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10 Recycled Christmas Card Crafts

christmas card crafts

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!

  1. Make Christmas Ornaments

    diy christmas ornaments

    Pinterest is bursting with ideas for ornaments made from repurposed Christmas cards. From traditional ornament baubles made from festive cardstock cutouts 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. Create a Christmas Wreath

    diy christmas wreath ornament

    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 and 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. String a Garland

    diy christmas garland

    Create festive garland out of old cards. Cut out large triangles or circles from old cards, string them onto ribbon or rustic twine and hang your colorful pennant over the fireplace, above the door, or across a bay window. To send a more obvious holiday message, add some letters to each pennant to spell out a favorite seasonal phrase like "Ho Ho Ho" or "Noel".

  4. Decorate Your Holiday Table

    christmas table décor diy

    Use old Christmas cards to create place cards, napkin rings, centerpieces and more. You'll most likely already have everything you need to make this simple pinecone table decoration!

  5. Create Gift Tags and Decorations

    diy christmas gift

    This DIY is a simple way to add a special homemade touch to your gifts this year. Cut your Christmas cards into various holiday shapes like Christmas trees, and glue or tape them onto your gift wrap. You can either leave them blank as decorations or handwrite the recipient's name like on a gift tag.

  6. Make Your Own Gift Box

    diy christmas gift box

    If you're gifting jewelry this season, 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.

  7. Start a Scrapbook

    christmas card scrapbook

    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.

  8. Create DIY Mason Jar Lids

    diy mason jar christmas gift

    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.

    1. Use your jar lid as a template, and trace around the front or back of the recycled card.

    2. Cut it out, and then stick it to the top of the lid, before screwing the ring back on.

    3. Decorate it as you see fit!

  9. Make Holiday Decorations

    diy christmas decorations

    Using just old cards and scissors you can create your own Christmas d├ęcor for around the house. Get inspired by origami-style folding to create your own holiday shapes.

  10. Get a Start on Next Year's Holiday Cards

    diy christmas cards

    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. This one is especially great if your kids want to start sending their own holiday cards this year.

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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