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Uses for Old Greeting Cards

Using Old Christmas Cards

Over the years we receive many greeting cards, but storing them all in a box can get out of hand. This is a guide about uses for old greeting cards.


Solutions: Uses for Old Greeting Cards

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Tip: Saving Cards With Addresses

My father passed away recently and we were getting cards from all over and from people that my brother and I weren't familar with. Instead of trying to keep envelope with the card, I just tore off the return address and taped it to the back of the card.

When I'm sending acknowledgements and thank you notes, I know exactly who and where to send it to. It gives me a bit of inspiration when writing the note because i have the card right with the address. Much later, when looking through the cards, I'll also have an idea of who the card came from instead of trying to figure out who 'Jean" is.

By lkaserman from Adelphi Maryland

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Tip: Reuse Greetings Cards as Postcards

Keep birthday, Christmas and get well cards and use them as postcards. Just cut them apart and then draw a line to separate the message from the name and address. You save money not having to buy cards and the postage is cheaper on postcard. They can be quite pretty and its a good way to reuse the cards.

You can also cut last year's Christmas cards and put a hole in them and a ribbon and hang from your Christmas tree.

By Dwedenoja from New Creek, WV

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Tip: Uses for Old Christmas or Greeting Cards

Don't throw away all the pretty Christmas cards you get away. There are so many things you can do with them. Everyone knows you can make postcards and name tags for gifts with them, but you can also cut out the design you might want to use when you scrapbook. Scrapbooking is a fun thing to do with them. You can also decoupage with them. You can use cards from birthdays, Valentine's Day, Easter, etc. to do your crafts with and not have to buy the pretty designs. I also decoupage my soap with the designs I have cut from the cards. There are so many things you can do with the pretty cards you have received. Have fun!

By dwedenoja from New Creek, WV

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Tip: Extreme Recarding

Example of recarded Christmas card.Recarding should be the wave of the future. I save all my old greeting cards and even ask others to donate to me. By cutting certain words, pictures, trim, and colored parts of the cards you are able to recard or recreate a new card.

I use paint card samples from the hardware store that are being thrown out. These bright colored card backgrounds support the scrapbooking design papers or scraps from magazines or the computer. They actually look professional and no one will even know that you recarded. I keep glitter, buttons, ribbons, and stickers handy to embellish the new cards.

Making envelopes is easy too. I measure the card and reuse the back pages from hardback books as the envelopes. Old wallpaper or scraps of cloth are sometimes used too.

By Louella from Billings, MT

Recycled cards and embellishments.

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Tip: Craft: Bookmarks From Recycled Cards

Greeting Card BookmarksI grew up with my mother recycling things out of necessity. Now, many years later, it is not only out of necessity to save money, but also to help the environment. I collect up old greeting cards (birthday and Christmas) and make lovely bookmarks to give out to friends at Christmas time. They make a special extra touch when giving a book to someone as well. This craft is a great recycling project for children too, by teaching them not to throw their birthday cards away. No need to buy a bookmark anymore.


Collect old greeting cards, you only need the fronts. Be creative. Cut out bookmark size shapes without any words on it. Punch a small hole in the center top and thread a string or narrow ribbon through (see photo). Use fancy edged scissors for a unique look, or ordinary scissors will do the trick.

By linn.2009 from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

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Greeting Card Trivet

Create a Christmas trivet from an inexpensive tile and a recycled Christmas card or wrapping paper. It can be displayed on an easel when not in use. Makes a great Christmas gift along with an inexpensive easel! Finished tile trivet project (square format).

Editor's Note: This project was received too late for Christmas, but we decided to publish it anyway as you could modify it's seasonality by the type of card or wrapping paper you use.

Approximate Time:


  • white 6-inch glass tile
  • Christmas card or wrapping paper
  • Mod Podge
  • foam brush
  • scissors
  • clear acrylic sealer
  • felt or cork
  • craft glue


  1. Cut out your design so that it is slightly smaller than the tile.
  2. White tile and Christmas card front.

  3. Cover the tile with a layer of Mod Podge.
  4. Apply Mod Podge to tile.

  5. Place your image over the layer of Mod Podge.
  6. Beginning to apply Mod Podge to card front.

  7. Apply Mod Podge over top of image.
  8. Layer of Mod Podge on card.

  9. Allow Mod Podge to dry completely.
  10. Spray the tile with acrylic sealer and allow to dry.
  11. Apply a second coat if necessary and allow to dry.
  12. Cut cork or felt into squares to fit back of tile.
  13. Use hot glue or craft glue to adhere the backing to the tile.

