There are dozens of ways to repurpose Christmas cards when you're finished enjoying them. Greetings come in a wide variety of themes, like wintry landscapes, Christian art and Santa Claus. There’s a lot to work with and something for every taste. Here are some ideas for giving your old cards a second life.

 

For Creative Types

A background with a small pattern, like falling snow, is ideal for making a gift monogram. Trace an alphabet stencil on the card, cut out the letter and paste it to the wrapped gift.

 

Another idea is to make a garland. Use a circle punch to cut single images from the cards. String them together using a needle and heavy thread. Sew the thread through the left and right edges of each circle to keep the pictures facing front.

 

Finally, if you have four cards of similar size, trim them to match up identically. Line them up on top of one another. Use a small hole punch to create evenly spaced holes down the left and right sides. Use embroidery thread to attach all four cards so that you have a standing box. Place a battery-powered tea light inside for a cheery glow.

 

Simple Ideas

You don’t have to do things Martha Stewart’s way to be creative. One of the smartest ways to recycle Christmas cards is to turn them into postcards. Simply cut off the back side of the card and recycle it. Flip the picture over. Neatly draw a vertical line down the center of the blank side. Send the postcards to friends for less postage than sealed cards.

 

The next idea calls for a $12-25 investment, but you can buy a tag-shaped punch that you’ll use throughout the year. Just punch out your favorite image, thread it with ribbon and attach the pretty tag to your gift. For a homespun look, use brown paper sacks as wrapping.

 

For Everyone

If you're short on time, just detach the messages and drop off the pictures at a hospital or nursing home. Ask a staff member to distribute them to people who don’t get many cards or visitors. They might also be used to decorate the dining room or a bulletin board. This may be the best way of all to put old Christmas cards to good use.

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