recycled toast

I love the Toast catalogue, but it is too expensive for me and anyway, as I am not seven stone I fear I would look like an overdressed shepherd if I wore any of their clothes. However, it is lovely quality paper with gorgeous colour and detail, so I decided to cut it up and make Christmas garlands with it.

First of all I stuck gold paper to the reverse, then I stamped out hundreds of little scalloped rounds... a bit like making paper mince pies... then I made them into little piles and whizzed them into a long length with metallic thread on the sewing machine. A few minutes spent fanning them out into little globes and the beautiful paper is visible again and they look absolutely gorgeous. It's hard to show how lovely they are on a photograph but the rich colours with the gold accents remind me of Renaissance paintings. I'll be offering these for sale at my last craft market of the season (see below for details).

Next to be sacrificed was my carefully saved pile of Plumo catalogues, which underwent a similar treatment but these ones I have made into single hemispheres for this year's Christmas cards... simple little Christmas trees with surprise fold-out stars on top.


If you are in Manchester on the weekend of the 18th/19th December, please come along to the Whitworth Art Gallery Christmas Craft Market! I'll be there and so will lots of other makers and artists with lots of lovely things to see and buy. I have heard stories about carols and mince pies too...

24 comments:

marigold jam said...

You are so clever! Fancy being able to produce something so decorative from nothing more than a few old catalogue pages and a sewing machine!

Jane

acornmoon said...

What a very clever idea, it looks so beautiful. Good luck with the Christmas Fair at The Whitworth, hope the weather is kind.

Jane said...

What a great idea - I wasjust about to consign a lot of catalogues to the recycling but I'm looking at them in a different light.

LissyLou said...

that is so completely clever!!!

Jane Housham said...

Those are really lovely.
Do you use a special punch to cut the scalloped rounds? I've got a couple of those and they drive me mad as they always seem to be blunt. I've tried sharpening them by cutting rounds of silver foil but it doesn't seem to work very well. Have you got any tips?

Gigibird said...

Fantastic!
You is so artistic;-)

PG said...

Ah, the Toast catalogues - so seductive, so gorgeous, so expensive and full of clothes for child-women! I have nearly all of them, one day I swear I will learn to sew properly and attempt to fashion my own versions. I did write to them after they brought their first catalogue out as they only went up to a size 14 in most of their clothes, but even though they go up to an 18 now, I can tell you it is not a real 18, more like a 14, as I've got the sweatshirts to prove it, bursting out is not an exaggeration! However, enough ranting, that looks like a far better use for them, your decorations are gorgeous - good luck with the craft fair, there is supposed to be a thaw at the end of the week, so fingers crossed the shoppers might emerge.

Hollace said...

That is another great idea! You manage to make affordable things look so elegant. I hate to be so dense, but do you put gold foil on the back side of every round circle? Is the foil adhesive, or do you have to glue it? Then, can you cut the 2 pieces together as one? I have never sewn on paper but I'd like to try it.
I am excited about my poetry snowflakes arriving any day now!

Hollace said...

P.S. About what diameter are your circles? Thanks.

A Time to Dance said...

I make cards out of the images from toast, the paper is wonderful - i especially like the smell...I love your cards...wonderful...how do you cut out all the circles??? My garland is over the fireplace at the moment but I think it needs a different home...still pondering on that one...

JP said...

they are gorgeous - hope to see you at the Whitworth

sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

Love the chains Sue - what a clever idea. They must be fiddly to make though!

caireen said...

wow - these look fantastic! I have similarly piled up Toast mags with the thought of using the very nice paper (possibly for patchwork pieces), and also have a box(!) especially for gudrunsjoden catalogues (very very nice paper). Have ordered a couple of things from Toast, and sent back disappointed - surprisingly. Love that garland. cx

Vintage Tea Time said...

Excellent makes - really lovely - and what a good use of the 'full of itself' Toast catalogue!! Their stuff is so expensive. I have been to their seconds / end of line shop in S Wales - is it Llandeilo? - still pricey though! I LOVE your card - brilliant!

rossichka said...

Such an innovative idea! I find your garlands very stylish and, yes, the colours are beautiful and festive, if I may say so.:) The Christmas card is elegant, like everything you make, Sue! I just tried to imagine you in the process of creating them. Obvioulsly you enjoyed yourself!
I began making paper collages (I'll write more in near future in my blog). And I used sheets from commercial magazines and leaflets to give some texture to the pictures.

Have a wonderful time at the Fair in a really Christmas atmosphere!:)

Frances said...

Sue, it's grand to see your posts and sample your wonderfully creative mind.

I also love to recycle "rich" materials that arrive at my door, even without invitation. Your blending the catalogue printing with gold paper was the magic touch.

May you have great success at the upcoming fair!

xo

Chrissie said...

hehe, Toast and Plumo went the same way here too!

I'm sure the garlands will be a big success at the fair - they look stunning!

Lorenza said...

Absolutely beautiful!!! I've made xmas bunting yesterday as presents for my partner's family and felt so proud of the result :D there's nothing as satisfying as making things! x

Gina said...

That is just about the prettiest garland I've seen... enough to make me rush out and buy a circle cutter!

Joanna said...

LOVELY ... but how do you cut the circles???

Hope they sell well, can't imagine that you'll have any left over at the end of the day

Joanna

Sue said...

Thank you for your comments everyone :-)
I cut the circles out with a simple punch stamp - they are great - I have a few :-)

The Border Tart said...

So tickled to see another happy Toast recycler, and so elegantly done too! Wish you every success with the Fair

Susie Hewer said...

Hi Sue,

I haven't commented before but I think I found your site whilst searching for a copy of Swedish Embroidery.

I adore your garlands and they are a great way to use up the Toast catalogues! My husband is a composer and I often use unwanted remnants of old and discarded scores for decoupage so I was interested to see your gift tags made of manuscript. Great idea.

Btw, although I now live in rural Sussex, I originate from Lancashire and have worked in and around Manchester so it's nice to hear news from your region.

Thomasina Tittlemouse said...

I love this idea so much and have stored it away ever since I first read your post earlier in the year. Have experimented with trying my own version and will post a link to you in my post about it next week. Thank you so much for the inspiration - it's so clever and very thrifty into the bargain. E x