Upcycle Design: Create a Postcard from Trash | Josephine Skapare | Skillshare

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Upcycle Design: Create a Postcard from Trash

teacher avatar Josephine Skapare, Illustrator and designer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (27m)
    • 1. INTRO


    • 3. TOOLS


    • 5. ADDING ART



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About This Class

Hi and welcome to my class Upcycle Design - Create a Postcard from Trash!

This class is for anyone who wants to get creative while living a more sustainable lifestyle. It's a cheap and really fun way to get rid of trash!

If you're anything like me, you probably have a lot of trash too. I admire those who strive to live a zero waste lifestyle, but I'm just far from that at the moment. My recycling bags fill up in just a few days. And what's even better than recycling? Upcycling of course.

Upcycling means reusing stuff and trash instead of throwing it away or sending it to recycling facilities. It's a great way to create a sustainable lifestyle as we change our perspective on the everyday materials around us. Of course we cant clean up the oceans in one day with this, but at least it makes us look at trash in different way and it's a really fun way to be creative. Trash can be made into something beautiful, especially when we add art to it.

I'll show you how I go about and create postcards from trash and how I make a simple pattern with scissors, markers and old paper bags.

Grab some trash and join me in class!


Meet Your Teacher

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Josephine Skapare

Illustrator and designer


I'm Josephine Skapare, Illustrator and Artist from Sweden. In my freelance work I specialize in editorial illustration and pattern design, but my favorite way to create stuff is to make beautiful things from trash, from earrings to wall art.


