New Year, new start, and all that jazz. How many of your new year’s resolutions have already fallen by the wayside? Don’t worry, you’re in good company. As if getting back into work after a few luxurious weeks of braaing, boozing and beaching wasn’t hard enough without self-imposed rules and regulations. That said, there are some virtuous habits worth spreading that don’t involve abstinence or over-exertion. Upcycling your office stationery, for example. Here’s how to jump aboard the upcycling bandwagon and turn trash into treasure.
The term upcycle was coined in the 1990s — a combination of the words up and recycle. Oxford Dictionaries defines it as “[to] reuse (discarded objects or material) in such a way as to create a product of higher quality or value than the original”. But we don’t think you have to use old, used or would-be discarded office stationery to create something of greater value. Have a root around your workplace for the office stationery that you can make these nifty creations with:
Post-Its might have been invented for the purpose of making lists and sticking reminders to flat surfaces within our vision, but that isn’t their only use. Their adhesive backs can be used to extract everything from dust to pencil shavings and food crumbs from out between the keys of your computer or laptop. Make sure you use a fresh Post-It, as one that’s already been sticking to your divider won’t have enough sticky powers to get rid of the crud that lurks on your keyboard.
Electric cable reinforcer
You know those springs that inhabit the insides of ballpoint pens? Well, you can now put them to use long after the pen itself has died. Unscrew the pen and remove the spring. Then wrap it around the piece of cable closest to the end of your phone or laptop charger, as shown in the picture on this Huffington Post blog. This is a great way to prolong the life of those over-worked charger wires.
Business cards are one of those species of office stationery that just seem to accumulate, yet we hold onto them as if they’re going to be useful sometime in the future. Now you can put them to use without having to discard them. Take one business card and two bulldog clips. Fix the clips to the narrow edges of the card, as shown in the Huffington Post blog above, and then insert iPhone into the clips horizontally.
Nowadays the iPod has all but become extinct, as more people listen to their music through the central dashboards of their iPhones. Earphones are all very well when listening to music solo, but what happens when you want to share music with those around you? You fashion iPhone speakers out of empty toilet roll and plastic cups, of course! Cut a slit in the loo roll to accommodate your device. Next, cut holes in the side of each plastic cup to slot each end of the loo roll into it. Press play. Refer back to the Huffington Post blog for an image.
Floppy disk notebook
Instructables has an awesome recipe for crafting notebooks out of the long-defunct floppy disk. You need two floppy disks, cotton string, a stack of paper (you can use fresh paper or paper that’s been used for printing on one side), scissors, a needle and a hole punch. Punch holes through each corner of the stack of paper and align with the holes in the corner of the floppy disk. Sew the disks and paper together, as shown in these instructions. Enjoy!
Bookmarks are a great invention, but they don’t help you when it comes to finding exactly where you left off on a page. Enter the arrow bookmark made from a paper clip and Prestik. Cut an arrow small enough to cover a paper clip. Roll out a small piece of Prestik. Place the paper arrow over it and cut out using a sharp knife. Place your Prestik arrow over the paper clip. Clip your bookmark into place, like they’ve done here on Craft Gawker.
If you’re struggling to find enough stationery supplies to fulfil your creative upcycling ambitions, why not get in touch with an awesome stationery supplier? Click here to sign up for a free 30 day trial and see how choosing the right stationery supplier can improve your business.