Christmas Cards

I’m not sure what it is about this Christmas…

….but I’m savoring every moment in a way I’ve never done before.

Normally, I rush through putting up the trees. I hurry and hustle and just want to get it done. But this year? I am putting every ornament up like I’m in a Hallmark movie and carolers are about to show up at the door.

I just made my mother’s cranberry bread.

I’ve got a holiday playlist.

I have my gift wrap and ribbons ready to go.

And Christmas cards?


Most years I either forget to send them or send them late.

But this year is special.

This year I’m not going to get to see all the people I want to see and the only way to wish them a Merry Christmas is to send them a little season’s greetings.

I think this is going to be the year of the Christmas card.

I wrote this post because just between us?

I’m never sure what to do with the cards after I read them.

Throw them away?

Toss them?

Make scrapbooks?

Instead? Here are five creative ideas for decorating with them.

Christmas cards letter banner

Merry banner

1.  Merry Banner

This banner could actually say joy or peace or noel.

To make it I simply used a ruler and traced letters onto the Christmas card.

Then I cut them out and clipped them to a ribbon with clothespins and hung them on a basket.

Christmas cards letter

The letters are different sizes (so much easier and less measuring).

They are just the size of the card.

And no curves, only straight lines for easier tracing.

You could also punch a hole in the edge and hang them with jute twine.

Christmas card recycling project

2.  Holly jolly house

This house was made from two different cards.

For the base, I cut out a strip of card and folded it with two short sides and two long sides and taped.

Cards are perfect for this project because they are much stiffer than regular scrapbook paper.

Christmas card projects jolly house

Then I cut out a square for the roof and folded it in half and taped it to the top of the base.

I cut out four tiny rectangles for the chimney and notched two of them to fit over the roof.

I taped them all together and added a puff of “smoke” made from cotton batting.

Christmas card tags

3.  Candy cane tags

This was the easiest project of all.

To make these tags, I used the back of cards.

There’s the cutest little PS on the back of some of the cards that makes the cutest tag.

Christmas card project tags

You could use a tag cutter or paper cutter or you could go all old school with a pair of scissors.

Simply cut a rectangle out of the card with your design in the center.

Clip the corners off of one end to make the tag, punch a hole and add a ribbon.

Christmas card box

4.  Joy gift card box

I made this tiny box out of one card.

The front made the top and the back made the bottom.

Wouldn’t it be so cute for a gift card present?

Christmas card Joy box

Making the box is so much easier than it looks.

I simply cut out two notches on each side and folded the ends under and taped.

Then I repeated the same steps for the bottom of the box.

5. Advent Calendar

Cut the front of the cards into shapes.

You could make Christmas trees or bells or stars or snowflakes.

Then write an act of kindness on each one and tuck them into 25 envelopes to be opened each of the days leading up to Christmas.

Every day have your family open them and share a little kindness in the middle of this busy holiday season.

I kind of forgot how much fun it is to spend an afternoon with Christmas carols and a little creativity.

Do you have a fun project you’ve done with Christmas cards?

Let me know.

I’ll be right back.

I’m off to check the mailbox for more supplies. 🙂

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  1. Image for JC JC

    Love these ideas! I sorta feel a little guilty to throw out the cards I receive, but these ideas would make you feel like you did something special with them. I love the idea for word banner. It would be cute to do your families names too, maybe hang letters/words on the tree, over the mantel, or with greenery garland at the end of a bed. We have a tradition of hanging our Christmas stockings from our bedposts and people have to sneak in the bedrooms to fill them. It's fun! I think a card banner would make it merrier. Thanks for the idea! Enjoy the prep! Fyi, the link to Leslie's ideas didn't work for me.

  2. Image for Judith Judith

    I have always said. “This year’s cards are next year’s gift tags!” Please be careful with what you send as some people are allergic to glitter (and there is a lot out there). Thanks

    1. Image for Julie Julie

      Judith, this is exactly what I've done with my cards and ask family/friends for theirs. I use the base of a glass as my template and then cut this pattern on the cards. Punch a hole on top and thread with thin ribbon or cord. However, these are made and donated to those who are struggling to have a Christmas. I understand from the coordinator these have been well received thus my reason for continuing to do this. Those special cards I REALLY like, are framed and placed about the house. I love snowmen though they got to have a special look for them to be used. ha

    2. Image for Julie Julie

      Judith, I do the same, and yet these are donated to the township office for those who are struggling to make a Christmas. Whether the tags are circular or any cookie cutter I choose to trace the design, a hole is punched and a ribbon pulled through. I'm always asking family/friends for their cards so many are made and given for next November! Keeps me busy after the holidays too!

