Upcycling Vintage or Used Christmas Cards

Retro Staff |  Comments
Gift Tag from Recycled Card

Cut main images from Christmas cards to make gift tags.

While packing up your Christmas decor, you might be tempted to toss all those cards in the trash or recycle bin. Don’t! There are plenty of creative things you can do with them – from making cards for next year to supporting a good charity. Here are some ideas, all culled from my Mom and a few friends over the years.

  • Use them as gift tags. My mother never bought holiday tags. Instead, she cut images out of the previous year’s cards and taped them to packages. Leave some space around the image for writing a personal message.
  • Make new cards. Using a straight cutter, cardstock and glue, it’s easy to make new cards others will thoroughly enjoy. For the insides you can print new messages, adhere ones from other cards, or write something original. Sometimes I use glitter glue or ribbon to spruce it up.
  • Christmas card ornament

    You can make ornaments out of old Christmas cards. From simple borders with yarn, to ornate ones with thread and a crochet needle… You’ll find ideas like this at S.C.R.A.P.

    Make ornaments. Use a circle cutter or straight cutter and frame an image with cardstock, fabric or lace. You can also use a hole punch around the edges and crochet a frame.

  • Make magnets. Mount card images on cardboard or laminate them. Attach a strip of magnet and voila, instant holiday refrigerator decor.
  • Make a photo matte or photo collage. Mount small photos over the cards words and other images, using the background art as the accent. Pop in a picture frame. These make great gifts, too.
  • Donate them. If you’re not feeling crafty, mail your used cards to the St. Jude’s Ranch for Children. Through the organization’s Recycled Card Program, kids make new cards and sell them to help them learn skills and support services. Save on postage by only sending card fronts. Read the guidelines here.

And that’s just the beginning. There are hundreds of craft projects that call for used cards – a quick online search will return many creative ones.

Do you upcycle your greeting cards? We’d love to hear your ideas.

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Last updated: Dec 26, 2012
Filed under: DIY & Upcycling Tagged with: DIY, retro Christmas, retro crafts