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Recycling Used Christmas Cards

Year after year many receive Christmas cards that are just too lovely to discard. Use these cards to create easy ornaments for the tree, gift tags, gift boxes and other small things. Here you will find several examples of how to recycle these pretty card motifs for further use.

 

 

Recycling Christmas Cards

Time required: about 20 minutes for a box, about 10 minutes for the tags and ornaments, about 10 minutes plus drying time for the glitter pictures and about 5 minutes for the framed cards.

Difficulty Level: Easy

Material List For All Projects:

Used Christmas Cards to Recycle

- used Christmas cards
- scissors
- craft glue

Additional Material List For the Boxes:

- white cardstock
- box making board (optional - has the advantage that it makes the box lid and box base so that they fit perfectly
  together) or fold and crease the box lid and base manually (instructions will be written below)
- stylus
- bone folder
- clothes pins or paper clips to hold the sides while they are drying

Additional Material List For the Tags and Ornaments:

- die cutting machine of your choice and necessary cutting boards for the dies used
- rectangle dies for the tags
- round and round scallop dies for the ornaments
- white box sides for the ornaments (this recycles white boxes and at the same time, gives you a sturdy base for the
  ornament)

If you do not have a die cutting machine, you can also cut out the shape using scissors. To create a special border, use decorative edged scissors instead.

Recycled Christmas Card Boxes

Instructions to Make Boxes:

How to Make a Christmas Card Box 1
1. First cut away the front of the card. Place it over the cardstock and cut out the exact same size so you have two identical pieces.

How to Make a Christmas Card Box 4
2. A box maker comes in handy when making boxes. It takes in consideration that the box lid needs to be a tiny bit larger than the base and is set up that way.

How to Make a Christmas Card Box 2
If using a box maker, place the card front on the side called “lid” and crease a line on each side of the paper to the height you choose. For this particular box, the 3rd line was used so the height will be 1.5 cm.

How to Make a Christmas Card Box 3
For the box base you will place the cardstock piece you cut out on the box “base” side and use also the same line (for this box the 3rd line, just like the box lid). Then crease all 4 lines on that side of the box maker.

If you do not have a box maker, you can also make a lid and base. You need a foam mat, stylus and ruler. Mark on each side of the card front and the cardstock piece the height you need and then emboss the lines using the stylus and ruler. Please note, the lid and base will fit tighter than if you had used the box maker because they will be the identical size.

How to Make a Christmas Card Box 5
3. Now you have the box base lid and box base creased.

How to Make a Christmas Card Box 6
4. Use a bone folder or similar and burnish the creases so the sides can be perfectly folded over.

How to Make a Christmas Card Box 7
5. Cut a wedge in each of the 4 square corners. On one side, you cut along the line of the fold until the horizontal crease and from the other side you come at an angle. Like cutting a small triangle.

How to Make a Christmas Card Box 8
6. Then place glue on each of these 4 corners and fold them inwards so that they will adhere to the inside of the box side.

How to Make a Christmas Card Box 9
7. Use paper clips or clothes pins to hold the walls until the glue dries. That only takes a couple of minutes. Repeat for the other box half.

How to Make a Christmas Card Box 10
8. Now the gift box is ready for use.

 

Recycling Craft - Boxes from Christmas Cards
These boxes are perfect for small gifts. You can also consider making 24 of them and using them for an Advent calendar, too. Then they can be re-used each year again.

 

 

 

Instructions to Make the Tags:

Recycled Christmas Card Gift Tags

How to Make Christmas Tags 1
1. Choose a card you want to use.

How to Make Christmas Tags 2
2. Select an area to die cut and the die of your choice. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and die cut the image from the card.

How to Make Christmas Tags 3
3. Here a cute Christmas cat was cut out. Then punch a hole through the top and use ribbon or baker’s twine to hang it.

If you do not have a die cutting machine, you can also cut rectangle shaped images out with scissors or decorative edged scissors for a fancier look.

 

 

 

Instructions to Make the Christmas Tree Ornaments (or these can also be used as tags):

Recycling Craft - Used Christmas Card Tree Ornament 330

How to Make Christmas Ornaments 1
1. Cut out a larger scallop out of a white box side. Not only does this recycle boxes, but is strong and sturdy, too. Die cut out a smaller white circle out of the card.

How to Make Christmas Ornaments 2
2. Simply adhere the card circle onto the scallop. Punch a hole through the top of the ornament and use ribbon or baker’s twine to hang it.

If you do not have a die cutting machine:

Find small round objects (cans, drinking cup, etc... to cut out the card circle. Place the object over the Christmas card and trace around them. Cut out the circle.

Trace another larger circle onto a piece of sturdy cardboard or box side and cut out using scissors or decorative edged scissors for a fancier look
. Then glue the smaller circle over the larger one.

Recycled Christmas Card Ornament
A pretty angel was found on a Christmas card and looks lovely as a motif.

 

 

 

And after you have cut images out of the cards and still have left over card pieces:

Cut Out Card Sentiments
The sentiments or messages on the front of the cards can also be cut or die cut out to use for future craft projects.

Leftover Card Pieces for Crafting
Various areas are also pretty, depending on the design of the card. You can cut or die cut out squares, circles, rectangles, stars or other shapes to also use for future projects.

 

Card fronts can also be used as pictures to hang:

Recycling Craft - Used Christmas Card Tree Ornament 2
This is an example of a card that was first cut out with decorative edged scissors and then embellished with glue and glitter as a frame. Two holes were punched in each corner and a ribbon was added to hang it.

Craft Using Recycled Christmas Card - Holy Family Ornament 330
This is a religious card front that had gold details on it. A frame of gold glitter was created to make a gorgeous picture that can also be hung.

 

Framed Christmas Cards
Some cards look also great when framed in a picture frame and used as a decoration.

 

 

 

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