By Rachel's Mom from Wilkesboro, NC

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Tip: Reusing Greeting Cards

Any card you receive, that has not been written on the back of the front side, can be reused. It can be turned into a postcard or or used as a note stuck on a gift or in a gift bag!

Here is another use for cards you especially like, and want to keep. Group similar ones together and make a picture!

By julrobs from North Augusta, SC

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Tip: Use Card Fronts as Recipe Cards

Re-use Christmas and Hanukkah cards for recipe cards to include with a holiday food gift.

By duckie-do from Cortez, CO

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Tip: Decorate Gifts With Recycled Greeting Cards

I am often without wrapping paper for a special occasion. I also keep a box full of cards that I have received, rather than pitch them. When a holiday comes around, it is fun to take a paper bag or white construction paper and use pictures from old cards, pasting them on, in any design needed. An animal here, a child there, tree, etc. You can tie it with string and add any item, like a piece of jewelry, a domino, or a paper clip to brighten it up.

For cards, you can do the same thing, and if creative, write your own personal verse or sketch. You can also use parts of photographs to make them more personal, especially if you have duplicates.

By Christine from Dayton, OH

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Sewing Cards for Youngsters

Greeting Card Sewing CardHere's a great, inexpensive gift idea to keep youngsters entertained. Create cute sewing cards that are super easy to make. You can use the fronts of old greeting cards or glue calendar pictures to cardboard. Kids can sew lengths of ribbon or yarn through holes punched in the cards.

Approximate Time: Less than 30 minutes to make several


  • greeting cards
  • calendar pictures
  • thin cardboard or poster board
  • glue
  • ribbon or yarn
  • clear tape


  1. If using calendar pictures, glue picture to thin cardboard or poster board.
  2. Cut out pictures into shapes, such as heart, star, etc.
  3. Punch pairs of holes about 1 1/2" apart along edges of shape. measure around edges of cutout; add 20".
  4. Cut a length of yarn or ribbon the determined measurement. Stiffen the ends of the yarn or ribbon by wrapping a piece of clear tape around each end.

Kids can "sew" ribbon through holes in card and then ties ends into a bow.

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Tip: Make Boxes from Christmas or Greeting Cards


  • Take a Christmas Card from last year or leftovers from this year.
  • Cut the card in half at the fold - The front will become the top of the box, the back will become the bottom
  • Using one half of the card:
  • On each end cut a two inch long cut 1 inch in from either side (4 cuts in all)
  • Make a fold two inches in from the end on either end, then another two folds 1 inch wide on the sides
  • Fold in the end flaps, then fold up the remaining piece, fold over the flaps you've folded in and crease over the top. Tape inside. Repeat on other end.
  • Then repeat instructions for the bottom, making it a wee bit smaller for a good fit.
  • The picture on the card makes a cute front of the box and inside the box bottom is the greeting if all works well. Because Christmas Cards are different sizes and shapes, so will be your boxes. They are small but perfect for little gifts or for decorating. They can be used year after year.
Card box guide. These work well for any greeting cards.

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Tip: Greeting Card CD Coasters

I use old greeting cards and scratched cds to make beautiful coasters. You make a template from a piece of acetate and place this so the part of the card you want to use is central. Cut out using scissors or craft knife then glue the picture to the cd. Cover in contact film and then glue felt circles on back.

You can also use family pictures or a themed topic such as animals/cars, etc., depending on who the gift is for. Make into sets for 4, 6 or 8 and give as a present.

    By wildflower16 [1]

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    Tip: Use Greeting Card To Embellish Gift Bag

    If you end up with a card without an envelope for a birthday or anniversary, you can cut the card with scalloped craft scissors. Cut the front of the card out and the message from inside the card. Embellish a gift bag with the card and message.

