Christmas on the Cheap: Uses for cards


My kitchen table on Saturday. There

Confession: I really, really dislike throwing away greeting/holiday cards. I think to myself, “Somebody paid a small fortune for this card for me, and I looked at it for five minutes, displayed it for a week or two and now I’m pitching it.” I feel wasteful throwing them away.

So for the past four Christmases, I’ve kept every single card I’ve received. I always planned on doing something with them, but really didn’t have a specific game plan. I think Christmas cards are mini works of art, and for me, the more glitter the better. They’re too pretty to pitch. So I came up with a little idea.

Ta da! Instant gift tags. I’m not sure how I came up with the idea, but it’s not new or even original. My mom informed me that my grandmother did the same thing when she was growing up.

Here’s what you need:

  • Stencils or cookie cutters
  • Scissors or pinking shears
  • You inner kid for the patience to trace and cut again, or an actual kid who is good with pair of scissors

I used bell and tree-shaped cookie cutters for my tags or just cut along free standing shapes like squares or ovals. I alternated between scissors and pinking shears for the edges of the tags. Sometimes I cut out specific spots on the card that I wanted on the tag, other times I went for words or maybe I just wanted a tag with lots of glitter. Tip: Make sure when you’re tracing the stencils/cookie cutters that the back of the tag is blank so you can write the recipient’s name.

Three for the price of one!

I plan on punching holes in them and threading them with ribbon to attach them to gifts or just use tape to tack ‘em on. Yes, I will miss the ease of self-stick kinds of tags, but I think these are much more beautiful and practical. Oh yeah – they didn’t cost me a dime.

There are a few other projects you can create with old cards as well. I made ornaments out of them in elementary school and I recommend for a fun kid project. Martha Stewart has some good directions at this link. WikiHow has a fantastic page with 14 different uses for cards, including making gift boxes, bookmarks, post cards and more.

What do you do with your old cards?

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12 responses

  1. That is exactly one of the things I do with them, though the cookie cutter idea is awesome! Another thing is I use the entire folded out card on packages that I ship out – the intended’s address goes on the blank part and sometimes I just cut the card up. Makes the box more festive! ~d.

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  3. I can’t stand throwing beautiful cards away either. I use them for gift tags as well. With the beautiful front of a card glued on to plain white wrapping paper (which always costs less) you have a pretty package.

  4. I’ve made little boxes/ornaments out of them before and I feel like in the distant past I used them as gift tags, but must’ve completely forgotten because in the past years I’ve just recycled them. I’m WAY excited to use the ones I got this year for gift tags next year! I will, however, have to make a note and paperclip it to the cards or I will surely forget why I saved them. :)

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