December 8, 2011

Frugal Friday tip by Christy

Design Team Member Christy submitted this Frugal Friday Tip:

We are all attracted to it in some way or another. Sometimes, it's part of what inspires us to make the purchase. Companies pay top dollar to design it. What am I talking about? Packaging, of course! Sometimes, I am loathe to throw it out. There has to be some way to use it. Today, I am going to invite you to get out some of your punches the next time you open a new scrappy supply.

Recently, I acquired a Martha Stewart embossing button punch. I have been searching high and low for things to punch (other than patterned papers) to make buttons with. I also happen to have a very messy drawer full of recycled items I hope to use in the near future. The problem with the messy drawer is that I hate to open it and look at the mess. Thus, I rarely use anything out of it. I merely pop it open as fast as I can to shove something else in. So I resolved to actually use some of that mess. I figured that if the item became an embellishment (as I had intended it too) than I might be more apt to reach for it the next time I was scrapping. Armed with my button punch, I opened the drawer and pulled out some package bits.

In November, I had acquired the Melody Ross chip art tool. I set aside the clear packaging portion to make ghost letters and homemade acrylic style shapes. The backing is a nice thick piece of chipboard. From it, I cut the bracket shapes outlined in yellow. These will be filed into my journal spots box. I can use them as is with the quotes intact or I can paint or cover the quotes to adapt them to some future page.

Now to punch some buttons from what's left. Parts of the packaging had lovely wooden patterns on it. That's where the buttons on the left came from. Other parts had flowers, birds and butterflies. Those would make some lovely buttons! However, the chipboard is too thick for my punch. So, I decided to peel away the chipboard layers. To loosen the layers, I took my paper piercer to a corner and separated the edges.

Once the corner is started, you can carefully peel away the layers. I did my best to peel it in half. This made thinner chipboard which my punch could handle and also allowed me to punch images from the front and back of the package.
Try to plan out where you want to punch. I cut away the unwanted parts of the back which had words and the sku number. This made it easier to punch the parts of the image I wanted.
As you can see, these made some nice embellishments. If you don't have a button punch, try using one of your own favourite punches.

Now it's your turn to go use that packaging - send an picture along with a description to and we will post it here.

Do you have a frugal idea to share? Send your tip along with a picture to . You could be featured as a future Frugal Friday Tip.


  1. How cute are these! Thinking outside the it!

  2. Superb idea! I have a cute butterfly punch that would be fun for that.

  3. Christy, you have the best creative imagination!! I am always inspired by your projects! Thanks girl.

  4. This is a great idea - I'm going to have to try this!

  5. Great idea and the button punch looks a very useful acquisition. Good tip to separate the layers making the card thin enough to punch through. Thanks. Elizabeth x