  3. Image for Cheryl Cheryl

    I have used the fronts as post cards the following year. Maybe that seems cheap but there have been years I didn't have the money to buy and send so re- purposed them and post cards mail for less. I got to let our loved ones know we were thinking of them.

    1. Image for Kris Kris

      Brilliant idea! And postage is less expensive for post cards. I like using them for gift tags but I'm intrigued by the banner idea. And yes, I picked up my photo gift cards yesterday, as I'm hoping that receiving cards will send a little happiness to friends and family.

    2. Image for Lisa Lisa

      That's not "cheap", that's creative and you're "reducing/reusing/recycling"! Sometimes the cards I use have part of a handwritten note on the backside of the front of the card. If they do, I just cut another piece of card or cardstock just a 1./4" larger than the picture, adhere it firmly to the back of the original card so it looks new (I often use special scissors so it has a fancy cutting edge to make it look even more like it's an original design). Good for you for using what you have!

      1. Image for Kris Kris

        Lisa, I've done the same thing with the special scissors. I was also thinking, I re-use gift bags all the time--others I know do the same thing and no one perceives that as being "cheap"--why should cards be any different?

  4. Image for Vicki Vicki

    I’ve had an addiction to Christmas cards for 20+ years! I’ve made numerous things, from bookmarks, tags, boxes, and my favorite, Christmas Countdown Calendars, which I have gifted to good friends and family. Each card had a small message on it, a Christmas fact, a kind gesture, a holiday question, they have evolved over the years. I just love making them still, tho they are time consuming! My newest idea is to make new cards from the old cards!

  5. Image for Dee Ann Dee Ann

    Love these! I have also cut them up to make two-sided bookmarkers. Choose 2 cards, cut to size desired, glue together, punch a hole in one end and put narrow ribbon through hole and secure, I have given these to family, friends, and seniors at assisted living centers/nursing homes.

  6. Image for Patricia Patricia

    I've always just cut off the card back and saved the fronts for next year's gift tags. I see I can do so much more! Love the banner idea. And I'd love to see how exactly you made the tiny boxes. Maybe a photo or two "in progress"?

  7. Image for Robin Farris Robin Farris

    Another good use, especially the cards that have family pictures on them, is to place them in a basket near your quiet time area and use it as a reminder to pray for them throughout the new year.

  8. Image for Mary Mary

    I have saved my favorite Christmas cards for the last 40 years. I have them organized by category and in a book. Each year my grandkids love looking at them and I do too. One granddaughter is a graphic artist and especially loves looking back at the older cards.

  9. Image for Lynn Mosher Lynn Mosher

    Great ideas, KariAnne! I've saved cards as well, hating to throw them out. Some are so lovely. Now I'll have to dig them out and get the ol' thinker going! And you know, this Christmas is different. With all the craziness in the world right now, it just seems worthwhile and necessary to think on lovelier thoughts and Christmas couldn't be a more lovely thought! Enjoy all your preparations. And I'm in the mood to do something as well. 😁❤

  10. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    Yes we need some joy this year! Great ideas- thanks! Have made my old Christmas cards into tags, book marks, collages....framed some of them, used covers as mini Christmas brag books.

  11. Image for Marlene Stephenson Marlene Stephenson

    Oh good, this is a great idea for those really nice ones you hate to toss but don't know what to do with them. Thanks Karianne.

  12. Image for Michele M. Michele M.

    GREAT ideas, KA! I repurpose as many as I can. I NEVER EVER keep glitter ones. It's part of our marriage agreement, haha. I have been cutting up cards and making into gift tags for as far back as my memory goes - I remember those really difficult to use zig zag scissors of this day I hate those kinds of scissors lol made wee little weak hands so sore! A few years back I did what Dee Ann above suggested and decorated repurposed gift bags too.

  13. Image for Sandy Sandy

    Cut the front of the cards into strips and make paper chains. These can be hung and draped from so many places throughout the home.

  14. Image for Peg Peg

    Very cute, and I LOVE the idea from Sandy (above) about making paper chains and draping them throughout the house!!! xoxo

  15. Image for Yolanda M. Duran Yolanda M. Duran

    Using last year's Christmas cards is such a fun idea! I also hate to throw them away just because of sentimentality! And you could get the kids to help with that project!

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