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The party is over, the festivities are finished and it is time to take down all the decorations. But now there is a last job to do. What do you do with any birthday, Christmas or occasion cards that you have received? Lots of greetings cards cannot be recycled due to their plastic coverings or glitter content. So here is a list of craft projects and what to do with old greeting cards at home once it is time to take them down.
- What To Do With Old Greeting Cards
- Should You Actually Get Rid Of Your Old Cards?
- How To Store Old Greeting Cards
- How To Let Go Of Old Greeting Cards
- How To Donate Them For Recycling
- Crafts For Used Greeting Cards
- Gift Tags
- Frame Them
- Turn Them Into Jigsaws
- Use Them To Make New Cards
- Snowman Greeting Cards
- Junk Journalling Or ScrapBook Making
- Hole Punch Confetti Cards
- Card Bowls And Boxes
- Card Garland
- Card Bunting
- Mini Christmas Tree Decoration
- Card Boxes
- Card Angels
- Card Wreath
- Christmas Tree Decoration – Globe Ornament
- Christmas Tree Decoration – Sphere Ornaments
- Christmas Tree Decoration – Mason Jar Lid
- Other Posts Of Mine You Might Like
What To Do With Old Greeting Cards
If you are anything like us, you may have a large pile of old holiday cards or birthday cards once the occasion is over. But what can you do with these old cards afterwards? Here are some ideas for old birthday cards and greetings cards.
Should You Actually Get Rid Of Your Old Cards?
It can be quite a wrench to throw away old greeting cards, especially if they are full of sentimental value or are from family members or old friends who have passed and are no longer with us. But it is quite understandable if you wish to store cards, including some favorite cards and sentimental items from your loved ones.
I certainly keep some of my old greeting cards that mean the most to me and probably will keep some for life. But whether you can do the same does depend if you have the space to store them or a suitable place to do so.
How To Store Old Greeting Cards
When I was wondering how to store old birthday cards and how to organize Christmas cards, I looked for some good boxes. My favourites are the strong boxes from IKEA.
If you are considering keeping some of your old cards, I would suggest using a box that is large enough to take the size of the cards. But not too large that you are tempted to keep large numbers of cards. Keep the box in a dry place. You don’t want damp to get to your cards if they are in the wrong storage place.
You may want to think of other ways how to organize cards, and how to store greeting cards received. Here is how to do greeting card organization and what to do with cards you want to keep.
Some creative ways to store greeting cards include making a scrapbook or use a hole punch and thread them together in a book. This means they are kept together and you can flip through them just like you would an old photo album. Scrapbooking birthday cards and other occasion cards into a greeting card keepsake album can be a wonderful way to remember a special event or birthday.
How To Let Go Of Old Greeting Cards
But it is also good for us to remove clutter from our lives. It is a fine line between being sentimental and amassing clutter. Hoarding greeting cards can be a problem. So as with everything I would suggest that you have a good clear out and declutter of your card box every once in a while.
Maybe consider limiting your card collection to one sentimental card per person? And feel better about reusing or donating the other cards.
But now we are back to the original question. What can you do with your old cards?
How To Donate Them For Recycling
If they are suitable, you can donate cards. Many shops and stores have greeting card donation bins just for cards, especially after the holidays. But where can I donate old greeting cards?You just need to google where to donate unused christmas cards and birthday cards near you. You can also donate used cards to local schools and churches.
However, lots of cards cannot go to the recycling bin. They may have plastic coverings or glitter decorations. And these cards will just end up in landfill unless we reuse and upcycle them. And so what can we use them for?
Crafts For Used Greeting Cards
There are a lot of craft ideas when thinking of what to do with old birthday and Christmas cards. And here are some of my favourite craft and art projects with old greeting cards and old holiday cards. Most of these are great craft ideas to do with the kids.
This trick to repurpose greeting cards is as old as anything. You can use pinking shears and a hole punch to make tags for next years presents from your old cards. Just be sure to get a clean surface on the reverse of your new tag.
You could also use these as replacement tags for gift bags or on fabric drawstring bags.
I actually like to use my Sissix Cutting machine with a tag shaped die – this makes really professional looking tags. Add a ribbon, string or twine, or just stick like a flap to your gift wrap when wrapping presents.
