Don't Throw Away Those Old Christmas Cards

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Don't Throw Away Those Old Christmas Cards
by Catherine Pulsifer

Each year we get lots of Christmas cards from family and friends. And, each year, I save them. But after a few years, the cards do become clutter!!

My nieces were visiting with us last weekend, and we dug out all the old Christmas cards. We had a fun time going through them, and making different crafts with them.

Below is a list of the crafts we made using old Christmas cards. They are simple to make, and from my experience with my children and my nieces, children love to make these!

- Bookmarks
The larger cards make great bookmarks. We cut the cards into strips of 6 - 7 inches long by 2 inches wide. We tried to get ones that included a picture or scene on it. We then punched a hole at the top of the strip and tied ribbon and/or string to the top. The girls made a couple for their parents, and, on the back, they wrote a personal message.

-Gift Tags
Why pay for gift tags when you can make your own!! We cut some of the cards in circles, and in squares, and with scalloped edges. Then on the back of the card, we used a marker to write: "To:", and, "From:". We also cut some larger ones, and folded them so they ended up being like a small card. For all the tags, we hole punched and tied thread through them. We ended up with enough tags to do all our gifts.

- Puzzles
We used two cards cut to the same size. Then, we glued them together so there is a picture on each side. Once dried, we then cut the cards into pieces and put in an envelope - an instant puzzle and a great stocking stuffer!!

The girls found some picture cards that they loved. So, they cut out the picture and we glued a magnet on the back. They were going to use them to decorate their fridge once they got home!!

- Merry Christmas Sign
From the pictures on the card, the girls cut out the letters for "Merry Christmas" (block size 2"). We then used thread and taped it on the back of each letter to keep the words together. They ended up with a colorful "Merry Christmas" sign.

- Ornaments
Using the picture from a card, and a piece of scrap material, they put together Christmas ornaments. For the back of the ornament they cut old material and glued it to the back of their Christmas picture. Before gluing, we placed a piece of cord between the card and the material so it formed a loop (cord was 8 inches long). This made the ornament ready to hang. We made the picture approx. 4", and the material piece was 4 �". We ended up with some great ornaments for their tree.

- Recipe Card
I have a recipe that the girl's Mum loves, and every time I make it, she says, "I must get that recipe from you". So, we took one of the cards and cut the card the size of a recipe card (5 inches by 3 inches). On the back of the card, one of my nieces wrote out the recipe. They will use the card to put in their Mum's stocking.

- Gift Bags
While you can buy gift bags for $1.00 at the dollar store, to a child those dollars add up. So we ended up using paper lunch bags and decorating them with pictures and words from the cards. For the larger gifts they had, we used a plastic grocery bag, turned it inside out and decorated the bag. We then tied different colored yarn at the top of the bag so once the gift was in the bag, they could tie the bag shut. The girls were very pleased with their creative gift bags!!

- Make New Christmas Cards
This is one project that I think every parent has been involved in. Fold a piece of construction paper in two. Cut out pictures and words, and glue onto the construction paper. Kids love doing this; my nieces are no exception!!

- Wrapping paper
For gifts that the girls did not want to put into bags, they made their own wrapping paper. We used brown packing paper (much cheaper than wrapping paper and a lot of fun to decorate). They then cut out pictures and words, and glued them onto the brown paper. I must say, their paper was just as nice and colorful as any that you would buy!!!

So, as you can see, we had a true craft weekend. But, more than that, we now have a tradition! The girls will have memories years from now of using old Christmas cards! As we made some of the crafts, we talked about the importance of recycling, and how old things can be made new again.

So, next time you want to throw out your old Christmas cards, please don't! If you don't have children to do these crafts with, give your old cards to a school or daycare to use!
About the Author:
Catherine Pulsifer is one of the authors of Stress Less Country - a lifestyle change! A journey to a simplified lifestyle - visit the site for a collection of articles, thoughts, quotes, and stories on: simplicity, stress, gardening, recycle & reuse, country crafts, saving money tips, and Atlantic Canada.


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