Old cards make new placemats

First Posted: 3/4/2012

Phyllis Bullock’s favorite pastime is cutting circles from old greeting cards while sitting in front of the TV.

“‘American Idol’ and ‘Dancing with the Stars’ is how I pass my time,” said the Dallas resident.

But it’s not in vain. Bullock’s cutting skills only aid her when she’s making homemade placemats from those recycled images.

And others find Bullock’s artwork so interesting they wanted to learn the craft themselves.

The Back Mountain Memorial Library held a class for those wanting to learn the art of placemat-making – just a month after Bullock’s placemats were on display in the library.

Bullock, who’s been making the decorative placemats for more than 20 years, led the class and displayed examples of her work, including snowmen, Elvis Presley and angel-themed settings.

“I never thought about showing them at the library,” said Bullock. “I asked a woman from the library to save the cards they receive for me. She asked me why, and now I’m teaching a class.”

Bullock never saved greeting cards before she started making placemats after a friend gave her a tutorial. Now, she said, it’s a great way to recycle those cards sent from friends and family.

“There are so many nice pictures; it’s a shame to throw them away,” she said.

Bullock even immortalized the greeting cards for a friend’s 90th birthday. She cut the cards along with the notes inside them to make a set of six placemats out of the more than 80 cards her friend received.

“She cried when I showed them to her,” said Bullock.

She said cutting the images is a relaxing way to spend time before working on the designs of her placemats. She lays the card cut-outs onto a piece of poster board before covering the whole project with contact paper.

Yvonne Marshall, of Dallas, had some Christmas cards lying around the house when she heard about the class.

“It’s a way to be creative, and to give these beautiful cards some practical use,” she said.

Ellen Whipple, of Laceyville, makes ornaments and other decorations out of greeting cards, and thought the class would be another way to utilize the images on the cards sent to her through the years.

“My theme for the placemats is flowers and butterflies,” said Whipple. “I’m thinking spring.”

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