I am always a little bit sad in January when it’s time to take down all the Christmas decorations and return to life as usual.
After I put everything away in the attic, I am always left with a pile of Christmas cards. They are beautiful, but what can I do with them? I hate to just throw them in the recycling bin, but what other options are there? While I am pondering this question, I end up getting even more cards for my birthday. After displaying them on my fireplace mantel for a while, I am desperate to come up with a way to reuse all these greeting cards. Here are some of my favorite ideas.
Once you are finished displaying all of your lovely greeting cards, you can turn them into gift tags. Simply get a pair of scissors and cut out some pretty designs. Then you can write the recipient’s name on the tag and tape it right onto the gift. If you want the gift tags to look fancy, use scissors with some sort of pattern, such as pinking shears. If you want to tie your gift tag onto a bag, simply use a hole punch to create a hole in the corner of the tag. Then you can tie it on with a fancy ribbon. If you have older children, this is a great craft project for them.
Sometimes I receive greeting cards that are just too pretty for me to cut up. Instead, I use them as jumbo bookmarks. I particularly like to keep a stack of old cards in my kitchen to use as bookmarks in my cookbooks. They are large enough to stay in place in my big cookbooks and they make it easy for me to find the recipe that I intended to make that day. Old greeting cards also make great bookmarks for my children when they have somehow lost all of theirs.
Once upon a time, I actually managed to scrapbook. My first child has a beautiful baby book while my second child only has a little calendar that I wrote on. However, if you are more motivated than I am, you can reuse your old cards in your scrapbooks. I kept all of my children’s cards they received as newborns. I used them as decorations in my son’s scrapbook. One day, I swear I will manage to do the same for my daughter. I still have the cards waiting for me in the closet. This is also a great way to reuse children’s birthday cards.
Another way to reuse any type of greeting card is to turn it into a magnet. If you are looking for something simple and quick, simply cut out the shape you want from the card and glue a magnet onto the back. This is a great project for children. If you are looking for something a little fancier, you can buy small glass circles from a craft store. Cut out your card to fit the flat side of the circle and glue it on, with the picture facing up towards the glass. Then glue a magnet to the back. Make sure to let it dry, and then you’ll have cute magnets to decorate your refrigerator.
If you have younger children, you can turn your old greeting cards into puzzles for them. Cut the front off of a greeting card. On the inside, draw out the shape of the puzzle pieces. Make larger pieces for younger children and smaller pieces to challenge an older child. If you are going to make more than one puzzle, label the back of each piece of your puzzle with a number or letter to help identify which pieces go together.
If you are not feeling crafty, but still have a large pile of greeting cards sitting around, you can always donate them to a good cause. St. Jude’s Ranch for Children accepts donations of any type of greeting card all year long. They reuse the fronts of the cards to make new cards, which they then sell to raise money for their programs and services to help abused, neglected, and homeless children. Visit their website to find out more information.