    By fossil1955 from Cortez, CO

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    Tip: "In Memory Of" Cards for Cookbook Bookmarks

    I never could figure out what to do with the "In Memory Of" cards I had collected from friends and relatives that have died.

    I now use them in my cookbooks to mark my most used recipes. I think about and pray for that person when cooking.

    My Aunt Winnie loved chocolate, so she marks my favorite hot fudge recipe!

    By Diane P.

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    Tip: Using Greeting Cards for Scrapbooking

    I cut and save the fronts of all of my received greeting cards. These are great for scrapbooking. I use my scissors to cut flowers words, scenes, tiny birds, holiday scenes, etc. It saves so much money.

    A really cool thing is my local thrift shop sells bundles of old greeting cards for 75 cents! Some of these old cards have beautiful prints and illustrations. These can also be used to make new cards to send.

    By Joynchocolate from Landisville, PA

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    Tip: Save Your Christmas Cards for Gifts

    Save your Christmas cards for gifts for next year. Use craft scissors for unique designs to cut out pictures on Christmas cards and glue thin magnets on the back. Label the cards with the name of who gave it to you that year and give fridge magnet to that person the following year as a gift. I got one this year from my sister-in-law and thought it was a very thoughtful gift. Also you can glue or decoupage picture from cards on a wooden plaque. perhaps from old wood cut from your own land, makes it extra special.

    Source: my sister-in-law.

    By Diana L. A. from Highland, MI

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    Tip: Photo Card Collages

    I save photo Christmas cards and birth announcements through the year, then collage and frame them in one big poster frame. They decorate the kid's playroom. This way, I don't have to toss the photos, and I can see how the families have changed from year to year. Plus, it's a great way to have lots of colorful images up for the kids' wall!

    By Erin from Blue Bell, PA

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    Craft: Greeting Card Finger Puppets

    Greeting Card Finger PuppetsThis is a no-cost project that will occupy your kids for a while.

    Approximate Time: 5 - 10 minutes each


    • old greeting cards
    • scissors
    • cellophane tape
    • glue sick


    1. Let the kids cut characters from the fronts of old greeting cards. These may be animals, people, snowmen, etc.
    2. From the back of card, cut a strip measuring about 3/4x3 inches. Roll this strip into a cylinder and tape the ends together to secure.
    3. Glue a cylinder to the bottom of each character cut-out, on the back of the design.
    4. To use the puppets, slide a finger into the cylinder, then move your finger to make the puppet move.

    By Marie from West Dundee, IL

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    Tip: Make Postcards Out of Old Christmas Cards

    It 's not too early to be thinking about Christmas. This year, send postcards or letters instead of Christmas cards. You can even cut your old Christmas cards, from last year, in half and send the pretty side as a postcard. You're being "earth friendly" by keeping new cards out of the garbage dumps. If you send postcards, whether purchased or homemade, remember they require less postage than a regular card! Old Christmas cards make great gift tags too!

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    Tip: Recycling Wrapping Paper and Greeting Cards

    If you're like me, you hate to throw out pretty wrapping paper. I use it as many times as I can to wrap gifts. I also save the fronts from old greeting cards. Here's a few ideas to re-use them:

    Cover tissue boxes with old wrapping paper, and use the boxes as catch-alls. Cut out the pictures from the cards and hang with a ribbon as holiday decorations. Use the fronts of old cards as postcards. Cut out the flowers or objects from wrapping paper and cards to decorate a scrapbook with. Cover the outside of a sturdy cardboard box with wrapping paper, with the top flaps cut off. Use the box to fill as a "gift box" instead of a "gift basket". Send the card fronts to St.
    Jude's Ranch for children, where they make the cards into new cards. Cut out the shapes and pictures from old greeting cards, and then cut-and-paste them onto sturdy paper with a child; make an entire scene. You are limited only by your imagination! Have fun!

    By Ness - Lakeview, NY

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    Tip: Recycle Greeting Cards

    Give the gift of love, "cards to recycle", to friends and they will definitely remember your card!

    Cut two equal size horizontal slits about 1/8" apart in the card where you would normally sign your name. On a separate slip of paper sign your name and slip it in the horizontal slits.

