Don't throw your Christmas cards away! Scroll down for our compilation of creative ways to use your Christmas cards - hopefully you will find something that will appeal!
Christmas Card Recycling Ideas
- Make little Christmas boxes for next year. You will find the instructions here (but beware, this is addictive!). These work particularly well as little gift boxes on a Christmas table, with a tiny present for each guest tucked inside. This year I made 24 boxes for an advent calendar for the kids, filling each box with chocolates!
- Cut shapes out of the cards in matching pairs. Hearts work nicely, as do simple Christmas tree shapes and even plain squares and circles. You may find some inspiration on our template pages. Stick the cards back to back and laminate them, then punch a hole in them and use to make a colourful and child-friendly mobile or string to decorate next year. You could add to this every year. As a variation, you could back each shape with a plain-coloured piece of card or construction paper and write on it the date and name of the person who sent the card.
- Cut playing-card shapes out of the cards, stick a piece of plain card over any writing if necessary, and use to make a game for your children to play next year. Laminate to protect. Look for inspiration on our learning games pages.
- A traditional activity, but one which never fails to amuse the kids, is making gift tags for next year's presents. Use pinking sheers, a hole punch, and leftover ribbon
- Make gift bags for next year by saving smart paper bags. Cut a nice shape out of each card and stick it to the front of the bag (covering any shop labels if necessary). Add a little ribbon bow just above the card and wrap your present in tissue paper before putting it into the bag. This looks lovely with brown paper bags and tartan ribbons.
- Some designs can be cut and folded into miniature Christmas cards for the kids to give next year, or for decorating the dolls house.
- Scan your favourite cards into the computer and some of your favourite messages from inside the cards as well and make them into a Christmas wallpaper or screensaver with a photo program. Children love this and it is a great memento if you do it each year.
- Cut out the pictures on the larger cards, punch holes around the edges with a hole punch, add a shoelace or brightly coloured wool (with sticky tape wrapped around the ends) and you have a cheerful and cheap lacing card for little ones. If they are particularly popular you could laminate them to make them last longer.
- Make some Christmas confetti to use next year. Use either a plain hole punch or a special Christmas one (both together look great) and choose the most colourful areas from each card to cut. Gold and silver looks very effective, especially mixed in with red and green. Small scraps of left-over wrapping paper can be used too. You can keep the children busy with this for hours! The confetti is useful on New Year's Eve, too.