If you love the cards and they don’t have a greeting message on the front, then why not frame them to display as you would any other photo that you love? I have several old cards and letters in picture frames on my wall, and they make great mementos.
Turn Them Into Jigsaws
This is a brilliant idea that was given to me by Emma at ReadyFreddieGo . Stick the card front to some card, or just glue to front and back layers of the card together. Then snip away to create a fun free jigsaw! Children will love making these for each other!
See my instagram tutorial here.
Use Them To Make New Cards
This is another idea I have been doing for years. Do you make your own Christmas cards or birthday cards using card stock? Then why not use some of the embellishments and pictures from your old cards?
Snowman Greeting Cards
Don’t want to throw too many of the card backs away? A lot of card crafts use just the front designs of the Christmas card, but this craft idea from In The Playroom uses the backs too. Even less waste!
Junk Journalling Or ScrapBook Making
The next way how to keep greeting cards is to scrapbook them. Making a junk journal or a scrap book is a brilliant way of using up some of your cards.
Hole Punch Confetti Cards
A couple of years ago Elizabeth and I made these Hole Punch Confetti cards using dried leaves. However, you could also upcycle old greeting cards to make the confetti circles to decorate the cards.
It is such an easy child friendly craft idea for making cards.
Next in my ideas for old greeting cards is to make them into bookmarks. Just like you made the gift tags, you can make longer cards easily into bookmarks by punching a small hole in a long rectangular piece of card and adding a ribbon.
Card Bowls And Boxes
Making boxes from greeting cards is known as celluloid craft and is one of my favourite ways to repurpose old greeting cards. Bowls and boxes made from Christmas cards are certainly not a new idea. My aunt used to have one of these Christmas card bowls when I was younger, so I recently decided to upcycle some of my own used Christmas cards to make a bowl or make boxes out of Christmas cards.
However, this pattern is not just for old Christmas cards. I think it would look wonderful in black and white postcards. And it is incredibly easy to recreate.
I love this idea for making cheap and effective card garlands for Christmas or parties. Just cut circles of cards, stick two circle together backloads to back and then sew over the cards through the centre to create a garland as long as you need.
Not able to sew? There is also an easy no sew variation of this, where you just cut the circles and stick them together over the garland string or twine. Wait to set before hanging as before.
I recently created a Valentine heart card garland and a flower garland in a very similar fashion. These garlands are such a quick easy decor idea!
In a similar vein is this simple card bunting, that is particularly useful for birthday celebrations.
You can make this in a traditional triangular bunting shape, or just utilise the natural shape of the cards to quickly create practically free party decor.
Mini Christmas Tree Decoration
You can use progressively larger circles of card to make a cute Christmas tree –see this tutorial for how to make one.
Making boxes out of cards can be done in several ways. You can easily make a small flattened box for smaller gifts such as jewellery.
But there are also some wonderful tutorials for how to make a small lidded box from your old cards too.
Angels are pretty synonymous with the festive season. But I do think that these card angels are beautiful all year around. Plus, they are very simple to make, so this is a great craft idea for if you have children. They can be made using paper too!
Another simple craft idea is to glue circles of old greeting cards together to make a wreath.
Christmas Tree Decoration – Globe Ornament
Just like the card basket/bowl, these globe ornaments using old Christmas cards were very popular when I was small.
See how to make them here
Christmas Tree Decoration – Sphere Ornaments
Similarly, you can use less circles to make another type of Christmas decoration – find how here
Christmas Tree Decoration – Mason Jar Lid
Finally, why not upcycle some mason jar lids at the same time as your old greetings cards to make these cute jar lid Christmas tree ornaments? This post from Down Redbud Drive will show you how.
Other Posts Of Mine You Might Like
Do you think that you will be making any of these ideas? And have you enjoyed this post giving tips on what to do with your old greeting cards? If you love all things zero waste crafts and sewing then you may also like the following posts. I also have plenty of home made gift ideas projects on my site too, so do go take a look.
- Royal Party Ideas – Crafts for decorating and celebrating a birthday, wedding or royal occasion
- Fabric Scraps – How To Use Every Last Piece.
- How to Have A Zero Waste Christmas
I love to see all your projects. Do comment below, or tag me in your makes on social media. Find me at
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