Recycled Paper Valentine

Recycled paper Valentine by Natalie Lapakko featuring Cozy Critters stamps from Stampin' Up!

Recycled Paper Valentine

A new year is a great time to clear out the paper stash and the scrap pile. For this card I used all recycled paper and scraps to make this fun, albeit somewhat eclectic, Valentine’s Day card.

Okay, okay, I’ll admit it. The card base is a new piece of paper. I didn’t have a scrap big enough to make a standard sized card. However, everything else on this card was stamped, cut, previously painted, or rescued from the junk drawer.

Recycled paper Valentine by Natalie Lapakko with Cozy Critters stamps from Stampin' Up!

Some of the recycled highlights include a super cool washboard textured paper. This is an old scrap I dug out of a box of art supplies I haven’t used for years. It was a little scratched up, but worked great as a background panel.

The pink and purple painted scrap came from the same box and all I did was punch some heart shaped holes in it with Jar of Love Framelits.

Finally, the pink button was one of those extra buttons sewn attached to the tag of your sweater when you buy it. This particular button has outlived the sweater (which got a hole burned through it from a hot coal at a camp fire). It’s about time this button made it’s way out into the world to seek its own fortune!

Challenge Inspiration

This card was inspired by Paper Players Challenge #326!

As you can tell, I got super into this challenge and instead of using one recycled item, I used almost all recycled items. This resulted in a whimsical and slightly odd card.

There are a lot of disparate elements on this card, which makes achieving a unified card somewhat more of a challenge than normal. I’m mixing stamps sets with different kinds of images and I’ve got all kinds of colors and textures mixing together.

Achieving Unity

Unity is the sense that everything goes together. It makes art feel deliberate and organized. It’s opposite is contrast, where elements clash with each other because they are different. Unity makes things blend together and feel whole while contrast draws attention to itself and stands out.

Too much unity and an artwork looks homogeneous and boring. Too much contrast and an artwork looks random and chaotic. The goal is to find a balance and to use unity and contrast together to draw attention to the focal point or main idea of the artwork/

This card had plenty of contrast, so I had to think about ways to add more unity. In this card I did that in three ways.

  • Color: I limited my rainbow colored scraps to only those that were some shade of pink or purple.
  • Shape: I used two types of shapes, either long skinny strips or short rounded shapes (this counts the flowers, the fox head, the button).
  • Proximity: The shapes that are alike are grouped together and aligned in the same direction.

It is fairly obvious that the strips are aligned, it is perhaps less obvious that the center of the rose, the speech bubble, the fox’s nose, and the button are aligned as well in a sort of backward “C” shape. The proximity or close placement of these elements adds to the visual organization.

Additionally, some of these shapes have a direction that they are pointing. The corner of the speech bubble points toward the center of the rose. The other corner points to the fox. The fox’s ear points back to the speech bubble, while her nose points down toward the button. These little things are like little road signs for our eyes as we look at a piece of art.

Recycled paper Valentine featuring stamps and dies from Stampin' Up! Design by Natalie Lapakko.

Make Your Own Recycled Paper Card

  1. Gather some interesting scraps.
  2. Sort them by color. Select your favorite color or colors.
  3. Organize your scraps. Do a couple of practice layouts before trying to glue anything down!
  4. Use grouping and proximity to help show how the elements in your card relate to each other.
  5. Experiment! Try adding embellishments from your junk drawer and scrap pile. Don’t be afraid to remove elements that aren’t working.
  6. When you are happy, glue it all together!

I would love to see what recycled paper cards you invent!

Recycled paper card by Natalie Lapakko featuring Cozy Critters stamps from Stampin' Up!

Eclectic Valentine Color Combination

My Valentine color combination today was selected from scraps that were shades of pink, purple, and red. I think these colors are bright and fun, especially for Valentine’s Day.

Color inspiration: Rich Razzleberry, Sweet Sugarplum, Calypso Coral, Melon Mambo, and Real Red


Valentine card by Natalie Lapakko with Cozy Critters stamps and other Stampin' Up! products. Color inspiration: Rich Razzleberry, Sweet Sugarplum, Blushing Bride, Calypso Coral, Watermelon Wonder, Melon Mambo, and Real Red.

Cardstock: Sweet Sugarplum, Rich Razzleberry, Melon Mambo, Real Red (c) Stampin’ Up!

Paper: white corrugated paper

Ink: Calypso Coral, Watermelon Wonder (c) Stampin’ Up!

Stamps: Cozy Critters, Foxy Friends (c) Stampin’ Up!

Punches and Dies: Rose Garden Thinlit Dies, Stitched Shapes Framelit Dies, Jar of Love Framelit Dies (c) Stampin’ Up!

Markers: Real Red, Melon Mambo, Basic Black Stampin’ Write Markers (c) Stampin’ Up!

Other: painted paper scrap, hot pink button, glitter ribbon (from the Glitter Ribbon Trio Pack)


Thanks for visiting and happy stamping!

Other Cards You Might Enjoy

Click on a card to view the post about that individual card.

Easel card by Natalie Lapakko.

Valentine card by Natalie Lapakko.

Homemade card by Natalie Lapakko.

Homemade card by Natalie Lapakko.


12 thoughts on “Recycled Paper Valentine”

  1. Way to rock your leftovers in this fun little Valentine collage! I keep trying to whittle away at my scrap pile but it’s still pretty massive – lol! Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog! Love to hear your feedback.

  2. What a great modern collage card Natalie; each piece reused but with such attention to detail – I loved reading through your post, really insightful. Thanks for joining us over at The Paper Players this week!

  3. What a fun card. Great use of recycled scraps. You should look into entering Pixie’s Snippets Playground challenge where the criteria is to use snippets. I always use snippets of cardstock on all my cards. 😊 Anyway, thank you for coming by my blog and leaving such a sweet comment.

    1. Thanks for the tip, I’ll be sure to check them out! It’s a good practice to get into using your scraps. I also save some scraps for my ticket to use for his card making, too!

  4. Thank you so much for your visit Natalie! I was always excited to see what you created for the Paper Players challenge. Now that my guest designer term has come to an end I will remember to pop in to look at your gorgeous cards!
    Your kind words means a lot to me!

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