Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!
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
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 lnygaard from Billings, MT
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.
By dorothy wedenoja from New Creek, WV
Re-use Christmas and Hanukkah cards for recipe cards to include with a holiday food gift.
By Monica from Cortez, CO
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 Valdes from Dayton, OH
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.
Give the gift of love, "cards to recycle", to friends and they will definitely remember your card!
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.
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.
For those who are into crafting, this can be a fun money saving thing to do to recycle those cute and pretty card fronts.
Give sentimental or funny greeting cards a longer life by sharing them a second time. This guide explains how easy it is to reuse greeting cards as postcards.
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.
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.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
Any suggestions for recycling old birthday and greeting cards?
monnat96 from Pingree Grove, IL
I teach repurposed workshops to kids of all ages (preschool to "seniors"), and we use greeting cards to make all sorts of things - from doorknob hangers to bookmarks, banners, gift boxes, magnets, etc.
I also make and donate personalized birthday cards each month (I do my own calligraphy) to several nursing homes and independent living centers.
If anyone would like to send their cards to me, I promise they will be put to good use! Send them to: Casey E., Earth Inspired Crafts and Education, P O Box 1981, Allen, TX 75002.
You can also check out my website for other ideas: www.EarthInspiredCrafts.com
Thanks so much.
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.
I don't see why you couldn't take the cards and arrange them on a board, tray and put a protectant seal on it. That way you could use it for serving or as a decorative piece in your home. You could possibly take a picture frame and arrange them for display. Good luck!
have you considered donating them to nursing homes so the residents can use them in crafts.
I cut the fronts off then mount them with white glue or glue sticks to a piece of cardstock to reuse all over again!... They are great for school art projects, as teachers are always looking for something new & inexpensive to do in their class. They also make wonderful puzzles if you mount them to a piece of chipboard, then seal with mod-podge then cut out the puzzle pieces.
Thanks everyone. Your suggestions are great. I guess I needed a little jarring of the brain to awaken my creativity. Again thanks! Kathy
I use to work with children at a school program. We would have the parents bring in old cards and envelopes. We would have the children make a new card and send them to soldiers, veterans hospitals, nursing homes, meals on wheels, etc. The children learned how to recycle, be creative, give a others joy. Let the children do the spelling. This is what makes it so precious.
I cut the picture out and wrap it in plastic wrap, then it makes a great center piece for a birthday or holiday cake.
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.
How I can have them send to me, instead of recoiled or put in garbage?
By catcabcas from Duluth, MN
If recoiled means recycled, then bravo. If you want to do something nice for kids, send them here.
They just ask there be no Disney, American Village, or Hallmark, and that they be 5 by 7 inches or less, be the fronts only with no writing on the back of the fronts. It's a great cause and they take them all year now.
Recycle them into Christmas card boxes that you can put cookies, candy or some other goody. You can give as Christmas gifts.
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
I save my Christmas cards each year and recycle them by cutting gift cards from the front of the cards. It's amazing what unique and beautiful gift cards you can make. Just be sure there is nothing written on the inside of the card on the left side. You can use a hole punch to attach ribbon to the gift card or you can tape it to your wrapped gift.
These are also beautiful to use as gift cards for homemade goodies. It's so much after the rush of the holidays to sit down and look at the cards again and then see creative I can be in cutting my gift cards for next year's presents. No one else will have gift cards like these either!
By Marsha Fleenor from Greenville, NC
Cut the cards apart and keep the picture side. Put two that kind of go together and get a solid color contact paper and place them onto the paper (picture side up) then put clear contact paper on top of the cards and either cut all around with different sissors then you can decorate them of use as is for placemats on the table or under a potted plant.
