For instance, when I'm making an art journal from recycled items, my basic cardstock comes from here:
This is the cat food I'm using at the moment, yes, it is expensive, but my two eldest are on special diets right now, and they're worth it !
Here they are fighting over who gets the heated bed ! actually I have two, but just like kids, they both want the same one.
Anyway, back to the cat food box, the weight of the card is perfect for 'signatures' in your work and lightweight covers, also tabs and tags. When opened up and cut, this is what you get :
You see it turns into very useable sized pieces. The illustrations are still on the reverse of course, but they are almost always either painted over, or patterned papers stuck onto them.
These sized boxes are very useful too:
These are made of really strong card and are perfect for the covers of your journals. I use these very often for sending things through the post, covered in brown paper of course.
Even the narrow pieces can be used.
Now here is a free supply of good thickness brown paper for your crafts.
This, as you see, is am empty cat litter bag, most of them are double, the inside being plain brown, and very, very strong. Cut away the front layer to leave the inside layer ready.
Open up the seam, you can cut it if you like, but I don't like to waste anything ! This gives a piece approx. 28" x 15" - depending on what cat litter you use it's perfectly clean by the way.
Use it as it is, or I like this effect, scrunched up, ready for you to paint, print, stamp or draw on it, it's also strong enough to have small embellishment glued onto it.
The cat likes it too !
So before you go rushing off to your nearest hobby shop for materials for your next project, just look around at what you've got at home first, you can save a lot of money.
If you don't have pets, you must know someone who has, just ask them to save one or two boxes for you, and some litter bags. The large sized paper bags for dog food would be great too.