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Uses for Old Greeting 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.


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By 16 found this helpful
June 24, 2011

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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By 12 found this helpful
November 30, 2011

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

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January 3, 2011

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 dorothy wedenoja from New Creek, WV

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By 6 found this helpful
December 6, 2010

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

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June 21, 2011

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.

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Ms. Syd Barr - Dunkirk, MD0 found this helpful
December 7, 2000

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

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By 1 found this helpful
September 16, 2013

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.

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By 2 found this helpful
September 14, 2010

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.

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June 30, 20050 found this helpful

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.

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June 22, 20050 found this helpful

For those who are into crafting, this can be a fun money saving thing to do to recycle those cute and pretty card fronts.

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December 29, 2009

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.

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By 0 found this helpful
March 16, 2009

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.

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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.

January 15, 2008

Any suggestions for recycling old birthday and greeting cards?

monnat96 from Pingree Grove, IL


November 12, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

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:
Thanks so much.

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By 0 found this helpful
September 4, 2008

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


September 4, 20081 found this helpful

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!

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September 4, 20080 found this helpful

have you considered donating them to nursing homes so the residents can use them in crafts.

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September 4, 20080 found this helpful

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.

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September 5, 20080 found this helpful

Thanks everyone. Your suggestions are great. I guess I needed a little jarring of the brain to awaken my creativity. Again thanks! Kathy

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By mrsz Bartow, Fl (Guest Post)
September 10, 20080 found this helpful

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.

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By Debbie (Guest Post)
September 10, 20081 found this helpful

I cut the picture out and wrap it in plastic wrap, then it makes a great center piece for a birthday or holiday cake.

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By julia (Guest Post)
September 12, 20080 found this helpful

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.

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January 6, 20150 found this helpful

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

By catcabcas from Duluth, MN


January 11, 20150 found this helpful

If recoiled means recycled, then bravo. If you want to do something nice for kids, send them here.
https://stjudes  -all-year-round/

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.

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January 14, 20150 found this helpful

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

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April 5, 20170 found this helpful

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.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

January 3, 20110 found this helpful

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


Uses for Old Christmas or Greeting Cards

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)

By t4family5

Uses for Old Christmas or Greeting Cards

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

RE: Uses for Old Christmas or Greeting Cards

Uses for Old Christmas or Greeting Cards

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)

By Tatorbug

Uses for Old Christmas or Greeting Cards

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)

By Sandy

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November 10, 20090 found this helpful

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


Uses for Old Christmas or Greeting Cards

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)

By Arlinn

Uses for Old Christmas or Greeting Cards

A member of our Thriftyfun Community posted this idea last year.

Craft Project: Crocheted Recycled Christmas Cards


By Marjorie

Uses for Old Christmas or Greeting Cards

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)

By kw

Uses for Old Christmas or Greeting Cards

You can make them into gift boxes.


By Chris Richman

Uses for Old Christmas or Greeting Cards

I keep the backs of the cards which are shiny and plain and use them for encaustic art. (01/28/2009)

By Isobel44art

Uses for Old Christmas or Greeting Cards

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)

By Jodi

Uses for Old Christmas or Greeting Cards

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)

By Susan

Uses for Old Christmas or Greeting Cards

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)

By Terri

Uses for Old Christmas or Greeting Cards

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! (01/28/2009)

By susan

Uses for Old Christmas or Greeting Cards

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!

By Diana

Uses for Old Christmas or Greeting Cards

Donate them to your local elementary school for art projects. (01/28/2009)

By Louise B.

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January 25, 20090 found this helpful

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.

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September 4, 20080 found this helpful
Click to read more ideas from older posts on ThriftyFun.
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