Use Your Yarn Stash to Make Greeting Cards

Make your own cards using pictures of your yarn.

Make your own cards using pictures of your yarn.

Every knitter and crocheter has it……..a yarn stash tucked away here and there which is probably growing bigger even as you read this. It’s like the miracle of yeast. It just expands. Heaven help us if our spouses found out how much yarn we really have on the premises. That’s why it’s always important to have a good set of reasons why you collect yarn ready, in case you are ever required to defend your addiction.

I, for one, have always tried to march to a different drumbeat. Therefore, forget global warming. One of my favorite reasons for my stash is that I’m preparing for the next ice age. But seriously, as I was photographing my latest yarn purchases so that I could document them online up in Ravelry, I got to thinking that there must be some way I could use all this fibery loveliness now before I’m actually ready to knit with it. And then it struck me. Why not use my digital photography and scrapbooking hobbies to create my own notecards featuring the yarn in my stash?

I’m happy to report that the project has been a success and I’m happy to share it with you. Here is what you are going to need:   yarn (or finished knitted/crocheted items); digital camera; photo editing software; photo printer (recommended); assorted colored  and white cardstock; envelopes; self-adhesive mounting squares, scissors.  Nice to have: Paper trimmer.

I used the Kodak EasyShare software to prepare my pictures for printing.

I used the Kodak EasyShare software to prepare my pictures for printing.

1.  First you will need to pick out some yarn or projects to photograph.  Drape some solid-colored fabric behind the yarn for contrast.  One of my favorite backgrounds is an old sweater of my mom’s.  Be creative!  Find some small objects to arrange next to the skein such as DPNs or stitch markers and snap shots from different perspectives.  If your digital camera has a macro feature allowing you to take closeups, try getting quite close to the knitting or skein to get a unique look at the fiber up close.  I almost always turn my flash off because I find if I leave the flash on, it tends to wash out the colors of my yarn.

2.  Next, transfer the pictures to whatever photo-editing program you are using.  I happen to use the Memory Manager program from Creative Memories.  Once I’ve tweaked the photos to my liking, I save copies of them to a file on my computer.  Then I open up my photo printing software, which happens to be the Kodak EasyShare software that came with my photo printer and prepare to print my photos. 

Decide what size photos you want to print.

Decide what size photos you want to print.

3.  My Kodak EasyShare printer allows me to print a variety of sizes of photos.  For this project, I chose to print two 2.50″ x 3.25″ photos per 4″ x 6″ sheet.  If you don’t have a printer that can print photos at home, there are many options available to you, including same-day printing at such places like Rite-Aid and Wal-Mart, where you can print different sizes.  You can also send your photos via the Internet to online vendors who will print them to your specifications and then mail them back to you.

4.  Now comes the fun part.  Cut your pictures apart if you need to do so and then I like to sort them into color groupings.  I find that saves me time when looking for cardstock that I can mat them on.  Get the rest of your card-making supplies together.  I like to have a paper trimmer, mounting squares, scissors, and tape runners at the ready.  I happen to be lucky enough to have my own computer/yarn/craft room so all my scrapbooking paper is close at hand, too.

5.  OK, now you are going to place a photo on a piece of cardstock that will coordinate with the colors in the yarn or project and secure it with whatever adhesive you are using.  I always use archival safe adhesive just because it has been ingrained into me from my scrapbooking training.  You can easily find mounting squares at any craft store that sells scrapbooking supplies.  Now you can get all anal here

Arrange your pictures into groupings by color.

Arrange your pictures into groupings by color.

and measure and mount but I like to just eyeball things and then stick it on a piece of cardstock.  Once I’ve got my picture on the cardstock, I use my paper trimmer to trim the cardstock down to leave a small border around the picture of approximately 1/4 to 1/2″.    Again, I just eyeball it but if you want to measure and mark before cutting, be my guest.

For this particular project, after mounting the photo on the first cardstock, I found a coordinating piece of cardstock, stuck the mounted photo on top of it and then, eyeballing it once more, used my trimmer to trim the second piece of cardstock, leaving a slightly larger border this time. 

That’s really all there is to it.  You can certainly get fancier if you want to and many of you who have made cards before will have lots of other ideas to bring to a project like this.   You can even make your own envelopes but personally, I don’t have the time or patience.  I went to our local craft store and found a value pack of 25 cards and envelopes made out of 80 lb. card stock which was on sale for half price.  I think I paid about $4 for the pack.    I’m making these cards to give to friends as a belated Christmas present and plan to give them in groups of 5 cards and envelopes each, maybe more if fewer people show up. 

Knitting notecards make a nice gift for the knitters in your life.

Knitting notecards make a nice gift for the knitters in your life.

Finally, if you are using them for yourself (and I hope you will plan to make some to use), just store them away to grab when you need a note card to send to someone.  If you are looking for an easy gift to give to a friend who enjoys knitting, take a stack of the cards with envelopes and tie them up with a pretty bow of , what else, yarn.

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