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Christmas Card Craft Ideas

DIY holiday craft project where you make blue wrapping paper and red polka dot ribbon with a reindeer jumping

As much as we rely on digital communications today, Christmas cards are a tradition that has remained fairly constant from year to year. A mailbox full of brightly colored cards from our friends and family signals the approaching holiday season.

If you're sentimental, you'll save every card and display it proudly on your mantle until the cheery season has passed. But what do you do with your cards after New Year's Eve? Don't throw those cards into the recycle bin — with a bit of creativity, you can transform those old cards into long-lasting decorations that you can use for many Christmases to come!

Easy Christmas Crafts to Try and DIY

They're bright, festive and remind you of the people you love — Christmas cards are perfect for using as holiday decorations!

red white gold envelope with colorful holiday sharpie pens
  1. Pinterest is bursting with ideas for ornaments made from repurposed Christmas cards. From traditional ornament balls made from festive rounds of cardstock, to pretty paper stars, handcrafted ornaments can give your Christmas tree a delightfully old-fashioned look. Plus, it's a fun project to try with kids!
  2. If you have a particularly large stack of cards, consider transforming them into a wreath for your front door. This project may be time-consuming, but it results in a one-of-a-kind decorative item that you can use for many years.
    • Simply snip your old cards into the shape of leaves.
    • Hot glue them onto a wreath form.
    • Top it all off with a bow for an adorable adornment for your front door.
    For a slightly simpler take on the project, glue a selection of circle cutouts into a round shape for a wreath that lies flat against your door. In minutes, you will have a cute DIY Christmas wreath.
  3. Greeting cards are perfect for adding color to your holiday tablescape
    • Sort through your collection.
    • Pick a color scheme.
    • Use them to create place cards, napkin rings, centerpieces and more.
  4. Create festive garland
    • Cut out large triangles from old cards.
    • String them onto ribbon or rustic twine.
    • Hang your colorful pennant over the fireplace, above the door, or across a bay window.

Say hello to DIY Christmas decorations that didn't cost a thing!

Recycled Crafts for Adults

Is it tacky to make a gift out of something that was given to you? Not if you're making a project from old Christmas cards! Once again, these pretty papers offer plenty of options for creating gifts from scratch, or simply adding an extra-special touch to your packaging. Who doesn't love DIY Christmas gifts?

White and red holiday candles next to candy canes apples and cookies in front of a decorated Christmas tree
  1. If you have old cards handy in the house, use them as cute gift tags during a festive holiday party.
    • Simply cut them into rectangles or your preferred shape.
    • Punch a hole in one end.
    • Loop a string through, and use it to label your loved ones' presents.
  2. Mason jars can hold all sorts of lovely little gifts, from homemade cookie mix to scented salt scrubs. Top off these personalized presents with a matching circular card.
    • Use your jar lid as a template, and trace around the front or back of the recycled card.
    • Cut it out, and then stick it to the top of the lid, before screwing the ring back on.
    • Decorate it as you see fit!
  3. Do you have an especially nostalgic friend or family member? Save those extra-special holiday cards—especially the ones with photos and heartfelt messages, and use them to create a memory photo album. Hold the cards together using a hole punch and D-rings, or take it a step further by inserting them into a recycled book binding.
  4. If you're gifting jewelry this season, (or a similarly small present) cards can easily be used to make miniature boxes or gift pouches. A touch of hot glue and some nimble fingers are all you need to transform your cards into a 3-D vessel your recipients will want to hold onto.

Arts and Crafts for Kids

Here's a DIY idea for the recycler in you: Use your old Christmas cards to create new Christmas cards! That's right, the thick papers, pretty patterns and seasonal colors of your card collection are perfect for repurposing into handcrafted cards.

You'll want to start with plain cardstock in a neutral or seasonal shade, like white, red, or green. Then whip out your scissors and start snipping your favorite imagery from old cards. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Create colorful presents.
    • Cut various sizes of squares from festive patterned paper.
    • Paste them on your cardstock.
    • Add a bit of ribbon with strips of contrasting paper to complete the package.
    • The same can be done with ornaments, stockings, candles and other holiday-themed objects.
  2. What do you get when you combine a triangle and a small rectangle? With the right proportions, you've got a Christmas tree!
    • Look beyond green and brown and have fun creating trees out of your favorite holiday patterns.
    • The end result will be a modern, somewhat minimalist card with style to spare.
  3. Use the decoration idea above to create a miniature version on paper.
    • Just cut out small triangles and "string" them (with glue) along a line of thread—or, more accurately, a swipe of black ink on cardstock.
    • To send a more obvious holiday message, add some letters to each pennant to spell out a favorite seasonal phrase, from "Ho Ho Ho" or "Noel".

Host a Holiday Party

Bright gold holiday tablescape for entertaining guests during a classy holiday Christmas party

Hopefully these ideas will give you plenty of inspiration for repurposing your old Christmas cards. If you need an extra push, consider hosting a craft night devoted to holiday DIYs. Invite your friends to bring their own stack of Christmas cards, and set the scene with your favorite holiday tunes, refreshments and plenty of crafting supplies. By the end of the night, your cards will be transformed into something new! Have fun with these affordable craft ideas! Holiday cards are too pretty not to display around the home this year.

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