Thursday, September 18, 2008

Craft 101: Organizing Business Cards

I was browsing around as usual and a post about finding the beauty inside junk mail (I forget which site it was!) inspired me to start saving my junk mail envelopes with pretty security patterns on them.

I'm definitely an electronic-everything kind of girl, but one thing I haven't been able to let go off are business cards. There's just something about collecting people's cards, especially cards of artists and designers - they're always super cute!

So I decided to dedicate one of my vintage wooden boxes to business cards. The box holds standard index cards so I knew I had to attach the biz cards to an index card or to an index-sized piece of paper or else the cards would end up swimming in the box. Aha moment! A perfect use for my patterned junk mail envelopes. I'm not 100% done, but I thought I'd share what I have so far...

What you'll need:
wooden box (preferably one that fits standard 5" x 3" index cards)
one 5"x3" index card or a piece of stiff paper that fits inside your box nice and snug
index cards with tabs, to be used as letter dividers
envelope opener or bone filer (optional)
envelopes with a nice security pattern inside (one for each business card)
stapler or double-sided tape

Step 1. Carefully rip open your envelopes. Use a letter opener or a bone filer to open the envelope. Sometimes you can deconstruct the envelopes without having to rip the sides (see grey envelope on top left), it really depends on the glue that was used. If you're lucky enough to get a non-sticky envelope and can neatly open the front of the envelope (the V shape flap) without ripping the very top, then you will most likely get 2 cards out of 1 envelope. For the most part, I had to use my filer to rip open the top and the two sides.

Step 2. Position an index card (size that fits in your box) on top of the envelope and trace with a pencil all around. If you're lucky, you'll get 2 pieces out of one envelope. I like to finish the tracing step on all of my envelopes before hitting the scissors.

Step 3. Get to cutting! Who thought junkmail could be so pretty?

Step 4. Staple business cards to your cut patterned pieces. I guess you could also use double tape if you prefer or simply paper clip them. The paper clip method would cause it to be a little bulky in your box, but easier to flip through and find someone.

Step 5. They should all fit nicely in your box. You can buy index card tab headers from most school supply shops (I even saw the at my local drugstore). I still need to add letters to my tabs. I was thinking of either stamping them on or finding an old typewriter that I could use.

So not superly fancy, but a great way to recycle junk mail and a fun way to organize business cards and stay in touch!


Melissa de la Fuente said...

Soooo cute! I love this idea! You are simply brilliant!

Stacey said...

The patterns do look so nice all together. Super cute idea, and I know I have a ton of business cards that need organized.

Kerry Ball said...

i LOVE this idea! i've been using junk mail envelopes in my collage projects recently- you're right about all pretty patterns!

Kristien said...

I love this idea! Been wondering what to do with all of the cool business cards I collected at the Brooklyn Renegade Craft Fair this year, and this is just perfect.

EliseBlaha said...

this is awesome. i collect business cards too -- although i love the backs of them as well.

dolamakes said...

great idea! i love re-purposing items and always feel so guilty about the amount of unnecessary junk mail that goes out. while we do recycle, but it's nice know you can make use of something you probably don't think twice about.

great patterns! (and cute box!)

epelayo said...

so creative are you! this thing makes some work worthwhile especially to Organize Your Business

Julie said...

This is a really great idea! I have a lot of business cards so this is very handy.

kristina said...

yummy! i'm always looking for cool ways to up-cycle random things and this is definitely a great idea!
it's going on my must-make project list =) thanks for sharing!

thetinylittlegirl said...

this looks so cool! fantastic idea!