the index card art project.

I am betting that many of you also follow Marian at Miss Mustard Seed.  If so, you may have seen her recent post about an index card art project that she is doing.

In her case she has 31 index cards and she’ll be painting one per day for the month of March.

As soon as I read her post the idea of changing it up and scrapbooking on the cards instead of painting on them popped into my head.  What a great way to do just a quick bit of scrapbooking every day, and in the end have a fun keepsake.

And I just happened to have a great set of vintage index cards in my stash.

Fun fact, these old cards were from Smead Manufacturing.  I’m sure many of you are familiar with Smead office supplies.  They began manufacturing in 1906 in St. Paul and then moved to Hastings, Minnesota in 1908.  It’s kind of interesting to read their history.  Funny to note that according to them, in 1906 only 2% of the population had telephones.  Can you imagine?

Anyway, back to my index cards.  I don’t quite have the complete alphabet, but oh well.  I also don’t have 31, but that’s OK, I’m getting a late start anyway.  Also, keep in mind that I have a day job so it may not be feasible for me to work on a card every single day, but I’m going to try and keep up.  I’ll also admit that I am working ahead on some days.  So far I’ve completed 8 cards.

The photos from our Adriatic cruise are the perfect subject matter for this project, so it made sense to start with ‘A’.

‘A’ is for Adriatic.  ‘A’ is also for Atlas.  The map I used on this card is from a very old Atlas, from back when Yugoslavia was still a country that included what are now Croatia and Montenegro.

The photo I used on this card is of the Saint Domnius cathedral in Split, Croatia.

I shared my ‘A’ card on Instagram last Sunday and have been sharing a card a day since.

I made two cards for the first port of call on our trip, Genoa.  I used a couple of my favorite October Afternoon papers on this first one.  The orange totally related to the color of the building in the photo, and the background color of their map paper matches my vintage index cards perfectly.

October Afternoon has always been my favorite brand of scrapbook supplies.  They were also a local company here in the Twin Cities, but I think they have gone out of business (does anyone know?).  They haven’t posted on their Facebook page since 2016, so I’m assuming they are defunct.  Luckily I stocked up at a couple of their warehouse sales and now have a lifetime supply of their stuff.  I love that all of their papers and ephemera can be mixed and matched and they always work well together.  My favorite product line was called Travel Girl; it couldn’t have been more perfect for me.

Initially this next photo of Genoa wouldn’t have made the cut for this project.  It really wasn’t my favorite shot from that port of call.  But then I tried printing it in black & white.  Suddenly I loved it.  It now has a gritty, mysterious look which is totally appropriate for Genoa.

Next up was Eze.  If you’ll remember, we visited Eze in the morning of the day we were docked in Monaco.

Hey, guess what?  I painted those cardboard letters with Fusion paint in Inglenook.  Not only is Fusion a great paint for furniture, it’s also perfect for crafting.  Once the paint was dry I stamped over it using a rubber stamp and some grey ink.

The card I made for Monaco has a simple message.

The “Cherish each Moment” is a rub-on applied to a French book page.  I purchased this particular set of rub-on’s at Hobby Lobby but I’m not sure if they still have them.

I used one of the ticket stubs from the Museo Archeologico for the Naples card.  I’m planning to include a few more tickets stubs and other small items on future cards too.

For the Herculaneum card I simply used a rubber stamp right on the index card and then added a couple of photos.  This one was super simple and quick, but sometimes simple and quick creates the best look.  It definitely allows the photos to be the stars of the show.

I loved the look of that stamp on the card so much that I used it again for this one.

But this time I left a bit more of it showing.  The black and white photo worked perfectly with the grey ink.  You can find a less cropped, color version of that photo in my post about our Godfather Tour in Sicily.

By the way, I’m fairly sure I purchased that rubber stamp at a garage sale for around a dollar.

Working on this project has reminded me how much I miss scrapbooking.  But I’m hoping that spending a spare hour here and there to throw together a couple of index cards is going to work well for me and I’ll be able to keep it up.  At least long enough to finish this project.

  Once I finish with this set of index cards, I may go back and insert a few more cards for each port of call on our trip.  We’ll see if I stick with that plan or not.  And naturally I will be on the lookout for a recipe box to revamp to hold the cards one they are completed.  Maybe something along the lines of this one that I made for my friend Terri …

I’ll be sure to share with you when the entire project is completed, but in the meantime if you want to follow along with each card as I complete it you’ll have to follow me on Instagram!  Or if you want to follow everyone who is creating art on index cards, be sure to check out #indexcardartproject.

Are any of you guys scrapbookers?  Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say ex-scrapbookers since I haven’t work on a scrapbook for at least two years.  Maybe you should look for some index cards and try this approach too!

22 thoughts on “the index card art project.

  1. These are wonderful! I am not a scrapbooker, but I buy all the supplies at thrift stores and estate sales when I can find them. I use them for creating tags for my merchandise going to my antique booth and for other projects. Being a crafter I love hoarding stamps, paper, scissors with scalloped edges, you know all the cool stuff! You are inspiring me to do something more creative with all my stuff! I used to follow MMS, but she lost me when she stopped doing furniture makeovers.


    1. Oh oh, I hope my recent furniture hiatus doesn’t put you off. I will get back to the furniture, and in fact am planning to do some furniture painting this weekend. However, furniture sales have been so slow for me this winter that it’s hard to stay motivated to paint more (plus I’m running out of space to store finished pieces). I need to pick up a paint brush though, I’m starting to have withdrawal symptoms 😉


  2. What a neat idea! Garage Sale goal this year = index/alphabet cards 😉

    I have carried around a copy of the Mark Twain quote you featured, for almost 30 years:
    “20 years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. EXPLORE. DREAM. DISCOVER.”


  3. Oh man, I LOVE this idea! AND I have the perfect place to keep them in my 1953 recipe file box, courtesy of you! Currently it is storing my date stamps for scrapbooking, but I see a change coming up. Also, this post reminded me of the rolodex you made for your BFF many moons ago. That was the cutest thing ever, and used the same scrapbooking idea, but used a rotary index (some readers may be too young to know what this is) with each letter referring to someone or something related to her I think? You should post some pics of that if you took any. Loved this post!!❄


  4. It has been two years since we scrapped. I haven’t touched any of it in my craft closet since we moved into the house. I do kind of miss it too. The cards are a very cute idea. Maybe I will try it on one of the Disney trips.


  5. Your creativity is boundless. And your index cards are charming. What fun you will have reliving your travels when veiwing these. I too love Mark Twain’s quote – he was a very wise man.
    I, however, am envious of Terri’s recipe box. I know most people today probably store their recipes online. And I admit I have several categories of recipes saved on Pinterest. But I also have recipe cards from friends and family that bring back memories each time I pull one out to whip something up.


    1. As we all know, I’m not much of a cook. But I also have a few recipes that I pull out that always remind me of the person I got them from (Grandma’s banana bread, Mom’s pork chops, Mary’s Taco Soup). It would be lovely to have a special box full of those recipes!


  6. What a great Idea! We just got back from a cruise to the Caribbean. We usually go in Feb/March. By this time of the year we need a little warmth and relaxation. What a great way to save some beautiful memories.


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