It's sad to throw away Christmas cards. There's a bit of guilt when you don't keep some of them. Hoarding them in a box for years seems as wasteful as tossing them out. You can save some as keepsakes or reuse a few. How have you reused cards?
Here are a few ideas.
Cut sections into small gift tags for next year. Cut cards into whatever geometric shapes you like or use cookie cutters as a template to cut them into holiday themed shapes. One reader, Kim from Florida, shares: "I used some to decorate goodie bags. I cut out the card front (or picture portion of it) with decorative edged scissors, glued it to the front of a brown paper lunch bag, put the goodies inside, turned the top down a couple of times and punched two holes through, and tied it closed with curling ribbon."
Cut the prettiest parts of the card into the shape of a bookmark (roughly 1-1/2 inches by 6 inches). Use a hole punch and punch a hole at the top. Add a piece of yarn or ribbon as a tassel.
Glue the card closed. Use a hole punch to punch holes around the edge of the card. Provide shoelaces. Young children can use these to weave through the holes and practice small motor skills. If the holes tear, cut the cards and make small puzzles.
Make placemats by cutting off the pretty side of Christmas cards. Place it between a cheap vinyl place mat and a piece of Contact paper and trim excess from the edges. Make a holiday tablecloth by buying a clear vinyl tablecloth and use invisible tape to adhere the cards face down on the tablecloth so they show through the vinyl.
Cut the fronts off and use as postcards (be sure to cut to 4 inches by 6 inches, postcard size, if mailing) or use as recipe cards.
Use for craft projects. For example, use ModPodge and add a Christmas card collage to a wooden tray bought at a craft store. Use to serve food or drinks next Christmas.
Cut a Christmas card to fit inside a lid from a glass jar. You can paint the lid or glue glitter or sequins around the edge. Glue the card cutout into the lid. Visit www.junkmailgems.com/DIY_Ornament.html for a cute Christmas card ornament tutorial, too.
Use them when creating a new layout. Frame a card front or simply cut the front as a matting for a frame, too.
Use a few for shopping lists. It can be for routine shopping, or save them to jot down Christmas gift ideas in the upcoming year.
Sometimes you have leftover cards that you bought to send out. You might not want to send the exact same cards the following year. You can keep them for a couple of years and send them. Or swap with a few friends during your next get-together.
Donate your cards to St Jude's Ranch's recycled card program (stjudesranch.org/help_card.php). Children make new cards by using the fronts of donated cards and adding new card backs. They offer the following tips:
-- All types of greeting cards are used.
-- Only the card front can be used. (Please check to be sure the back side is clear of any writing, etc.)
-- They can'tt accept Hallmark, Disney or American Greeting cards.
-- 5 inches by 7 inches or smaller is preferred.
You can mail them to:
St. Jude's Ranch for Children
Recycled Card Program
100 St. Jude's Street
Boulder City, NV 89005
You can buy cards from them, too. Visit www.stjudesranch.org/store.
photo by Marina Pics