    Use your imagination for other messages on the card! I have been sending and receiving the same card back for years with new messages; it's something to look forward to!

    By Ms. Syd Barr - Dunkirk, MD

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    Here are questions related to Uses for Old Greeting Cards.

    Question: Recycling Birthday and Greeting Cards

    Any suggestions for recycling old birthday and greeting cards?

    monnat96 from Pingree Grove, IL

    AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No


    Most Recent Answer

    By cherie 37 01/20/2008

    You could use them to decoupage a box and make a cute trinket box.

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    Question: Using Saved Greeting Cards

    Does anyone have any ideas about what to do with old birthday cards, mother's day cards, etc.? I get them every year and I hate to throw them out. I try to hold on to the more meaningful ones but I still hate to throw out the others. Thanks for your help.

    Kathleen from West Hartford, CT

    AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No


    Most Recent Answer

    By julia (Guest Post) 09/12/2008

    love the ideals so far
    Take a card and matte it and frame it. this is nice way to save it and use it I did one up from a post card for parents anny. old post card with the year they were married on it and framed it. They loved it. When you frame your cards you can bring them out at the time of season, and then put them away later.This way you get to see them and you can smile and remember.

    ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

    Question: Reusing Greeting Cards

    How I can have them send to me, instead of recoiled or put in garbage?

    By catcabcas from Duluth, MN

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    Most Recent Answer

    By Laura E. 3 01/14/2015

    Recycle them into Christmas card boxes that you can put cookies, candy or some other goody. You can give as Christmas gifts.

    ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

    Question: Recycled Greeting Card Projects

    Does anyone have any ideas for using used greeting cards for craft projects?

    By Susan

    AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

    Most Recent Answer

    By Deanna A. 1 1 08/21/2013

    I took some vintage post cards and found scrapbooking paper that they looked good with. Then I put them in old picture frames that I bought from thrift stores, yard sales, etc. They are now hanging on the wall going up the stair case in my house. Makes for interesting wall art, and you can always change them out easily for different seasons or holidays.

    ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

    Question: Crafts Using Greeting Cards

    Any suggestions for recycling old birthday and greeting cards?

    monnat96 from Pingree Grove, IL

    AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

    Most Recent Answer

    By Margeth (Guest Post) 01/19/2008

    I have used old Christmas cards for years as gift tags. cut out picture on front of card, punch hole in corner, tie skinny ribbon thru hole about 2 inches long to tie to package. Write to and from on back. Everyone likes them because they are large enough to read easily.

    ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

    Question: Making 3D Greeting Card Art

    Does anyone one remember making pictures 3D, and framing them in shadow box frames?

    By Lynn

    AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

    Question: Making a Waste Basket from Greeting Cards

    How do you make waste baskets out of greeting cards?

    Beth from Riverview, Michigan

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    Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the comments that were provided then.

    Archive: Crafts Using Greeting Cards

    I am looking for something to do with the greeting cards I received when my mom died. Do any of you have any ideas? I would appreciate any help that you could give.

    Thyme In Gods Garden from Perkins, OK

    RE: Crafts Using Greeting Cards

    Why don't you get some frames and matting and frame the cards. Or you could make a collage. Maybe frame one with another piece of something of your Mom's; a small piece of jewelry or piece of lace. Val (03/27/2006)

    By valery

    RE: Crafts Using Greeting Cards

    I used the cards from when I got married in my wedding photo album. I cut them up to use as frames, mats, borders, wordings, and some of the little pictures on them were real nice. (03/27/2006)

    By farap

    RE: Crafts Using Greeting Cards

    How about making a collage and having it laminated and cut into placemats? (03/27/2006)

    By Persnickety Paula

    RE: Crafts Using Greeting Cards

    Two ideas came to mind, first you could cut out the pictures and use them on a book cover and cover with heavy clear plastic. (use for photo album, bible, etc,) second idea, you could glue it around a round mirror and get to enjoy it every day. (03/27/2006)

    By rosi

    RE: Crafts Using Greeting Cards

    I use mine to make litle boxes. The front is the top and the back is the bottom. I am not good at drawing pictures on the computer ( I actually don't know how but perhaps it could be found on the internet). (03/27/2006)

