SC Johnson Family Economics Blog
Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Recycled Greetings | Family Economics

By Cathe Holden

After Christmas, I can never bring myself to throw out the holiday greeting cards that are sent to us each year. With all the beautiful images, graphics and sentiments, I hate to see them go. Every winter, as I bring in the containers of Christmas decorations from the barn to begin the holiday decorating, I find my stacks of the previous year’s greetings neatly tucked into several Ziploc® bags. If you’ve been hanging onto your cards as well, even leftover new cards from a previous year’s mailing, this might just be the holiday to clean out and recycle them.

With inexpensive card stock and envelopes from a paper supply house or craft store, you can create your own uniquely clever and thrifty holiday greeting cards. Simply handwrite or use your computer and desktop printer to add sentiments to the front, inside and back. You may want to print information on the back about your reuse of old cards, as everyone appreciates a recycler!Recycled Greetings

Here are some quick and easy ideas for reusing old holiday cards for creating your own unique greetings:
• Trim out old card images into frames for placing over your family’s photo.
• Cut out rectangles to center on the front of the blank cards and add touches of glue for dusting with shiny mica flakes or glitter.
• Weave strips of various card images into paper hearts or squares.
• Tile small squares into a quilt pattern.
• Use long folded strips as “book spines” for your cards with a small cut image glued to the front top center and sentiment handwritten below.
• Cut large circles; add a small color square to the top. Hole punch the square and tie a loop to simulate an ornament to attach to the front of card.
• Using a decorative punch, punch out shapes from the fronts of old cards and arrange them.
• Give the littlest ones in your family child-safe scissors for cutting out their own fun shapes for the fronts of cards and let them sign their name below or on the back.
• Trim out a long decorative strip from a card, hole punch and add a simple string tassel to create a bookmark to tuck into your card.

When your own cards are finished, share your extra un-cut cards with a school for holiday classroom crafting.


9 Comments so far

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On Tuesday, January 19, 2010, Lauren from Washington wrote

I made sautered glass ornaments from my recycled cards. The glass was a 1x3" or 2x2" purchased from a craft store. I sandwiched the desired cards between the two pieces of glass and then sautered around it, glued a bail at the top and strung it with ribbon. I sold quite a few of them at a craft fair and also attached them to a kitchen towel for gifts to my friends.

On Monday, January 11, 2010, mommasunflower wrote

I thought next year I would make post card Christmas cards out of my old recieved card. ((being sure not to send the same one back to the same person of course.)) and This year my niece used some of her old cards as name tags on the bags that she used.

On Wednesday, December 30, 2009, Kath from Out on a Whim Studio wrote

I love this, and want to sit down and make Christmas cards tonight (Dec. 30) from this year's stash! Is it too late and/or tacky to send them to the people I never got one out to this year???? Another thing you can do is use the designs in scrapbooks, or on tags :) thanks another Kath

On Sunday, December 27, 2009, GG from Fl wrote

Would love to see some ideas using family photos. This year I designed my own Christmas card using a picture of each of my grandchildren. I still mail 70-80 cards each year and am looking for a more thrifty idea. Thanks for this one.GG

On Thursday, November 19, 2009, TidyMom wrote

I love this idea Cathe!! what a wonderful and creative idea!! Thanks! ~TidyMom

On Wednesday, November 18, 2009, Amy @ Living Locurto wrote

Great ideas! I will put my daughter to work:-)

On Tuesday, November 17, 2009, cathye wrote

I love this! I've been saving cards to use, and these ideas will help!

On Tuesday, November 17, 2009, Amanda from Texas wrote

Great idea! I think I may try this with my daughter. She loves handicrafts and greeting cards. This will be a great project for her to make and give to friends and family alike. Thanks!

On Tuesday, November 17, 2009, Samdu from Aging Disgracefully wrote

I'm a hands on person -- So, I find it hard to imagine what you've suggested. Pictures of these creations would have been so wonderful. Can you send/post some? Thank you.


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