O coffee bag, o coffee bag, much pleasure do you bring me!

coffee bag Christmas tree ornament
At our house, the beverage of choice is coffee. We go through a bag a week, more on dark winter days. I save all the foil bags and am always looking for new ways to repurpose them.

This weekend I tried out a new technique using an old friend -- my paper shredder.

Here's what I started with -- an empty "Seattle Best" coffee bag, washed, dried and cut into a flat sheet. I trimmed off the top inch or so because I was afraid the thickness of the seal would damage my shredder.
foil coffee bag
When I fed the first bag into the shredder, I expected to find a tangle of long strips in the bin. But the sheet was intact. Well, almost intact. The shredder teeth had scored the bag instead of slicing it apart. 
foil coffee bag put through the shredder
It was pliable and strong -- a brand-new textile! But I couldn't experiment with my discovery just yet. I needed those thin strips for the project I had in mind. So I carefully cut apart the strips by hand.

My project? Look at the colors on the decaf bag. Red and green and white. Yes, I had to make something Christmasy. Specifically, simple triangular trees to add to a handmade card. 

First I made a template by tracing 3 triangles onto an old book page.
paper template
Then I swabbed a glue stick over the template and began laying down the strips, one by one. I alternated between right-side-up (red, green and white) and right-side-down (to reveal the shiny silver interior).
arranging foil strips
After the glue dried, I cut the piece into 3 triangles. I sealed each one with gloss veneer. This was probably a mistake because it dulled the shine of the foil.

Constructing the tree turned out to be much easier than choosing a background. I tried painting white card stock with acrylic paints. Too busy.
painted background
A simple red card worked better. And I finally got to put my "ho ho ho" stamp to use.
plain background with white stamp
It's not as flashy as I'd hoped. So I put two trees together and made a simple ornament. (Now I just need a real tree to hang it on.)
I also made a tree out of bits of green magazine pages. I think I like it better than the foil.
But I'm not giving up on my new texture -- I will find a way to use these "articulated" coffee bags. Stay tuned.

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