If you’ve been following along with the “So You Think You’re Crafty” competition we participated in, you probably saw our entry for the hardware store challenge. You should have seen me and Jo the day we wandered around our local hardware store looking for inspiration. We were picking up the craziest things (like the rosette mirror holders that Jo turned into an easy lapel pin) and trying to come up with crafty ways to use them.
While wandering down one of the aisles, we ran across a rack of decorative, punched steel sheeting. Jo picked up a big sheet of steel with a cloverleaf pattern and her face lit up so fast that I knew this was the supply we would be using, no matter what! These metal grates are usually used for things like radiator covers and screens, but we knew we could make some pretty neat greeting cards with it. We also grabbed an inexpensive pair of tin snips for cutting the metal and a handful of paint chips. We love working with paint chips! (Remember my other paint chip greeting cards?)
With our supplies decided on, the rest was pretty easy. We used a yard stick and Sharpie to mark the metal in 7 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ rectangles, then we cut them with the tin snips. Be very careful with the cut edges, because they are quite sharp!
Then we took the paint chips and cut then into bits. The first card I made had a random design with shades of purple. I cut the chips into tiny squares that were just bigger than the holes in the metal, keeping the different shades of purple in different piles. Then I just sprayed the back of the screen with some spray adhesive and stuck the squares down randomly.
I just love how this one came out! It kind of looks like stained glass, don’t you think? This was a great starting point, but it didn’t look much like a card yet. It needed to be mounted on some cardstock, and those sharp edges also needed to e covered up. We folded an 8/12″ x 11″ piece of coordinating cardstock in half and then cut a 6 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ hole out of the front.
To mount the metal to the front of the card, we needed some really strong double-sided tape. I used some of the “red-liner” tape that we love so much (you can purchase our double-sided tape sheets from our Amazon store) because that stuff will stick to anything. I cut thin strips of it and put them around the opening on the front of the card. Then I just pressed the metal piece, face down, in place.
The final step was to cut two 8″ x 5″ pieces of a lighter color of cardstock for the inside of the card. After putting more double-sided tape around the edges, I put one over the back of the metal piece, making it look all pretty and completely encasing the sharp metal edges. The other went on the other side of the card stock, providing a nice writing surface on the card.
I love the finished card! It will fit perfectly into a standard 5 3/4″ x 8 3/4″ invitation envelope.
Of course, we didn’t stop with this design. There were plenty of ideas left in our heads! Over on the other end of my craft table, Jo was busy cutting red and green paint chips into long strips. She attached them to the back of the metal in alternating, diagonal stripes.
This pattern was so easy and looks so fantastic!
You could do this design with any color combination to suit the occasion. I bet it would look pretty with a rainbow, too!
Then we got the crazy idea to do a gradient of blue that went from light to dark. Like we did for the purple card above, we cut the blue paint chips into small squares and kept the shades separated. Then we started at one end of the metal and put the darkest pieces down. When those were gone, we moved to the next shade.
On and on we went, until the lightest blue was at the top and the gradient design was complete.
I think this one looks really wintery and it reminds me of snow falling.
All the cards so far were pretty generic, and suitable for any occasion, but Jo wanted to make one specifically for Christmas. For this one, we just used red on the back of the metal, and put a few simple shapes on the front to make a Christmas tree. We love it!