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1. INTRO: Hi and welcome to my class about upcycle design, how to create a postcard from trash. My name is Josephine Skapare. I'm a Swedish illustrator and upcycle designer. I do a lot of editorial illustration and pattern designed for clients, but in my personal work, I really love working with upcycling. One of my biggest products so far are these earrings that I create from plastic lids, another trash. But in this class we're going to focus on paper trash. If you're anything like me, you probably have a lot of trash piling up, too. I will admire those who strive to live a zero waste lifestyle, but I'm just too far away from that at the moment. My recycling bags fill up in just a few days. What's even better than recycling? Well, upcycling, of course. It's all about reusing and creating stuff from things that would have been thrown away or recycled. It's a great way to start living a more sustainable lifestyle by changing our perspective on these everyday materials that surround us constantly. Of course, we won't be able to clean up the oceans with this project that we're going to create now, but it's a great way to look at these materials in a different way. It's a really fun way to be creative, and it's cheap, as we have the trash already. Also trash can be made into something beautiful, especially when we add art to it. I really hope you want to join me in this class. Grab some trash, and let's dive in. 2. CLASS PROJECT: For our class project, of course, we're going to create a postcard and I'm recording this in the times of Corona, and I know many of you haven't seen your loved ones in a while, and that might be a good starting point for inspiration, to create something personal for them. If you're a designer like me and have a shop, you might want to create a bunch of similar designs and sell them, and it's really up to you whether you go for. I've created two Pinterest boards for you to find some inspiration as a start, one about paper clash and one with postcard designs. You can find the link to that in the project description or it just go ahead and find your own inspiration. I love to look it like old postcards that I've got myself before. Or just, what I loved to draw in my regular work. I'm going to create a postcard for my mother, because me and my kids haven't seen her since before this whole Corona things started and she's taking care of my grandpa and we kind of want to him to be safe. So, my kids really look forward to baking cinnamon buns with her once they meet her, because she makes the best Swedish cinnamon buns. So, I thought I wanted to create a pattern with cinnamon buns on the front side and then my kids are going to help me write something on the back. One important thing to keep in mind when working with upcycling, is that it should be recyclable at the end. So we don't want to mix and match different materials. We don't want to glue plastic on top of paper, for example. Maybe we hope that the one's receiving our postcard won't throw it away. But it's a postcard, and the whole purpose of the postcard is really fulfilled once the receiver gets it and reads it, maybe they keep it for a while, but it probably will end up in the trash someday and then it's great that we thought about that when designing it. So, don't mix and match plastic and paper or other materials. We're going to stick only to paper in this one. Another good thing to keep in mind is size. We don't want to go under the regular postcard size, which is about 14 times nine centimeters, is about an A6 size. Because if we go under that it might get lost in the mail, it is just too small. So keep that in mind. But that's it. Now let's look at the materials. 3. TOOLS: For the postcard, we're going to use any kind of paper packaging. I like to use any Pasta packaging, or this one is from a kid's porridge. Make sure it's not too fatty on the inside sometimes it's a bit hard to draw on especially, if you want to draw with watercolors and own stake. Anything that feels dry and it's clean, maybe chocolate is not the best idea because there might be some chocolate traits. Any kind of packaging, this one, you see it has some plastic here. As we want to have at least a postcard size, this is a bit too small. We can use this for any other card, maybe you put it in a bunch of flowers to give it to someone or something like that. The back of this is perfect for any postcard. For decoration, I will use some stuff that would go into trash really. Like an old envelope usually has some nice patterns inside or just this gray tone. I love that one, or any paper like brown paper bags. This one is a bit more torn and has some texture to it. This is a bit more clean, just like the inside of paper bag. This is really cute like this. Blue stripes, and you can really cut it out. When you glue it, this won't be as messy as it looks. I really don't mind that because, it's made from trash and it has some texture to it. I just think it looks nice. Just the inside of this, it also has some texture and has some history because it was used for something before. You can really just draw anything on this, use a crayon or something to get different colors and then carried out. That would be nice. It's also good to have any just scrap paper when we're going to glue stuff later on, or maybe do some sketching. Of course we will use some glue. I like to use a regular glue stick. Any kid's glue or Mod podge is great for this as well. You'll need a brush. For cutting out, we will need some scissors. Anything you have at home. If you do have an exact DO knife and cutting board, or a cutting mat, use that if you want to, and the ruler is really great if you want to keep the edges of the postcard. Nice and clean. I think we set, so, let's get started. 4. MAKING THE CARD: We're going to start by making the postcard, and we're just going to cut the corners here and get these two out. Now, we have these two, they are not perfect. We can, as you see here, just like these edges still here. We can just cut that out as well and you don't have to be perfect here. We're going to fix that later, and as I said its even better if you have an X-Acto knife for defining the step of fixing these edges, but you can just use the scissor as well. Let's just take that away and take that away, and then we're going to glue these together. I'll be using some mod patch because I think it's so much fun to use. I love like gluing with a brush. Sometimes the glue stick gets a bit messy. It's always good when you have mod patch to do it on both sides. Make sure you get it all out to the corner scale, so it'll go at corner scale. Like that, make sure to clean this shortly so it won't get hardened. Then we're just going to put these two together like that. I really don't mind if there's a small thing like that here. We can always cover it up with the drawings, or you can just leave it be. Just make sure its centered, so you can use as much as possible of the paper like that. Now, we're going to just put it under a bunch of books to let it dry for a couple of hours or it's better to just leave it overnight and you can use it tomorrow. I have prepared one and I'll be right back. I have this one that I made yesterday, it's from the same packaging. It's the same size and we're going to cut it so you can see it's not as a straight, you can keep it like this if you want to just let it be as it is and show people that you have used trash word. But I like to just straighten up a bit. Let's start with one angle, you can of course, use the ruler and a pencil and draw a line, then you can cut it. Since I do have an X-Acto knife, I do like to use it. There we go. Remember to do that so you don't cut yourself, and now we have like this straight postcard. Let's measure it, it's actually 16.5 centimeters by 12.5 centimeters. I'm going to show what that's in inches, but it's a bit bigger than a regular