress’s, whoever’s...), so if you’re one of the lucky ones whose name was derived from a page on the book called One Thousand and One Baby Names, you need not look too far to find yours plastered on a shopping bag. Are you Michael? Ted? Tory? Karen? If not, don’t worry, there is also a chance you can find your name within another name or word. Ara? Ben? Ian? Lou? No? Then let’s hope some of your friends’ names are and maybe they could be in your scrapbook, too.
FROM A TO Z
Okay, if names were too much to hope for, this is going to brighten up your day. Initials! Or the first letter of ANY word... Your pick! DKNY could stand for Darling, Kiss, New Love, and You suck and you could jumble the order in any way that you find relevant (Let’s hope that all four are not found together on one page of your scrapbook).
Here, I’ve cut out a few letters, N, Z, H, A, M, which for the record does not stand for New Zealand Ham, but if anyone can tell me that they actually do make exceptional meat, that can be negotiable. I am a believer of a school of thought that thinks the world's best ham is scrapbook-worthy.
THE MAGIC WORD
Sometimes, a set of random letters, meaningless to you as whole, could hold magic within. With four swipes of a blade, Gourdo’s could spell “our”, Springfield gives you both "spring" and "field", Mango could be an inspirational “go” and Diesel could be “die” with a capital D-I-E (okay, scratch the latter, but you get the gist).
A LOVE FOR COUNTRY
Often, there is a word incorporated in the label that needs no further surgical operation or sorcery and that is usually the country/capital/city it's in. Aspinal of London, Prada Milano and many, many [insert name of store] Paris. So if all else fails, go for the country or place. It can always be somewhere you’ve been to or somewhere you’re planning to go to.
PLAINS & PRINTS
For the greater part of the shopping bag’s entirety, you will find just plain, single colors. Which is not a bad thing. It simply means that you can cut journal cards out of it and do whatever you want with them.
It’s also interesting to note that color is one very important aspect in retail branding. So, most of the time, you don’t just get a color. What you really get is the color that has been chosen by tens of advertising geniuses, one big brilliant marketing agency, and the approval of half a dozen corporate giants. You can be sure they are nice colors, to say the least.
One of my favorite local stores, Petit Monde, is known for the constant use of bright colors, sometimes bordering on neon, for their gift/shopping bags (I'm not a fan of neon on clothes). Most footwear and clothing brands opt for the conventional, even adored, black or neutrals and Tiffany shopping bags would give you the world famous robin egg color that is practically a trademark color.
Are you thinking of ways you can maximize those shopping bags for journal fillers yet? Let us know what you come up with!