15 Creative Ways to Recycle Christmas Cards

Frugal Parenting (featured column)
by Rachel Keller

Every year people spend millions of dollars buying and sending Christmas cards. While you can save significant money by purchasing cards after Christmas, what do you do with all the cards you received from family and friends each year?

*  *  *

While it’s easier just to throw your old Christmas cards out when the holidays are over, consider trying one of these creative ideas instead:  

* When we first receive our cards, we like to hang them around doorways for a very festive look. I know others who hang cards on stairway railings.

* Once the Christmas season is over, we place our Christmas cards into a basket. Throughout the year, we like to review Christmas cards and letters and pray for that family on that day. (You could place the cards into a notebook instead of a basket.)

* Some Christmas cards have sentimental value. Place these in a family scrap book.

* Many Christmas cards make great ornaments. Cut out various scenes and decorate with raffia, glitter, buttons, etc. You can make an ornament with a single card or glue two cards back-to-back. Cut into different shapes for variety.

* Try making some aluminum pie tin ornaments from meat pie or dessert pie tins. Cut a Christmas card to fit the inside of the tin. Glue the card into the center. Punch a hole on top and thread some string through to hang on the tree. (I made these ornaments when I was little and still have one that is 30 years old!)

* Some cards make beautiful pictures when framed. I currently have a couple framed cards hanging in my house. No one realizes that they are recycled Christmas cards.

* Use a pretty Christmas card as a bookmarker.

* Cards make great craft ideas. My six-year old son took a picture from a card. He made a popsicle frame for it and glued buttons and other decorations on the popsicle sticks. His craft won a ribbon at our local fair.

* Have your children make their own Christmas cards by cutting apart pictures and even the words from inside the card.

* Cut apart the cards to use for gift tags. Use decorative scissors for more flair.  (Editor's Note: Large cookie cutters make great shapes for gift tags too!)

* Some Christmas cards make wonderful postcards. Write a message on the back and attach a postcard stamp. You save money on the card and postage!

* Make festive Christmas magnets with Christmas cards and stick-on magnets. These make great gifts, too!

* Design Christmas placemats. Cover with contact paper. Just wipe with a damp sponge or cloth when dirty.

* Create a coaster with a CD and Christmas card. You might want to shellac the coaster to protect it.

* Make a Christmas wreath or Christmas collage with your cards.

* Recycle scraps or cards you can’t use instead of tossing in the trash.

*  *  *

Readers' Tips
Compiled by Editor

How do you reuse your Christmas cards? We would love to hear from you!

"I save the fronts from all the cards and tape them onto the next year's packages, writing messages over the picture as frugal gift cards." -  Julia H. D.

"Hi there. I take old Christmas cards and make them into book markers. I punch a hole on them and add a ribbon.  People like getting them for Christmas." - Teresa

*  *  *

Copyright © 2005-2013 by Rachel Keller. All rights reserved.

"It's not about being able to spend more money.
It's about enjoying and managing what you already have... BETTER!"
- Michelle Jones, Founder of BetterBudgeting
Sign up today and receive 2 ebooks (Dealing with Debt and 101 Coupon Tips) with your Free Membership. The Ebook gifts will be included in your Welcome letter! :o)

You may also like to read...

BetterBudgeting is a trademark and Living a Better Life® a registered trademark of BetterBudgeting.com and it's parent company, Blue Ridge Publishing, Inc.