From t4family5 , Cromwell, Indiana (11/14/2009)
I also make gift tags from cards but go a step further and add glitter around the edges. I also use old CD's and trace around the CD on pretty cards, cut them out and glue one to the back and one to the front of the CD. Add soft metal tape in silver gold or copper around the edge. (Can be purchased from framing stores.) Then I add a small bow at the top of the CD so they can be hung up or used for an ornament.. They are very pretty and make quick gifts to keep on hand for any occasion. (11/16/2009)
By Jane Rader
The first year I was married we had no money and every ornament on our tree was homemade. My husbands mother had a box full of rusty canning jar lids and my husband spray painted them for me,drilled a small hole on the "top" (really it was on one side of the lid ring) and I traced out a part of the picture on the card and glued them into the jar lid. I then decorated them with ribbon, lace, etc. and put an ornament hook through the drilled hole. I have also seen this done with photos and given as gifts. (11/16/2009)
I have cut the fronts off the cards and am using them as Christmas postcards this year. I may turns some into greeting cards also (by attaching them to cards stock), but many cards are the right size for a postcard. I don't know how well they will be received (do I look like a cheapskate), but I am trying to be green and recycle. Thoughts? (11/26/2009)
What do I do with my recycled Christmas cards? I took the fronts off and in the past have made gift tags with them. Now I am thinking of making them into a post card for Christmas next year. What does everyone else do with them?
Amy from Long Branch, NJ
I especially love the Christmas cards that have outdoor snowy scenes with cozy looking cottages or little churches. I put them in picture frames that I buy at the dollar store and hang them up on the walls in little collage groupings during the holiday season, in the bathroom even. Also, if some have an especially nice Christmas Prayer, I also put those in frames and set them around on end tables, etc. (01/25/2009)
A member of our Thriftyfun Community posted this idea last year.
I used mine to make a very pretty fire screen, measure the fire place. Make a frame with 2x2's to fit it then wrap paper around the frame. I used brown wrapping paper for this. Use hot glue gum, then hot glue the cards to it, good luck. (01/27/2009)
You can make them into gift boxes.
I keep the backs of the cards which are shiny and plain and use them for encaustic art. (01/28/2009)
You could also check with your local Special Needs foundation. They accept old Cards of any occasion use them in different craft projects and also recycle them to make new ones. (01/28/2009)
St. Jude's Ranch for Children (home for abused and neglected youths) has a card reuse program. The kids cut off the front covers and use them to make new cards that are sold to earn money. I told my son's teacher about it and their whole class is involved now! The kids are so proud of the fact that they are helping other kids this way! (01/28/2009)
I used them to make photo albums for gifts this year. I used the front of the card and glued it to card stock. I then had pictures printed from our Christmas celebration from the previous year and glued them to card stock. I punched two holes in the top of all the cards and put ribbon through the holes and tied it so the pictures could be turned. I gave them for Christmas gifts to my family and every one loved them. (01/28/2009)
Here's a site that has directions to make a Christmas tree, A bowl/basket, and an ornament from recycled cards. I thought they were great--hope you like them too!
I use the card front to make new cards. I mount on scrapbook paper, sometimes I add embellishments (words, sequins, ribbons, sparkles, etc) They are beautiful. I have fun making and am recycling to boot!
Donate them to your local elementary school for art projects. (01/28/2009)
By Louise B.
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.
Uses for Christmas Cards
If nothing is written behind the front picture, I cut off the front, and use them as recipe cards. I have many holiday recipe cards in my file with family favorites handwritten on the back of them. Makes them easy to spot, and helps to recycle.
What I do is use them for decorations. I take last year's cards and use them in a garland chain or as part of the ornaments on the tree. (10/21/2003)
Craft stores sell inexpensive wooden tea trays and cardboard boxes in all sizes that can be covered or lined with cutouts from cards and a thin layer of matte varnish finish. I have seen a tray done up in only snowmen that was adorable. (04/27/2004)
By Petra Parker
Ignoring the picture on the front of the card, cut a spiral, starting large and spiraling inward to the center of the card front. When finished, pull the spiral slightly so that it will hang three-dimensionally like a Christmas tree.
