DIY upcycling: royal brooches!

Hi lovely readers,

Today, I’m thrilled to reveal a fantastic cross-posted piece from the wonderful Terilyn Chen… you can see the original post on her blog hereTerilyn is one of our fabulous bloggers from Harvard’s own Environmental Action Committee, and today she’s sharing a great way to turn old playing cards into fancy new jewelry. Thanks, Terilyn!

royal brooches

Ever since I received my first pink kid-sized Tweety Bird deck of playing cards, I have been losing cards. Peculiarly, I always average about one card lost per deck, which is extremely irritating since I never feel like that is enough to abandon the entire deck. But really, I hate playing with an incomplete deck and I hate throwing out an entire deck when only one card is missing.

I cannot be the only one with this problem. So to all of you kindred souls out there, I offer a solution: playing card brooches.

This tutorial is specific to the face cards, but the same techniques/methods can be applied to the other cards as well. (Really, you can use the same methods for any image you’d like to make into a brooch.)

You will need an X-acto knife, scissors, Mod-Podge, a paint brush, a pencil, a hot glue gun and a pin back.

Step 1: Decide what part of the card you want to be made into your brooch and cut it out.

Step 2:  Trace this cut-out shape (this will now be referred to as your card cut-out) onto a piece of thick paper board and onto a piece of patterned paper.

Step 3: After cutting out both your board cut-out and your patterned paper cut-out, glue all three of your cut-outs together. Make sure to keep the image side of the card cut-out facing up and the board cut-out sandwiched in between the card cut-out and the patterned paper cut-out. Press and let dry.

Step 5: Apply a layer of Mod-Podge all over the top/image side and let dry. Do the same for the under side/patterned paper side. Let dry and repeat 2 times for both sides.

Step 7: Using a hot-glue gun, attach a pin back to the patterned paper side of the brooch.

Step 8: Let dry & enjoy.

Congratulations, you just made an upcycled brooch!

Terilyn Chen is a flower crown-wearing, upcycled eye-glass brooch-making freshman from Northern California who is freaking out about freshman year ending soon. She is Outreach Chair for the Environmental Action Committee, and Odds & Ends editor for Manifesta Magazine.

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