Carton Christmas card and envelope design

This project came about due to a large box of tetrapak cartons that I had put aside a few years ago and stored flat. Most cartons I save ‘in the round’ to cut into loops for weaving. I was keen to find a way to make upcycled and recyclable cards.

I experimented by finding methods of stripping away the print side. It didn’t take long to find that different brands of cartons yield very different results. The ones above gave a mostly white on the one side.

The card design uses the original creases of the carton and folds one way into a stand up card (portrait or landscape), and the other way into an envelope.

I spent some time putting together some designs that aren’t too hard to cut out and peel away.

The only drawback was that my saved cartons were mostly crumpled and the ones made from crease-free cartons looked so much better. The silver side shows any imperfections clearly.



For our Christmas cards I always try and find something that the kids can take part in or do themselves, so we had a go at painting some. They turned out to be very colourful!

I made folding instructions to accompany them – so we will see what our guinea pig friends and family made of them (and trust they love us enough to not mind crumpled Christmas cards!).


Cards from dis-cards

I’m always looking for ways to make cards from packaging and recycled materials – and ways to recycle old cards.

Many of my cards are made the night before they’re needed which explains their ‘thrown together’ qualities. I really like making them (there’s nothing like a deadline to give you focus). Many are made from frozen pizza boxes (we tend to have a lot of them), the card is similar to cereal boxes but comes in squares. I often use wood glue (PVA) to glue them together and I like to look for ways to make them 3D and interactive. These large ones are for immediate family so we don’t need to post them. We store them in boot boxes (bigger than shoe boxes) and they’re lovely things to rifle through when you’re feeling sentimental. The biggest impact my card making has had is to inspire my kids to make creative cards themselves – we’ve now quite a collection!

Works of cARTon

Beverage cartons that hold juice, milk and liquid foods are made from a laminated combination of card, plastic and often aluminium eg brand names TetraPak and SIG. Not so environmentally friendly, but great to work with. What can you do with a carton?