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13 Ways to Reuse Holiday Cards

If you’re dreaming of a green Christmas, here are 13 ways to reuse holiday cards.

‘Tis the season to send and receive Christmas and holiday cards. Instead of tossing or recycling the cards, here are some creative ways to reuse them. Many of these ideas will also work for reusing birthday cards and other greeting cards.

I love receiving Christmas cards, and it’s always fun to hear from friends and see the latest photos. After the holidays are over, there are many creative ways to repurpose, recycle and reuse holiday cards.

Whether you’re looking for ways to upcycle old Christmas cards or want to reduce your environmental impact during the holiday season, you’ll enjoy these eco friendly ideas. Be sure to check out eco friendly unwrapping tips, too, and the wall decoration we made from toilet paper tubes!

A pile of Christmas cards, ready to be reused and recycled.

Here are 13 ways to upcycle your Christmas cards:

1. Make holiday ornaments from the cards. Little kids may prefer to simply cut out pictures from cards, decorate them a bit and hang them on the tree. 

Pro Crafting Tip: When you’re cutting out holiday designs, cookie cutters make nifty templates. Just trace around the cutter lightly with a pencil and cut away.

2. Save money by making your own holiday gift bags; simply glue colorful holiday card cut-outs on paper bags.

3. Create new Christmas cards by gluing the fronts of used cards onto plain paper or card stock.

4. Make a seasonal mosaic to hang on the wall by arranging card pieces in a pleasing arrangement and gluing on cardboard or construction paper.

5. Make Christmas placemats. You can ‘laminate’ the finished mat with clear contact paper if you wish.

6. Create gift tags for holiday packages like we did in the photo below. Use pinking shears or scrapbooking scissors to cut fancy edges, sprinkle with a little glue and glitter if you wish, or simply cut a simple tag from a pretty part of the design.

Pro Crafting Tip: A hole punch is handy for stringing ribbon or yarn through the card.

Homemade gift tags made from recycled Christmas cards.
Christmas cards repurposed as gift tags

7. Here’s a craft idea that young children can do:  make holiday magnets by gluing cut outs from cards on flat magnets. Sometimes you can find unused magnets stuck in the ‘yellow’ phone books.

8. Cut the cards into strips and make old-fashioned paper chains by gluing the strips into circles and interconnecting them. Hang the garlands on the tree or wrap them around a staircase railing.

9. Another kids’ craft: make a holiday bookmark by gluing a vertical strip cut from a card onto a pretty ribbon.

10. Make placecards for each seat at the holiday dinner. Sometimes you can utilize the plain back of a card cut into a rectangle for the placecard, which can then be decorated with a small cutout or sticker. Write each guest’s name on a card and everyone will know exactly where to sit.

11. Scrapbookers can use holiday card cutouts to decorate pages.

12. Make napkin rings by cutting 1-inch pieces from a paper towel tube or toilet paper tube and gluing pretty cut-outs on it.

13. At the end of the season, send unwanted holiday cards to St. Jude’s Card Recycling, 100 St. Jude Street, P.O. Box 60100, Boulder City, NV 89006.

How about you? Do you upcycle Christmas cards? If you have any additional ideas to share, drop a comment below!

P.S. You might also enjoy “One Family’s Real Simple Christmas.”

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is the author of 17 books, including Small Bites and 101 Things To Do With Bacon. She shares ideas to simplify cooking, gardening, time and money. She is also the owner of Cross Media, Inc. and founder of the BENSA Bacon Lovers Society.

3 thoughts on “13 Ways to Reuse Holiday Cards”

  1. Liz, thanks for posting such a great tutorial for a beautiful way to re-use holiday cards! I’m a big fan of your blog.
    All the best,

  2. This is such a crafty way to save money and paper around the holidays! I too am trying to focus on ways to save on my latest entry, and I’d really like to have a Christmas themed post. If you have a chance, check out my blog, and leave a comment if you’d like!


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