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How to Recycle Christmas Cards - 5 Fast Ways to Get Creative Even if you are NOT

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In years gone by Christmas cards would fill our living room to the brim.  We would have string after string attached to the walls and after opening and reading them we would display them on the wall.

This of course was before the internet, and when a long distance telephone call would cost you a second mortgage!  It was cheaper to send everything by mail.  My brother and I would look forward to these annual cards and would love the designs.  My mum would display them until the New Year then sadly they came down and either went into a drawer or thrown out.

Recycle Christmas Cards

Now a day, you may not get quite as many in the mail as the internet offers virtual moving Christmas greetings, but I still find it nice to find a greeting card in the mail box.  It is special to me because someone took the effort and time to pick one and then sign it, maybe add a little note then put a stamp on it and send it to me.  So I do have a hard time just throwing them in the recycling bin.  The blue bin is a wonderful tool now to keep paper out of the landfill but still it is hard to see them go.

So that is why it can be fun to give them one last “hurrah” as my granny would say!  Let them serve one more purpose or keep them for a long time.

1. Repurpose Christmas Cards into Gift Tags - The EASIEST Way to REUSE!

Simply cut the front decorative piece off of the card and cut out rectangles and then punch a hole for a pretty little ribbon and the address the back and attach to your gift.  That is the simplest way.  But if you are creative, you could make these gift tags with more detail as in the video below. You could use one Card for the back and then another for the window panes.   

Awesome Video!

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2. Tiny Frames to Frame Your Treasures!

At the dollar store you can get little wooden frames that you can then distress or paint any which way you want, then simply frame your card and display as a part of your festive decor.  If you have an old scene type card then distressing the frame would make it look old world.  You could then display these frames at the holidays.  This is especially a nice way to remember a particular greeting such as from a loved one.  I have done this with beautiful cards my relatives have given me who have passed, and it brings back warm memories, just like a hug.  Store them away in a plastic tote with a good lid and they will last forever and won’t take up much room.  They will certainly add to the decorations and personalize your holidays.

recycle christmas cards

3. Collage

This is a fun idea too.  This makes a larger frame than the ones above, but this can be a great family project.  Simply cut the cards off the backs and then rearrange them onto a piece of

recycle greeting cards
foam core board from the dollar store or a heavy board and then using white glue or tacky glue, glue them and let them overlap.  You can cut out shapes and arrange them. 

You could even keep the notes and greetings from inside and incorporate them into the collage.  Once it has dried, frame behind glass.  This would be the Christmas art that gets display every year.  I thought it would be cool to make a collage of just the greetings inside too; it would make a piece you would want to read each year and the memories of that person who sent you the greeting.

4. Upcycle to a New Greeting or Altered Art Christmas Cards

If you are into scrapbooking, this is something that you would have fun with.  But if not, put on your creative hat, and create a new card by adding bits of other cards to it with glue.  You could create brand new scenes.  This can become a “postcard” style greeting that you can send in the mail or to hand deliver.   

5. Create a Festive Gift Box

I was really impressed by how easy this is!  If you have a tiny gift to give, then consider recycling your old Christmas cards into a festive box!  Check out the video below to see just how easy this is.  Just remember to make the bottom part a little bit smaller as they show in the video.  You could make quite a few of these.  I thought they would be perfect to house gift cards or vouchers.

Hopefully the above ideas have got your creative juices flowing.  These ideas are not restricted to the holidays either; they are some awesome ideas for birthday greetings as well.  Don’t throw them out, but don’t hoard them either.  Let them have one more hurrah, and if the card is super special then don’t stuff it in a drawer, frame it!  If it is a truly festive scene, then store it carefully in a plastic tub with a sealed lid so it can be brought out each season to be enjoyed and treasured. 

Otherwise have fun cutting them up and making them into something else.  The above are the fastest ideas, so have fun and enjoy recycling your Christmas cards.

Gift Box Video

Get Creative!

You don't have to be an artist, to recycle Christmas Cards!  When you are taking down your decorations for the year.  Take a good look at your cards and sort them into piles that you can address later.  If there are very special ones, then set them aside to either frame or add to a organized collage.  This way you can remember for next year.

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