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An Alternative to Recycling Christmas Cards and Gift Wrappings?

By Edited Nov 24, 2014 8 16

Perhaps you ...
  • ... are already following the trend and recycle your Christmas cards or gift wrapping paper as "new" cards and gift tags, or as material for crafts projects like Christmas tree ornaments, paper garlands, scrapbooking ...?
  • ... like the idea of it, but simply haven't got the time to do so?
How about taking it a step further and making your Christmas cards and gift wrappings reusable in the first place?

Personalized Christmas Cards

No matter if you buy your Christmas cards or handcraft them yourself - here is a suggestion on how to make them not only reusable, but also (even) more personal:

Insert a loose folded sheet on which you write your greetings. Next Christmas, all the recipient has to do is to replace the insertion and buy a new envelope :)
  • Select a small photo or cartoon, quote, poem, Christmas carol or song lyrics, ... , anything that expresses what you want to convey - or that is simply decorative.
  • Choose (or make) Christmas cards which will fit into standard-sized envelopes.
    • Time-Saver-Tip: One size for all will make it easier for you, especially if you are a prolific card writer :)
  • Unfold a card and measure it. Subtract about 1/2" (12mm) from both the length and the width of the card. This will be the size of your insertion.
  • Print or photocopy the insertions with the image or text. Trim them down to size and fold in half.
    • Time-Saver-Tip: Many photocopy centers offer cutting and folding as well.
  • If you like, add a few handwritten words and your signature.
Don't be surprised if, some day, one of your cards finds its way back to you - it does happen, even years later and after an intriguing journey :)

Alternative Ideas for Christmas Gift Wrappings

  • The idea to present your gift in gift boxes is anything but new; some of them have quite a considerable life expectancy as storage boxes, too. So how about using a decorative storage box right away? You can find them in offline or online stores for office supplies, household products and interior design. - Or get some plain cardboard ones and spruce them up with paper, paint, fabric, labels, old-fashioned metal corners, ...
  • Another quick, easy and inexpensive way to wrap presents is to use tea towels instead of wrapping paper. You can often find cheap tea towels in packs of 5, 10, or more. Tie them up and decorate them with pretty ribbons and gift tags.
    • Caution: Please do not use pins! For keeping the towel temporarily in place you can use self-adhesive tape or safety pins. Remove them after you have fastened the ribbon.
  • Now what about children - and anybody else ;) - who will be disappointed if they can't tear and rip the paper off their present? No problem: white kitchen paper towel looks very "wintery" already. And even in bits and pieces it will still do its job later in your kitchen, bathroom or workshop. Of course you can decorate it traditionally with ribbons, bowties and small Christmas ornaments. But you can also disguise your gift, preferrably soft items like clothing: Fold, bundle and wrap them and then, with a few coloured paper cutouts, turn them into snowmen, snowwomen, snowgirls, snowboys, snowdogs, snowcats, ...
  • Crafters of any age and either gender, and of course young treasure hunters and collectors, appreciate boxes with multiple compartments or drawers. OK, only smallish gifts will fit in - but loads of them! ;)
Have fun - and a Merry Christmas!



Nov 5, 2009 6:19pm
I love the card ideas. This is a really great article.
Nov 6, 2009 11:43am
Love all your creative ideas. Great article!
Nov 6, 2009 11:04pm
Thank you jcmayer777 and JennyHeart for your encouragement :)
Nov 7, 2009 11:27am
Some great ideas on recycling for the holidays!
Nov 8, 2009 10:52pm
Great article! :) ...and, a "thumbs-up"! ;) :)
Nov 11, 2009 10:19pm
Great ideas to save money in these more troubled times
Nov 15, 2009 1:16am
Thanks to all of you! :)
Nov 17, 2009 1:27am
Great tips for all gift giving. TX thumbs up!
Dec 8, 2009 5:39pm
These are really creative ideas, great work!!!! :)
Dec 8, 2009 8:27pm
Very creative ideas, great work!
Dec 9, 2009 10:19am
They couldn't have picked a better article for the front page!
Dec 9, 2009 7:51pm
Well done! These ideas are great.
Dec 11, 2009 9:15pm
Forgot to mention...We are able to buy beach towels at a local department store for 75-90% off in November, so they only cost a couple of bucks each. We've used those in the past to wrap up gifts.
Dec 12, 2009 4:52pm
Thank you for writing on this subject; I am a recycle fanatic. Rated
Dec 16, 2009 2:07pm
Great Idea! It's good to recycle and save money also.
Feb 17, 2010 1:50pm
Thanks to all of you - and Happy New Year! I know it's a bit late, but since end of November (until this afternoon) we haven't had a computer, so no internet, no email ...
jcmayer: I'm not sure if I got this right: Has my article been on the front page??
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