They, credit cards have been sitting in your wallet for some time now: dull, faded, and lacking that same new card sheen that previously made your wallet feel like a million bucks. You’ve replaced it with a newer, more handsome one, and the only thing it does now so far is to fatten up your wallet with the unnecessary bulge. Nobody want unnecessary bulge!
So what do you do?
If you’re taking out the scissors and are beginning to snip malevolently at the air, or if you took out your shredder, you are going to have to put them away. That is, unless you have an eleventh way to craftily do away with old cards after mercilessly shredding them to ribbons, then you can write that article and tell me how it turns out.
But to the crafty mind and restless hands, creativity goes a long way.
Make A Guitar Pick
You recognize these as the teardrop shaped little bits that musicians throw into the crowd of adoring fans. People buy ready-made picks, but since we all know DIY is obviously better and more fulfilling, you can make them with your old cards.
A credit card has the desired stiffness of a pick, which makes them perfect for strumming away. And they are so easy to make: all you need is to trace out a pick on the cards and cut them out. You can make three to four picks per card, after which, giving them to impressionable young musicians and tell them it’s a statement on capitalism or something.
Yes, would you believe? The rigid structure of cards, their bright colors and textures and designs make them perfect for statement jewelry. Cut them up in tiny shapes, and attach them to earring hooks or studs. The bold colors will have people thinking that no, those earrings can’t possibly be made out of your old credit cards.
Now you can say yes, yes they are, and revel in the airs of your resourcefulness.
Those pesky pocket socket piskies giving you a hard time? Returning to find your cable has been twisted and looped into an endless, confusing mess? You’ll need a cable organizer for that, if you’re really hopeless and can’t afford to waste even a second of your life to disentangling the cables every time. And guess what, old cards are perfect for that sort of thing, being slim and small and stiff. You can either cut out grooves along the edges, or holes, so that you can carefully and safely wrap the cable around, and unwrap at your leisure, without the sense of annoyance every time you are confronted with a tangled mess.
These sneaky little things have been around since the 1920s; they were originally made by French Waiting Staff to sneak away receipts and tips without, perhaps, the usual bulkiness of a normal wallet.
Laminated cards are perfect for this, and wouldn’t you say this is double sneaky? Cards, previously tucked away, hidden, in a wallet, and are now a wallet themselves? You Clever little beaver, you!
You need three cards of roughly the same size and breadth to accommodate small folds of cash, scissors, some glue, and strips of any malleable material of your choice: strips of cloth, paper, elastic, even duct tape.
Place two of the cards on a surface in front of you. Let’s call them leftie and righty. Slide two strips underneath Righty about half a centimeter from the top and bottom so a bit would stick out at each end, and the ends of the opposite side going on top of Leftie, gluing them into position. The bits that stick out under Righty, you fold over and glue into place as well. Next, make an X with another two strips, at a 45 degree angle and glue at the center where they cross. Slide this under Lefty so that the ends of the X stick out evenly. The ends that stick out on the right side should be on top of Righty, and you glue them in place. The dangling ends sticking out on the left side underneath Leftie should be folded over and glued as well. Et voila! You are done. Now stick a fold of cash in there and watch the magic happen as you fold and flip, and fold and flip.
With these, you need floppy cards that can be folded and cut through easily. Cut out twenty even circles (so you may have to need quite an amount of cards), and if you’re having trouble with drawing them, you can trace them out with jar bottoms, and glass bottoms. Make an additional one, in which you draw an equilateral triangle at the center, points touching the ends of the circle. This is for reference; you cut it out and use it to trace triangles at the center of the other circles. Fold along the lines, the flaps should be closing in on each other per circle.
Next, with clear drying craft glue, stick the the flaps of two separate circles together, making sure that they are facing the same direction. Carry on until you form a neat ball. Doesn’t it look fancy? You can use a needle for holes and stick shiny thread through them, or make a lot of them and hang them together in a line, and guess what? You have ready made ornaments!
Laura B. works as a marketing manager at Card Printing US, a supplier of plastic and teslin gift and id cards. She also has a background in fine arts and design and can be found working on craft projects in her spare time.