Find a Use for Junk Mail

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There are a couple things I like to do with the junk mail flyers, pamphlets, catalogs, and magazines that stuff my mailbox every week. Also, sometimes you will find a nice surprise while going through your junk mail. I found a big, pretty rose sticker and a coupon for 20% off total purchase at a local fabric shop I didn’t even know existed. Nice! I also found a couple project articles from a family magazine. I cut the pages out and added them to my project folder.

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The first thing that I love to do is to find cute or funny pictures, or various interesting objects that I think will translate well into a sticker. I like to add interest to my letters and envelopes before sending them to my friends by adding curious one-of-a-kind decorations.

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Here I have found a pair of earrings in a catalog that are made of cute porcelain birds. I can cut these out so that only the bird is visible and send them through my Xyron 2.5″ create-a-sticker.

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The Xyron sticker creators are available at most craft stores and I have also seen them at Walmart. These sticker creators are a lot of fun and are easy to use; they don’t require electricity, batteries, or heat and all you have to do it crank the handle. There are two different types of adhesives available for these sticker machines. One adhesive is permanent and the other is repositionable (both are acid-free). I have never used the repositionable kind, although I think this would be ideal for scrapbooking and I would like to try it out as some point, but the permanent one is excellent. To use up as little sticker paper as possible, I will put the smaller pictures as close together as I can and send them through the machine at the same time.

ImageAnother way that I utilize junk mail is to find design inspiration. Here is a jacket that have some interesting design elements that I would like to experiment with. I love the ruffles and the mix of lace and denim. I don’t intend to copy the garment outright, but I would like to try out different techniques and incorporate them into my own projects. I’ll paste these pictures into my design scrapbook with notes or sketches of ideas inspired by the garment.

Here are some great textile pictures that I found in an interior design magazine which I think  would be great as photo backers in a scrapbook or to use in decoupage projects.

ImageImageI can also use textiles or garments with fancy designs to cut out custom lettering. Here we have my signature “S” cut out of a sweater from a catalog.

A note on copyright: To play on the safe side, use the images obtained from public printings for personal use only, it’s most likely that these images are copyrighted. If you are looking for images that you can use in projects you wish to sell, there are plenty of other sources for public domain images. You can purchase books that feature public domain, or royalty-free, images for such use and there are many websites that offer a variety of photos and illustrations for free. Other websites may charge a membership fee, or you may need to purchase credit for a certain amount of image downloads; others simply ask that you link back to their page as a source when using their images. Read the terms and conditions to be sure you are able to use the image as you wish. I will be adding websites that I find useful to my links.

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2 responses to “Find a Use for Junk Mail

    • Sticker makers are so much fun, but dangerous because you will look at everything and think, “Can I make a sticker out of that?”

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