postcard. Now, we're going to decorate it. 5. ADDING ART: As I decided, I wanted to make some cinnamon buns. This paper is just perfect for that, it's brownish. In Sweden, it's very popular to have cinnamon buns for [inaudible] and my mom is like the best of making those. I am going to make a pattern so the kids can send her a postcard. Let's begin by cutting out some shapes that looks like cinnamon buns, and then we can adjust the size if we want. This is a really simple way of making a pattern. As we're not making a repeat pattern, we can really just play around and see what happens, and that's really just a lot of fun. I'm going to try and make some cinnamon buns shapes here. You'll see what I mean in just a minute. I think this will be a good size, you don't want to make it too small if you are making cinnamon buns. We can just make some roundish shape. It's so amazing, all of these art materials that you actually have in your trash, and that you just throw away every single day. I love using what I already have. This is really just trash now, but you can probably figure out some fun way to use it. Maybe you want to use, you can cut out stripes from that and use that as some other decoration. Maybe if you want to do something abstract or you make a sweater on a person. All these small scrap things can be used if you want to. But it's also good to feel that it's okay to throw away stuff. Otherwise, you will end up with too much trash. If you're like me and live in a very tiny apartment, it's not a good idea. But some stuff are really fun to use and save. Let's just do some cinnamon bun shape like that. I'm going to try and draw on this to make it look like a cinnamon bun. I think I'm going to use this black permanent marker and white one. I'm going to have just this scrap paper underneath so it doesn't bleed through. Cinnamon buns are really just like a swirl, like that thing. Maybe I'll just cut that a bit smaller like that. This is so much fun drawing with scissors. Because you're not too busy planning the end result, you can just see what happens. Then my mother usually has some sugar. I don't know what do you call it in English, but we call it [inaudible] in Swedish. That's what you use on cinnamon buns, something like that. It looks like a Swedish cinnamon bun to me, and we're going to try and put it on the postcard. Really, you could just do one or two cinnamon buns and maybe write something. Let's do a feat gap or something fun like that. Maybe you can write, "I made you this figure or let's speak outside someday, soon. "Now you can really do whatever you want but I feel like doing a pattern. I'm going to show you how I think when I do that. I'm going to do the same with the rest of these and I'll be back soon. We have all these cinnamon buns here. I'm going to just add this little squirrel here. Just to make it a bit more like a cinnamon bun. I think this is quite important for the look, but maybe it's not. We'll see. Then we're going to just make this pattern. I think you can see what I am thinking already. It's so much fun when you know you can just cut out a bunch of icons and then you can just glue them together in a nice pattern on a postcard. You just have something beautiful. We're going to make them come out on the sides. Let's do like these. Come up there and then you have that. Then you can really make them. You can cut that and then it can come out like in the corners here as well. You can choose which ones you like the most and perhaps use those in the center and then you can cut the rest. I think I'm going to use these two. You can do it centered or you can do it however you want. Then I'll put that there. Then you can see that we have all these leftovers on the sides. We are going to cut that. You can't be precisely and measure and you can glue stuff on before you play around or just every single piece. But I like to see what happens when we do it like this. This is what you would do when you create a repeat. Because if you would put these two together on top of each other, it would repeat perfectly. But that's not the point here, so we can put it anywhere we want. But it's a good guide to have. Then we can put that there and maybe that one there. We can do that, and there we can have this on the corner there. We can always adjust it later. Then we have these pieces here. We can have that maybe up here. This is like a way of sketching, but you sketch with scissors first. Let's do that. There we go, and then we're just going to cut this as well. That was not straight, so I'm just going to make straight and cut, and then there we go. Here we have our pattern. Now I'm just going to glue this on top of it. We're going to finalize it by doing the backside. Let's glue these on top of the postcard, and I'm going to use mod podge for this as well. Maybe you want to use a bigger or smaller brush. It doesn't really matter, as long as it's quick and easy. For this, you really don't need to use the mod podge on the other side. You can really just use it on this side. You could use some scrap paper also here. If you don't want to glue on your hands, but I don't really mind. If it does get up on the corners here, you can always add some extra glue later with a smaller brush. I think with kids glue is even easier to move it around because it's a bit more stickier. Then when you have put your icon down, you can move it around, but with mod podge it really gets stuck at the first try. That's good to keep in mind. But this is really like this. It's easy to paint on the glue like this. It's vegan, which is important to me. A mod podge is vegan, and if you want a glue stick that's vegan, I really recommend like UHU brand. I'm not sure the glue stick, I have SVN, perhaps it is. I'm going to check that. But my kids have had it for a while since before I figured out the glue will sometimes not vegan. It's good with mod podge because if you do get some leftover mod podge on top. It really doesn't matter because you could use mod podge also like on top of this, as a finish if you want, and then you can make it a bit more durable. But I know who's going to keep a postcard forever, maybe they do. I do see it just like this tiny thing on the band that I want to fix like that. I am happy with that. I'm just going to cut out this extra bit that came out here like that. Then we're going to put this, you can put it under Teller books right now or you can go ahead and do the backside right away. I'll see you in a bit. 6. BACKSIDE DESIGN: Let's do the back of the postcard. We are going to turn the postcard over. You can do a sketch with a pencil and a ruler if you want to, but I'm just going to go ahead and do it with a marker. You want some space here so you can write the postcard. I'm just going to wing it. Because I do love the hand-drawn look to stuff, something like that. Then we're going to do a couple of lines to write the address on. You can use a thinner pen or anything you like. The name go there and the address, and the CIP code and stuff. Then we're just going to make something for the stamp. I'm just going to make something that looks like a stamp thing. Its really not important since we are going to put a stamp there. You can make a heart. But the thing is the receiver won't see that anyways. Here we go. Here we have our postcard. I'm going to let it dry under a pile of books for a few hours before I send it. I'm going to let my kids help me and write the message for grandma. We're done. 7. FINAL THOUGHTS: Thank you so much for taking my class. I really hope you enjoyed it. Make sure you upload an image of your postcard in the project gallery and I'll have a look at it. It's also fun if you want to share what trash you used. Make sure you follow me here on Skillshare if you want to get notified on my future classes, and if you're an Instagram and share your work there, make sure you tag me. I'm using this cockpit at over there. I'll see you in my next class. Bye.