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Five Creative Ways to Reuse Holiday Cards

This year you can do your part to recycle while being cleverly creative at the same time—and who knows, perhaps even inspiring more creativity from your family in the process.

What you will need:
 Hole punch, scissors, pinking shears, glue stick, tape or stapler, and raffia or ribbon.

1. Place Cards
 Cutting out an image from the front of a card makes a quick and simple place card. Rather than a fold-over design, these cards are designed to be supported by a cross-beam at the bottom, like stand-up paper dolls. Obviously these place cards will not all have the same design—but that is part of their charm. Determine how big you want the place cards to be—it’s better to have place cards with different images than to also have them each be a different size. You may even want to consider a common color theme if you want a more cohesive look.

2. Post Cards
 The US Post Office will mail anything as a post card as long as it has a stamp on it, so why not have fun and create your own post cards?  You’ll need a card that still has a blank space on the back of the image. To make each look more professional look use you pinking shears to trim the borders.

3. Gift Tags
 The key to making the tags look extra special is to also use odds and ends of holiday ribbon. Cut the gift tag out using the most appropriate part of the card image. Look carefully at your card images: remember that gift tags are usually not the size of a greeting card, so each old card can often can be used to make 2 or more gift tags. Punch a hole in your new tag, then string it with your odds and ends ribbons or raffia.

4. Recycle into Another Card
  I recommend this as a great rainy-day (or snow-day) craft project for kids. There are two types of cards to use. If the greeting is printed upon a paper insert (versus on the card itself), when this insert is removed you have a fresh card remaining. Other cards can be used: if a card has a repeating image or graphic design on the front, these card fronts can be folded in half to create a new card—the image simply continues onto the back.

Then use 8 ½ X 11 inch paper stock to make envelopes. Place the card on the center of the paper so that you have two large borders of blank paper and two smaller borders extending out from the four sides of the card. Fold the two smaller borders of paper over the card and crease them in place. Repeat with the larger sides, then secure the ends with tape or fun festive stickers.

5. Make Decorations: Tree Ornaments and Chain Garlands

For tree ornaments, follow the same instructions as for the gift tags, above, however this time you want to follow the shape of the image itself—so look for complete images of objects. I also like finding celebratory words, like “Joy” and “Peace”. Punch a hole at the top and string with ribbon or raffia.

For the garland, use any cards that just haven’t really been appropriate for other projects. Use your scissors or pinking shears to cut each card lengthwise into strips less than an inch wide—there is no need for making each strip the same width. Join one end to the other to make a loop, securing with a staple. The next loop should be through the first one, and so on. The best results come from mixing the patterns of each loop.

This year re-use, repurpose and rescue those holiday cards into something fun and memorable. It’s holiday crafts made simple and sMARt. 

And there you have it.

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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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