Keeping it Simple — Creative Re-use

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Upcycle, upcycle, upcycle…that’s a motto I try and follow as often as I can.  Since the Superhero and I are in the Office Furniture Biz, we get lots of 3 ring catalogs.  When they get old and tatty, I hate to throw them away and they are not so easy to recycle, you have to rip them apart and of course they are designed NOT to fall apart. I had one in really good shape and thought it would make a great binder to keep all my teaching notes in one place – yes, old school I know, but as much as I love technology, I also like to keep a hard copy of the really important stuff.  Those of you with school age kids probably have some hanging around and/or it’s a great way to update an old photo album.

The one I was using I had already painted for another purpose so the shiny coated paper was already covered.  I set up my big gelli plate and had some fun.  It took a bit of maneuvering but I was able to gelli and stencil print all the sides.  I have also been hand carving some stamps lately as well, super simple graphic ones, so I played with permanent ink on top of the gelli painted surface. All super easy and a great way to give me a cheery new 3 ring binder…..You could also print/paint a sheet and collage the cover as well.  Most anything is possible and I love keeping things out of the waste stream….let me know what you think?

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  1. Great idea! I love your hand carved stamps, too. I have some that I made in a workshop and I keep going back to them because the impressions can look so different depending on how you use them as you did – repeat patterns, single stamp, down the page, etc.

  2. I love 3-ring binders..real ones.
    I love what you did to yours and that you recycled.

  3. you’ve breathed wonderful new life into a boring office staple. your stamps are great – I’ve been admiring your use of the one on the left in a few of your recent pieces. I really want to do some more big graphic stamps.

  4. This turned out great, love the colors and your stamp work. I use a recycled 3 ring binder myself for my desk calendar with one of my dooleybobbers on it.

  5. WOw, WoW. I really think if you bring this to class, you’ll be teaching a how to workshop. It’s perfect…and what a great piece to see and feel when you plan. I totally love your very cool stamps too!

  6. How wonderful, Corrine! I have many binders left over from my 10 years of managing an office supply and furniture store. I use them, but they are blah looking. Would love to paint them. What did you use as a base – gesso? The covers are shiny and I would think the paint would peal off.
    I think the photos you are showing in this post are SO great! My binders are lined up in my studio and they would look so much better with color like you’ve done. Great idea!!!
    audrey xoxo

  7. I love creative reuse! And binders. I bought a dozen of them at a yard sale, and I love them, but they’re not very pretty. Yours looks awesome — I might have to follow your example.

    (I use mine for writing. Nothing beats good, old-fashioned paper!)

  8. Wish I’d had these at school, I might have got where I am earlier 😉 Love the texture, colors & stamps – nothing like your own hand carved stamp….now what shall I do with all those bought stamps?!

  9. This is wonderful, such great combination of my favourite colours. How big are the stamps? Have you used ordinary erasers as the base. Very inspiring.

  10. That is a wonderful idea, and it looks gorgeous Corrine.
    I also like to have those filled with every possible things inside- ,to hide-save-and feel it in my hands…
    Your carved stamps looks great here, on the bind!
    Happy sunday to you,dear.

  11. lyle baxter says:

    the stamps are looking great and the binders will be juust the spot for your art on paper!I just eliminated a file cabinet from my life but kept the folders to make a book. office supplies recycle well! have fun! whats with the snow we didnt get any overnite!

  12. Oh, fun! I love it! I have a stack of paper towels I’ve used while painting…when they get full of paint I saturate them with water so the colors run together. They make gorgeous collage paper. (I bet you do this, too!) I think it would be fab to cover a binder with those paper towels. I LOVE those stamps, too!

  13. You made some really great stamps, and I like the idea of re-using things. I try to do that, too.

  14. On this cold and friggen blustery day, I loved cozying up with this post, Corrine. You colors make me want Spring… NOW! I love the up-cycling. Can you burn any calories doing that kind of “cycling”? A least there are no “points” in it. Ha~

  15. L love your binder! We were just discussing that we need to come up with cool crafts for all the excess binders from our state offices and I simply love what you have done! Thanks for the inspiration.

  16. How cool is this???Answer ~~~ a hundred percent cool!

  17. Love the binder and the fact that it’s recycled is even better – I love finding a new purpose for things ♥

  18. Brilliant “up-cycling” project, Corrine–and with such a beautiful “artsy” theme! I am thinking I really need to buy a Gelli Plate!! 😉

  19. Maria McGuire says:

    What an awesome idea–I have tons of those around. I need to try this. You got great coverage all over it. Stamps-very very cool!!!

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