    By Gladys

    RE: Crafts Using Greeting Cards

    I knew an elderly woman who took a photo album(scrapbook would work great too) and she put a photo of her hubby in the front, along with several pics from throughout the years, then his obituary, and the condolences cards at the end. it was a nice tribute to his life, i thought. brenda-ohio (03/27/2006)

    By brenda thompson

    RE: Crafts Using Greeting Cards

    I've made christmas ornaments out of several greeting cards. To do this you cut the front of a card length wise into uniform strips and put a hole in the top and bottom of each strip. Stack your strips and put a brass fastener in the top and bottom stack. Fan your strips out until you have a Christmas ball ornament. If you put your strips in order you will end up with the picture of your card. On the top of the ball around the fastener I add thread or ribbon for hanging. (03/28/2006)

    By Biffy

    RE: Crafts Using Greeting Cards

    I made this old window frame into a wall hanging. I used some cards I had gotten from my children. I hope this idea helps you a little bit. mary (03/28/2006)

    By gintoddy37

    RE: Crafts Using Greeting Cards

    RE: Crafts Using Greeting Cards

    Here are some of my ideas for reuses of pictured greeting cards. 1-carefully using small cookie cutters create jigsaw pieces leaving the rest of the card including the back intact and glues together for a frame.(or you could just cut the card into small say 2 inch bye 1 inch panels all the same size). 2-cut out some of your favorite card pictures and paste them onto just regular plain gift boses and also add your own personal greeting with magic markers, 3- Make an inside door christmas cover using just the pictures of the cards and completely cover a piece of thick plastic . Stapling the cards would be best and frame them out with somekind of colorful material, .( Saving this Door thing from year to year not likely but you can salvage the cards for other projects. 4-cut the characters out of the cards to use as and everchanging seasonal picture hung in your kitchen or close bye. I see a deer from a Christmas card walking by a pond with green trees around him and the sun a shining bright. Just use your immagination.You only have to please yourself. 5-I am looking at a card right now that aat the top is written especially for you. The otherside is blank so I just made a package tag attached to a ribbon fill out the recipents name and put from Mike. Some of the bigger sayiings could padsted and hung on doors windows mirrors whatever during the holiday. 6-I see bookmarks coming from the longer cards with complete pictures intact 7-Most cards leave one area with little or nothing oon it, this area can be ussed to create youur own card Artwork sayings whatever and stick glue it to anther side that is clean and do the same thing. 8- I have a religious card here that I am going to buy a plane cheap clear plastic frame that will set on a nightstand . for my wife. Can get the frame at most dollar stores . 9-Oh here is a neat idea the bigger cards can be made into fans just use an old plastic flyswater handle complete with hole to hand fan on a nail. Hey the flies laugh at those plastic swaters anyway. Just attach about 3 bread wrapper ties to the back of the card then glue on another card scene to cover it, Stick glue the card and if you can hide them staple the card a few times. 10-Last I don't know if you are aware of this ,but the paper sturdiness of these cards make them capable of being used for making paper houses I made a flying airplane out of one . No it didn't break any records bout it did fly across the room. There are many oother craft possibilities in those in Greeting cards Imagination is the key to unlocking them. GREETINGS FROM MR. THRIFTY (07/13/2006)

    By Mr. Thrifty

    Archive: Uses for Old Christmas or Greeting Cards

    Here are a couple of ideas for using old cards. Please add your ideas below (you'll need to log in) or send them in using the contribute form.

    Archive: Using Greeting Cards for Scrapbooking

    Save old greeting cards to use in scrapbooking, either for the poem or for the heading of a page.

    By Christi

    RE: Using Greeting Cards for Scrapbooking

    I have many times kept greeting cards that are just beautiful. As a scrapbook artist/store owner (Let's Scrap in Florida), I can tell you that you are able to use them in your scrapbooks. However, you have to spray them with "Make it Acid Free" spray. This helps neutralize the paper for better storage. It guarantees that the card and/or anything that comes in contact with it will be safe from yellowing or deteriorating. All you do is follow the directions on the bottle. Mist both front and back and allow to dry. Best of Luck! (07/26/2005)

    By Vivian