Guest Author - Kim M. Bayne
Do you have a box full of random paper scraps that you can’t bear to throw away? Don’t waste them. Remake them – into Serendipity Squares. ~ Article by Kim M. Bayne
What is a Serendipity Square?
Serendipity could be defined as an accidental discovery, like finding out you can use odd bits and pieces of leftover paper to create something beautiful for your paper crafts. A serendipitous discovery might be this article. But seriously, a Serendipity Square is made from paper crafting remnants -- made to be used in new projects.
What can you do with them?
You can incorporate Serendipity Squares into a variety of crafts projects:
• As page borders and headers in scrapbooks
• As background mats to highlight tiny ephemera on an altered book page
• Glued to the front of a greeting card, complete with a different dangling charm on each
Are you game? Let's get started.
• Random, small (2 inches or less) pieces of cards or paper -- any type will do (vellum, handmade, patterned, Bingo papers, gift wrap...) -- throw nothing away!
• Adhesive, like a glue stick or glue that dries clear and quickly -- it's no fun to wait
• Larger pieces of cardstock for your collage canvas and for tiny mats
• Your favorite cutting tools
• Embellishments -- charms, wire, stickers, whatever
1. Gather your entire collection of orphan scraps. Sort the pieces by main color. Now you have separate piles of reds, greens, blues, etc. Pick a color scheme (one or more complementary colors) and select the pile(s) of scraps to match. The different pieces and patterns will blend to look great when you're done.
2. Grab a large piece of blank card stock for your “canvas.” Select a piece that is at least 5.5 by 8.5 inches so you have room to experiment with your collage design. It doesn’t matter if the background or "canvas" is plain or patterned. The choice is up to you. I prefer plain, solid colors so the background pattern doesn't fight with the paper scraps for attention.
3. Start gluing scraps randomly onto the larger piece of card stock. Cover as much of your "canvas" as possible. You can leave a few gaps here and there, but remember that you'll cut squares later. Be generous with the glue, making sure all of the pieces adhere and no loose ends creep up, trying to break free.
4. After you've created your crazy collage, cut your masterpiece into small (2 by 2-inch or smaller) squares. Sometimes I'm not in the mood for measuring so I use a large square paper punch, as it creates perfect little squares (see Project Tips below). If you prefer, you can use a paper trimmer instead.
5. Mount each of your squares on matching card stock, cut slightly larger than the square. Think “picture mat” and you’re on the right track. Now you’re ready to use your new squares in other projects.
6. Either before or after you’ve cut/mounted your squares, you can embellish them.
• Rubber stamp and emboss images in metallic ink randomly all over the collage to create added interest
• Add stickers -- what a great way to use up those odd sticker sheets
• Doodle or stencil designs all over with a fine-tip marker, gel pen or metallic pen
• Splatter bright white paint in dots all over the collage
• Rubber stamp a large embossed letter on each square to spell out a word• Add small holes, some wire and beads
• Wrap a short piece of ribbon around each square before mounting it on the mat
• Use a paper punch to punch out a shape on each square then glue a piece of colored cellophane behind the punched "window"
• Pick a color scheme before you start and select matching background and mat papers.
• If your scraps are too large, they’ll restrict your freedom in creating a design. Tear or trim your scraps before using them.
• Paper trimmers are better at reducing scrap waste when compared to paper punches.
That's it! Serendipity Squares are just that easy. What are you waiting for? Clean up that crafting area and start gluing.