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by Lizzie Bennett
Christmas cards are a fun and charming way to let the people you love and care about know that you are thinking of them. For many, the hanging of the Christmas cards received so far around the house is a yearly tradition – the evidence that they are loved by those around them. However, as December 25th comes and goes, the time for Christmas decorations does as well. Trees are tossed to the curb, ornaments are stowed in the attic, and stockings are packed away.
One other thing that must be dealt with though are the plethora of Christmas cards which now decorate the house. Every year, we end up with a pile of Christmas cards that looked very festive before the holiday but start to look a little untidy as we head into the New Year. Another perennial issue is that every year we also throw away mountains of trash. If you’re like me, you have to pay for the garbage you throw out, so finding alternative ways to reuse items is budget-friendly in more ways than one. (After all, there’s after Christmas sales to be enjoyed!)
You don’t have to throw those cards right into the trash, though
Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing
- Make use of the heavy card stock to make stencils for quilting or painting.
- Cut the designs from the cards, an ornament or a snowman, for example, then punch a single hole in the top to get started on your gift tags for next year.
- Take a card with an especially beautiful holiday picture to put in a simple frame and bring out next Christmas.
- Make disposable jigsaw puzzles for younger children. Just cut the whole front of the cards into interesting shapes and let them put the picture back together.
- The verses often printed on the front of cards make great place cards for festive dinner parties. Alternatively, little images also look very attractive. Just cut the bottom edge an inch longer than the picture and make a fold with a sharp crease so it stands up. Store for next year.
- Cut them into strips of the same size, store with your Christmas decorations, and the kiddos are good to go for next year’s paper chains.
- Cut colorful cards into small squares, grab a glue stick, and let the kids make mosaic pictures on a rainy day. This can serve as a great means of fighting the winter time blues. (And allow mom a few moments of sanity.)
- Two strips of card glued back-to-back can make a bright and cheery bookmark. If you’re really feeling crafty, you can add a tassel made from yarn or embroidery thread.
- Tear little strips from used cards and mix with melted candle stubs. Pour into egg cartons to top up your fire starter store. Remember to leave a little sticking up to take the flame when you light the fire.
- Cut small detail pieces and group them by shape or colors. These can be used to decorate homemade cards for next year.
If you don’t want to reuse the cards or don’t have children to entertain, Christmas cards can work as fuel for the fireplace, assuming you heat with wood. They won’t last long for such, but they can serve as a great means of tinder for getting that fire roaring. This method works especially great for those cards from relatives you don’t like! (Just kidding, just kidding.)
What do you do with old Christmas cards?
Have you tried any of our ideas above? Are there other ideas you’ve used in the past to great success? Share your ideas in the comments below.