No one wants to throw away Christmas cards after Christmas. It seems like such a waste! I have a few creative ideas for recycling Christmas cards from visitors to my web site, as well as a few crafty ideas of my own:
If there was no writing or printing on the reverse side of the front of the card, use the picture portion of the card as a post card type Christmas card. On the blank side draw a dividing line; write a message on one side, and on the other side write the recipient’s address and place the postage stamp. Not only does this recycle old cards, it saves money on postage because it is cheaper to mail postcards than letters.
Use pinking shears to cut designs in the front of an old Christmas card. Glue each design to a small folded construction paper card to make simple gift tags. Then you can write the “From:” and “To:” names on the inside of the gift tag.
Cut out pictures you like and glue them to construction paper and laminate it. You will have pretty placemats for Christmas dinner.
One year I used my Christmas cards to create a keepsake album for family Christmas letters. I cut the cards into different shapes and decoupaged them to cardstock I had cut to 8 1/2 x 11 size. I bound the album together by punching three holes in the cover as well as in the Christmas letters. I tied the album together with holiday ribbons. You could also slip the cardstock into the cover of a three-ring binder. I used an antique colored decoupage to give the album an aged look.
This year I am using my Christmas cards (plus a few cards saved from previous years) to create a keepsake ornament container for my college aged daughter. I was watching television, eating popcorn from my holiday popcorn tin, and all the sudden it hit me that the tin container would make a perfect storage container for Christmas ornaments. I will decoupage the Christmas cards to the tin container, and use the container to store ornaments we have been buying for my daughter every year for her to have when she gets married. She will also have a beautiful keepsake ornament container.
Using old Christmas cards can be very sentimental. In just a few short years you may be holding on to Christmas cards from relatives who aren’t around any more. What better way to remember them than preserving their handwriting in creative ways that your family will enjoy for generations to come.
Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom who is the author of What’s for Dinner?, an e-cookbook containing more than 250 quick easy dinner ideas. For more recipes, organizing tips, home decorating, crafts, holiday hints, and more, visit Creative Homemaking.