cards

Opening your mailbox is never a more cheery experience than during the holidays. When the postman delivers those corny cards with grinning families dressed in their best (or dorkiest) outfits, you can’t help but smile. Then there are the sentimental cards that make this time of year so special. You probably also receive cards from all of your extended relatives, and maybe even your dentist. While it’s the thought that counts, all of these holiday cards can pose a real clutter conundrum.

What do you do with holiday cards after you read them? It feels wrong to just toss them in the recycle bin, but you can’t hoard them away Christmas after Christmas. Instead, repurpose your correspondence into other crafty items. Reuse your holiday cards with these five ideas.

1. Repurpose into gift tags

Snip, trim and reassemble those holiday cards into gift tags for next year. The scenes on the front of the cards make the perfect backdrop for gift tags. To make your repurposed gift tags, first remove the message part of the card from the front flap. Save the sentimental side of the card—the Christmas greetings and handwritten notes—or use those for gift tags too! Shape your cards into rectangles, squares, circles, octagons…the options are limitless. Remember to punch a small hole in each repurposed gift tag as a place to secure the tag with ribbon or string to next year’s gifts.

2. Make a garland

Create an easy garland for next year’s holiday decorating using this year’s cards. (Or, make a garland to display this year. There’s still time!) All you need is a long ribbon and something to secure the cards to the ribbon, like clothespins or binder clips. Then, simply take your long ribbon or string and secure your cards along the ribbon with your clothespins. It’s that easy! Hang your garland along your mantel, drape it along your staircase railing, or even secure it to your front door. Swap out the cards as new ones arrive or create a theme with similar-colored cards.

3. Adorn your wreath

This one doesn’t take a lot of effort. Secure holiday cards to your current wreath using clothespins or clips to add some more cheer to what you already own. If you want to get a bit more crafty, then create your own clothespin wreath by hot gluing clothespins to a wreath form. You could also use any circular-type item for the wreath base, such as an embroidery hoop. Once all of your clothespins are attached, you can secure holiday cards using each clothespin. Voilà. A card wreath.

4. Crafty all year

Save your holiday cards and use them all year in any way that you would use scrapbook paper. You can reassemble the cards into new cards, cut them apart for craft projects, create bookmarks, and more. It’s always handy to have some extra paper around.

5. Frame them

Decorating your home for the holidays can get expensive. Instead of buying new décor each year, reuse what you already own, starting with this year’s Christmas cards. Simply frame your favorite images from this year’s Christmas cards—A wintery scene? A cheery reindeer?—and then mount them on the wall during the holidays. Talk about cheap art.

How do you reuse your holiday cards? Let us know by commenting!

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image: the green gables