fun things to make with business cards
April 24, 2009 6:42 PM   Subscribe

what is the coolest thing I can make using 1000 redundant business cards?

My employer has recently changed phone systems and given out new phone numbers. As a result, all our business cards are now redundant.

The social club is holding a competition to see which team can build the best sculpture or other object out of their old business cards. What can my team build to ensure we win the competition and stay the coolest team in the building?

We have about 1000 cards between us, they are recycled board and uncoated. White with black print on the front, small coloured logo on the back. Other materials are allowed to supplement the business cards, but the cards have to be the dominant material. Jokes or ironic references to environmental politics will be a plus.

We are competing for the mere glory of winning and we have two weeks to build our ____________. Have at me, hivemind!
posted by girlgenius to Grab Bag (19 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
You can play 1000 blank white cards, for quite a while.
posted by jessamyn at 6:44 PM on April 24, 2009 [3 favorites]

Something like this menger sponge - you don't have anywhere near enough for something huge, but maybe their cube building technique will inspire you.
posted by azlondon at 6:55 PM on April 24, 2009

Suit of scale mail armor. If you want to get really fancy, treat them like paper mache and make full plate. Or you could lacquer them and go the samurai route.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:07 PM on April 24, 2009 [2 favorites]

flip book!
posted by apostrophe at 7:18 PM on April 24, 2009

Make your own version of the Eames House of Cards by cutting a small slot in each of the four sides of each card, and the building possibilities are pretty limitless.

For extra fanciness points you could even glue different paper to the cards. You can get giant packs of scrap-booking paper at dollar stores or print out inside office jokes, quotes, demotivators, etc.

With 1,000 of them, you can re-use your new toys by disassembling your sculpture, dividing them up into individual packs and handing them out for continued office enjoyment. Pass it off as recycling and, uh, boosting office creativity.
posted by thekilgore at 7:33 PM on April 24, 2009

You could do something using similar structures to playing cards.

If you have some engineers there you could perhaps work out a way of building a small box structure, maybe with small cuts in the cards to make it easier and stronger and then making something big out of that.

Perhaps a windmill would be appropriate? With thousands of cards you might be able to build something a few metres tall.
posted by sien at 7:40 PM on April 24, 2009

Is the phone number at the end, in some sort of easily-cut-off part?

Depending on design, maybe you could make some non-standard, smaller-size cards that simply have no phone number. Who uses phones anymore, anyway?

Or you could use rubber cement to make tiny notepads, using the corporate logo on back, etc. Again, best if you cut-modify them a bit first.

Also: that is not what redundant means. ;)
posted by rokusan at 7:51 PM on April 24, 2009

Make some awesome clothes. This dress only took 171 credit cards. You might have enough to make an outfit for everyone on your team.

Another idea - a mosaic based on the face of whomever you choose...someone involved in environmental politics, maybe? Color cards to match flesh and eye and hair tones etc.
posted by iconomy at 8:00 PM on April 24, 2009 [2 favorites]

Several thousand spliffs.
posted by pompomtom at 8:21 PM on April 24, 2009 [6 favorites]

Business card holders for the new cards.

One-time use log flume ride for wee little business card people.

Nightmarish business card whirleygig machine with propellers and pistons and gears turned by a crank.

Scale model of the building you work in, hinged to open with candy inside for everyone.

Impossible Escher structure that only looks right from one angle.

Trojan Horse. Just leave it and then don't show up to the meeting. But write a card saying who left it and that there's candy inside. Also inside is a card that says that by eating the candy they've accepted that your team is the winner. But it's at the bottom.

Just make something that holds candy. Trust me, bribes are the way to go here.
posted by cowbellemoo at 9:48 PM on April 24, 2009 [5 favorites]

Pasted to a wall (or a large piece of paper / cardboard), 1000 business cards would be a hell of a mural... Take your favorite subject or color scheme and draw enough cards to fill a wall.
posted by chrisinseoul at 11:27 PM on April 24, 2009

Several thousand spliffs.

Yep, I only had about 200 I think, but it kept me in roaches for a few months.
posted by opsin at 12:48 AM on April 25, 2009

(I have no idea how feasible this is)

Somehow, find a Mythbusters-style high-speed camera and film the cards being thrown off a high ledge. I bet that would make for awesome super-slo-mo footage.
posted by martens at 1:37 AM on April 25, 2009

find a Mythbusters-style high-speed camera and film the cards being thrown off a high ledge.

you could hack your Canon camera to take ultra-fast 1/60,000 second shots
posted by seawallrunner at 6:38 AM on April 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

leave them conspicuously around town as personal advertisements?
posted by howgenerica at 10:42 AM on April 25, 2009

Several thousand spliffs.

Unless it's soy, the ink is probably toxic when burned.
posted by rokusan at 2:28 PM on April 25, 2009

Do you guys really think she's going to win a work competition by making spliffs? Did you even read the question?

I'd make a big 3D loop the loop style racing car track for toy cars, similar to what Dr House was making in a recent episode. Or possibly see if they could be made to act like dominoes for a big run. Something kinetic and eye catching.
posted by shelleycat at 4:11 PM on April 25, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for all the good ideas, MeFi. So far I like think the Eames cards and the windmill have potential, and I like the domino idea. Incorporating candy in some way is probably a winner too.

Re the spliff discussion: cannabis is legal for personal use where I live, so an enormous collection of spliffs is probably not a novel enough idea to win. (and yes, the inks are soybased).
posted by girlgenius at 10:03 PM on April 25, 2009

If ironic environmental politics figures into it, as a waste of trees and all that, why not glue them together to form tubes, then construct a tree from it. Maybe use some coathanger wire inside to give it strength. Tell everyone since you can't use the cards any more, you're "returning" them.
posted by barc0001 at 2:04 AM on April 26, 2009

« Older How/where can I get a Dutch-style city bike in NYC...   |   Man was not meant to run, I swear. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.