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18 Surprising Ways to Reuse Greeting Cards

18 Surprising Ways to Reuse Greeting Cards

Do you have a stash of Christmas cards that you can’t bear to toss into the recycle bin? Check out these ways to reuse greeting cards!

I have a sort of mixed relationship with Christmas cards. It warms my heart up to have all of those sweet notes from friend and family flood my mailbox each December, but the paper waste kind of bums me out. I tend to stash my favorite cards away, and after another December of beautiful cards from friends, I decided that it was time to find some ways to reuse greeting cards, so I could turn those single-use items into forever keepsakes or at least give them a new life!

Question: What do you guys do with the Christmas cards that pile up every year? I would love to hear your favorite ways to reuse greeting cards in the comments!

This whole thing might sound a little bit grinchy, so in addition to the ways to reuse greeting cards below I wanted to include a couple of ideas for greeting cards that are kinder to the planet. If you love sending holiday cards, you don’t have to choose single-use paper:

  • A lot of my friends this year sent e-cards. An e-card might feel a little bit ephemeral, but services like Paperless Post do a good job of giving you the greeting card experience without the paper or the carbon footprint of mailing.
  • You can also choose plantable cards. There are lots of pretty greeting cards made with seed paper. After the holidays are over, your recipients can plant your card in a pot or their gardens and watch it bloom!

Related Reading: 4 Natural Ways to Recover from Holiday Stress

Ways to Reuse Greeting Cards

Use old greeting cards to make cute covered clothespins!

18 Ways to Reuse Greeting Cards

1. Covered Clothespins – This is one of the simplest ways to reuse greeting cards, and my friends loved the cute covered clothespins that I gave them as a gift this year!

2. DIY Gift Tags – Cut your old gift cards into little squares or rectangles or use a fancy gift tag punch to turn this year’s cards into next year’s gift tags.

3. Make Magnets – Do you have cards with cute characters on them? It’s easy and fun to turn them into magnets! Your kids will love helping with this craft project.

4. Christmas Card Puzzles – A pair of scissors and maybe five minutes of your time are all you need to turn a Christmas card into a mini puzzle for your little ones.

Related Reading: 14 Ways to Reuse Coffee Filters

5. DIY Puppets – This is another five minute craft that transforms Christmas cards into an activity for your kids. If you want to make this even more reused, try substituting a teaspoon for the tongue depressor. The sticky tack is removable, so you can have your spoon back at the end of play time.

6. Paper Luminaries - Display your favorite Christmas cards as beautiful handmade luminaries!

7. 3D Petal Ornament – There are a few ornaments on this list, and I love the modern shape on this one!

8. Mason Jar Toppers – Next time you gift someone with homemade jam or bath salts, use an old Christmas card to decorate the top of the jar.

Ways to Reuse Greeting Cards

Frame your favorite cards for instant DIY decor.

9. Frame Your FavesSo many greeting cards have beautiful art or motivational text on them. Enjoy them year round by framing them up.

10. Wine Charms – I love the simplicity of these cute wine charms made from greeting cards.

11. Sweet Bunting – The heavy cardstock from greeting cards are perfect for making sturdy, sweet bunting to use as a party decoration.

12. Paper Basket – Hand stitch your old greeting cards into a functional basket for storing knick knacks!

13. Make a Gift Card Holder – Wrapping gift cards can be a challenge, unless you tap your stash of old greeting cards and use this tutorial!

14. Greeting Card to Postcard – What is it about postcards that feels so romantic? Regift a pretty greeting card as a sweet little postcard!

Related Reading: 25 Crafty Ways to Reuse Junk Mail

15. Christmas Card Tree – Turn old Christmas cards into a miniature paper Christmas tree.

16. Make A Fresh Greeting Card – Old greeting cards make lovely embellishments for…another greeting card! You can also use this in your scrap booking adventures.

17. Collage It – Arm your kids with scissors, non-toxic glue, and recycled paper and let them use your greeting cards to create fun collages.

18. Donate Them – Donating an old greeting card might sound a little bit strange, but St. Jude’s Ranch repurposes old greeting cards through their Recycled Card Program. They resell the cards to help fund their programs to help families in need.

Image Credits (in order of appearance): Thinkstock, Becky Striepe, Bonnie Getchell

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Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe is a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. Her life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Like this article? You can follow Becky on Twitter or find her on Facebook!


+ add your own
11:34PM PDT on Apr 28, 2014

Thank you!

7:57AM PST on Mar 5, 2014

Good suggestions. I frame-tack+collage the great cards like travel ones. Thanks

4:21PM PST on Feb 28, 2014

Oh you crafty people, love ya work!

2:31PM PST on Feb 17, 2014

Love these ideas! I just cannot part with cards - they are truly an art form! What a great way to spend the cold winter days inside! Thank you, Care!

9:52AM PST on Jan 30, 2014

Cut off the front of the card and use it for a post card. I think the current postcard rate is .34.

12:45PM PST on Jan 28, 2014

Nice ideas to spare cards from the landfill while preventing clutter. Thanks.

12:38PM PST on Jan 28, 2014

Great article, thanks for sharing.

10:08AM PST on Jan 24, 2014

Great ideas ! Thanks for posting this !

9:16PM PST on Jan 23, 2014

Thank you Becky, I love the article and all 18 ideas for reusing the old Christmas cards, I had already donated mine this year to my Great Nephews school art class for them to re use. But I am going to keep the article and use them differently next year. Also thanks to the over 170 care 2 members that commented on this article, I am going to enjoy reading all of them.

7:57AM PST on Jan 22, 2014

Great ideas .. Thank you !

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