Monday, 4 January 2016

6 Ways to Repurpose Old Christmas Cards

It's the New Year, and you're probably taking down Christmas decorations, and amassing a huge pile of Christmas cards to go into the recycling.
Maybe you're looking at some of the artwork reluctantly, thinking, "It seems such a waste to just throw these away..."

You're right. 
Which is why I've been beavering away to put together this post of 6 Ways to Repurpose Old Christmas Cards.
For the most part, these little crafts are easy--if you can cut and stick, you can do these!
Some of these will also help you save some time next Christmas.
Some are best done now, whilst some are worth leaving until closer to the festive season, when - provided you've dedicatd some time to chopping up old cards this January - you'll have all you need to crack on with some Christmas crafting (without having to fork out for expensive store-bought stuff).

So, starting with the most obvious...

1. Make Gift Tags for Next Christmas
Simply cut graphics and/or text from the cards, use a hole punch on one corner, and tie on a piece of ribbon or twine (I used jute string).
  • If pictures have something on the back, glue to coloured card first
  • Cut with pinking shears to get a zig-zag effect (you can buy craft scissors that will cut different shaped lines from paper)

2. Make Decorations for Next Year's Tree
Decorate images with ribbon, sequins, cabochons, or anything else you fancy, and add a loop of ribbon to the back in order to hang. (I glued everything on using a glue gun)

3. Frame Arty Cards for Seasonal Decoration
There's always someone (or several someones) who sends out greetings cards featuring amazing art prints, isn't there?
Keep them, and frame them to put out on display when the festive season rolls back around.

4. Make New Greetings Cards
Either reuse the entire image from an old card, or snip out aspects of other cards to create something entirely unique.
Glue to good quality card stock, or invest in a card-making kit, which will have completely blank cards ready-folded for you to decorate, along with matching envelopes.
Add further decoration with sequins, washi tape, etc.

5. Festive Letters and Poems
Use sections of old cards to make your Christmas missives look more tailor-made and seasonal, or handwrite a poem/quote on good quality card stock, and use your cut-up Christmas cards to decorate.
I think this 'Peace' text will lend itself well to a nice poem. :)

6. Decorate a 'Letterzine'
Okay, so this is similar to #5, and I've got to be honest here in that the one in the picture wasn't made especially for this post, but something I sent to my lovely friend Lilia, who blogs over at Paracosm of Lilies, somewhen last year.
I may write more specifically about letterzines in a future post, but this is where you use all those tiny pieces of christmas card, like painstakingly snipped-out robins and stockings and wreaths.
A letterzine is basically a combination of a letter ('Hey, how are you doing?') and a magazine ('A Recipe for Flapjacks') that is decorated to within an inch of its life.
Why not use Christmas card scraps on a page about little-known Christmas traditions, or wait until the festive season is upon us and make an entirely Christmas-themed letterzine?

Bonus Craft: Bunting! 
Cut out all the similar shapes (Christmas trees would work brilliantly!) and glue or staple to ribbon. There you have more decor for next Christmas!

I don't think I've used the word 'Christmas' so often in a post before!
I hope you found these ideas inspiring. I still have a stack of cards to work through, and a nice little pile of Christmassy imagery for my festive crafting come the end of the year.

Well, it's better than just popping them in a recycling bin, isn't it!
For more recycling projects, check out my recycling tag.


  1. Recycling cards is a really good idea! That little picture with the robin and the rabbit is so cute. It -should- be used twice! Haha <3

    (Also, the letterzine is still fabulous, thank you! :D)


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