By Lindsay Adams
Every November and December a great tradition is remembered and shared with family and friends: sending out Christmas cards. For some, it’s the only time of year friends and relatives hear what’s going on in your family’s lives. Sending Christmas cards is a great way to let people know they are in your heart and your mind during the holiday season.
But what happens to those cards after the holiday season is over? Do you simply throw them out? If it really is the only time of the year you have any contact with certain loved ones, this may not be an option, especially if you receive any photo Christmas cards. If you don’t want to throw out last year’s Christmas cards and don’t have the room to store them in a box in the attic, here are a few crafty ideas to re-purpose old Christmas cards, and be eco-friendly too!
Photo Album or Scrap Book
The easiest was to display any Christmas cards you may have received is by simply putting them in a photo album. Since many Christmas cards usually have pictures of friends and family, a photo album is a great place to keep them. But photo albums can be, well, a bit boring. Why not put the pictures in a scrapbook? Scrap booking is a creative way to store pictures and memories. You can add all kinds of embellishments turning your pictures and cards into art. This is a great rainy (or snowy) day project for the kids, also. Get them each their own scrap book and supplies (most dollar stores carry them) and let them stretch their creative muscles.
If you have Christmas cards with reindeer, snowmen or Santa Claus on them, they can make great Christmas tree ornaments. Glue the front and the back of the card together. Once the glue is dry, cut out the picture on the front that you want to use as an ornament. Using a hole punch, make a hole at the top of the ornament and use a pretty piece of ribbon to hang the ornament on the tree. If you want, you can wipe some clear glue on the front of the ornament and sprinkle on glitter. If you have cards with winter scenes on them, you can cut out the front of the card in a candy cane or star shape, creating a neat ornament as well. The possibilities are endless.
Making placemats out of old Christmas cards is a great craft project for the kids. Using an 11X17 piece of paper as your backing, create a collage using your Christmas cards, gluing the pictures in place. Once done, get the placemats laminated to protect the pictures and they are ready to be used. This is a great way to display cards from family and friends.
If you don’t want or need placemats, you can create a picture collage the same way. Just frame your collage when you’re done and hang on the wall. Instant art, and surely a conversation starter!
These make great add-on gifts or stocking stuffers. Glue the front and the back of the card together. Using a ruler, mark where you want to cut the card. You can make the book mark as thin or wide as you want. Cut out the bookmark. Use pinking shears for a cool zig-zag look. With a hole punch, punch out a hole at the top and run a piece of ribbon through.
When people send Christmas cards, they rarely ever write on the inside front of the card. Cutting the front of your Christmas cards away from the back gives you an instant recipe card. Write your favorite Christmas recipe and include the recipe card in your own Christmas cards next year. It’s a great way to recycle Christmas cards and spread some Holiday cheer.
As you can see, there are many ideas for re-purposing your old Christmas cards you just have to use your imagination. This year, don’t throw out your Christmas cards, make a craft project eco-friendly by reusing past years cards.
What other craft ideas have you seen that re-purpose old cards? Share with us in the comments below.
About the Author
Lindsay Adams is a regular blogger on the GalleryCollection.com blog, and enjoys writing about Christmas cards, craft ideas, and eco-friendly living.