Ways to Recycle and Repurpose Holiday Cards

by Peggy Epstein

When the holidays are over, it seems a shame to throw away all of those carefully selected, colorful holiday cards. It's also a big waste of paper. By recycling and repurposing the cards, you will not only be contributing to a greener environment, you will also have the fun of using your creative abilities.

Place Mats

Cut off the front covers of the cards, and glue them onto a piece of place-mat-sized, brightly colored poster board, leaving a margin of about an inch all the way around. You may have to trim some of the cards to make them fit. Cover the place mat with clear Contact paper.

Gift Tags

Using a pinking shears or scalloped scissors, cut circular or oval shapes from the fronts of Christmas cards. Make sure the tags have no writing on the back. Punch a hole in the top of each; thread a gold ribbon through the hole.

Children's Books

Buy a 4-inch x 6-inch, soft-covered photo album. Cut pictures from the holiday cards so that they measure the same. Insert the pictures into the album's plastic sleeves; choose one for the cover. For beginning readers, you might consider typing up some words describing things in the pictures, such as "snow," and inserting them along with the pictures.

Puzzle Favors

Surprise everyone at next year's holiday table with a tiny box containing a holiday puzzle. Simply cut off the front of a card, and it cut into eight to 10 pieces. Put the puzzle into a small box or envelope, and save it for next year.

Collages

Save cards until the following year. Then give kids large sheets of construction paper, scissors and glue, and let them create holiday collages by cutting up last year's cards. Hang the collages as holiday decorations.

Donations

Donate cards to organizations such as St. Jude's Ranch for Children, which recycles used Christmas cards by turning them into new cards. They then sell the cards as a fundraiser for the organization.

References

  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: An Easy Household Guide; Nicky Scott; 2007
  • Redux: Designs that Reveal, Recycle, and Redefine; Jennifer Roberts; 2005

About the Author

Peggy Epstein is a freelance writer specializing in education and parenting. She has authored two books, "Great Ideas for Grandkids" and "Family Writes," and published more than 100 articles for various print and online publications. Epstein is also a former public school teacher with 25 years' experience. She received a Master of Arts in curriculum and instruction from the University of Missouri.