Use a pin to poke a hole in the top center of the spiral and loop some thread to it for hanging.(09/05/2004)
By Carol Smith
I've received gifts that the tags are made from recycled cards. Cut whatever shape you want out of them and punch a hole for the string. We made a table runner once of cards we sandwiched between clear contact paper. The ladies at church used to somehow crochet them together to make handbags.
I have cut off the back flap and used some of them for Christmas post cards instead of buying a box. (10/06/2004)
Don't throw away all those pretty Christmas cards you received.
Cut out the small pictures, be sure to check the back of the card, too and use them for gift tags, holiday decoupage projects, etc. for next year. (01/08/2005)
I use the cards for recipe cards. I trim them down, trying not to cut off any of the pictures. Then I type the recipe on the computer and I can run the card through my printer balancing the card so the recipe does not get cut off. What fun, seeing the nice cards and saving on recipe cards. (01/08/2005)
I use them for scrapbooking. You can cut them apart and use the pictures or the words.(01/08/2005)
I cut them down to post card size and send them next year. A post card stamp is much less expensive.
Make lines with a pencil and ruler on reverse side for addressing and separating message from address.(01/09/2005)
First of all, I save my Christmas cards I receive and then starting on Jan. 1st I randomly pull one of them out and sit it on my kitchen table. It is a reminder to pray a little prayer for that person through out the day. The next day I pull another one and then use the one from the day before and cut it into gift labels that I will use for the following Christmas.
Be creative, sometimes I get several tags from one card. Most cards have a little picture or phrase that can be cut into different shapes and used for tags or labels for gifts. I was in the hospital for a month and received lots of get well cards. I plan on doing the same with them. It's a nice way to remember the person who took the time to send you a card. It's a nice way to recycle and no one has gift tags like mine.
I just thought of a neat use for some of these cards. If there is a empty page on the card. Fill it with a picture of your family or some original artwork and write a few of your own words stating how much the original sender's friendship means to you. Remember they picked the card out in the first place,so they must have liked it. (02/11/2005)
I think it would be cool to take few of the best Christmas cards and turn them into a collage and frame them to hang at the holidays. (02/11/2005)
I have been using old greeting cards, valentines, excess scrapbook paper, etc. to make postcards. I just use the scraps and a glue stick on 4X6 index cards. This is great for all the sweeps entries I mail out. Other people have used other creative materials to make post cards, cereal boxes, etc. (03/03/2005)
You probably won't believe this but we have great fun with old Christmas cards and any other holiday ones. My sisters and I send each other used greeting cards. We just cross out the names and insert ours. Right now my one sister's birthday is coming up and I saved a card that she sent me years ago and I am putting it back on her. The best fun we had was a card with a hugh family photo inside and we sent it to each other with the "It took a long time for us to all get together for this photo, so enjoy" which was great as we're so spread around the country. (03/07/2005)
I have two ideas for uses for old christmas or greeting cards, both of which my grandmother has done with cards all of her life.
Apart from using cards for postcards etc. I save all the very special ones from my children and grandchildren and every year on the appropriate dates, i.e. Christmas, birthday, I make a special display of them. I usually put the grandchildren on one door and the children on another. I have some going back to when they were tiny and made their own and these are real treasures. I also display again any others that I think are too pretty to throw away, and the cards I have still got from my late parents and departed friends also have a special area. It takes a bit of time to do but it is fun to see again all the lovely cards, and know that they are never wasted after just one use. (08/30/2005)
Save the metal lids from frozen orange juice cans, cut pictures from cards and glue in center of lid, trim with gold cording. Glue two lids together with pictures on both sides, wrap and glue thin colored ribbon around outside of lids and make loop for hanging. Instant ornaments. We have also glued family pictures onto the juice lids. My kids loved making these ornaments. Enjoy. (12/21/2005)
St, Jude's is accepting recycled cards from Nov 28, 2008-February 28, 2009. (01/02/2009)