I spend ages at the newsagent card-stand, trying to find the right card for whatever occasion. Lord knows why, because if the recipient is anything like me, it'll only end up in the back of a drawer along with a bunch of others, only to be cursed at when storage space is at a minimum and I'm clutching at my hair, moaning "Why must I keep these cards?!!" I just can't bring myself to chuck them out. They are all so jolly and sweet.
I've been on a bit of a cleaning rampage (yes! That's where I've been!) and have come across piles and PILES of greeting cards. They were all at first doomed to the recycling bin (with the exception of special ones from the kids, my mother and anything handwritten by my late father), but as Cameron and I were going to make bunting for Sophie's bedroom, I thought why not use these? The fact that they cost NOTHING was a huge selling point for me, so that's what we did!
The string we have made here is made of cards Sophie May received at birth and some of her first birthday cards. As card designs for little girls mainly consist of all shades pink and purple, we didn't have to worry too much about colour co-ordination (which was great for me, because colour co-ordination is not my strong point. Hmmf.)
Firstly work out the size of the triangle shape you will be using. We made fairly small ones with a 4 centimetre base, so we could cut lots of shapes from our cards. You can of course make them bigger if you want. then, make a template of your shape on some card.
You'll notice on my template that I've marked the shorter side of my triangle as the base, so my pea brain won't forget which side to place against the fold when tracing around my template. I am soooo easily distracted.
Take one of the greeting cards you are using to make your shapes...
... and fold it inside out so that the front design and the back are facing each other on the inside. Then place your template on the fold of the inside out card, and trace around it, doing so as many times as you can to get the maximum amount of shapes.
Find a small boy (or girl) to cut the shapes out carefully with kid-friendly scissors, making sure they cut through both layer of card. Because you've cut the centre of the card, you will be left with a scrap of card perhaps large enough to fold lengthwise and trace and cut more shapes. We were able to get about eight or nine shapes from each of our cards.
If your child slave has nipped your shapes correctly, you should have a pile of diamonds with creases running through the centre like this -
Fold them so that the design is on the outside.
Tie a loop in the end of a long piece of twine, string or yarn (I've used some pink cotton yarn) about ten centimetres longer than you'd like you finished bunting to be, leaving a short tail of a bout 1.5 to 2 centimetres.
Take your greeting card diamonds and using a glue stick, cover their insides all over with glue. Then fold them over your string, making sure the string is right on the crease of the diamond. Before clamping that first one shut, tuck that little tail of string in, too, so that it wont be seen.
Keeping glueing your shapes over the string, until it is as long as you want it to be.
If the greeting card has been printed on heavier stock, or just refuses to remain stuck for whatever reason, clamp it shut with a paperclip or clothes peg until it dries. That'll fix that pesky shape!
Place the last shape over the yarn, but before gluing it, make another hanging loop in the yarn that will abut against the flag. Leave a small tail of yarn again as you did with the first loop. Then glue and stick the last shape over the yarn, tucking that little tail out of sight as you did before.
If you like, take two lengths of ribbon and tie them through the ends, trimming them evenly.
Ta-daaa! Easy, effective, and costs next to nothing.
Cameron's birthday cards from the last seven years are next in line for a snipping, and we'll have to make some from all of our old Christmas cards for the festive season when the time comes. So they've been saved from the recycling bin a little bit longer. Lucky!