By Beth Buczynski on November 22, 2011

Why toss old cards into the recycling bin when they can live on in these charming holiday decorations?

How to recycle old holiday cardsAlthough the ease, speed and relative environmental friendliness of email puts postal mail to shame, there are some times when it’s nice to receive a real card instead of the virtual equivalent.

For me, the holidays are one of those times. I love getting these brightly colored cards in the mail, each one a different interpretation of what the holidays mean to the sender. Because they can double as a lively decoration, I often display each holiday card on a shelf or even on the tree throughout the season. Tossing these cards in the recycling bin when it’s all over feels harsh when one considers the wishes of joy and cheer contained within.

That’s why I was overjoyed to learn that there are lots of ways to upcycle old holiday cards into decorations that can be enjoyed year after year. Here are some of my favorites:

Holiday card ornaments

With just a glass jar, needle and thread, scissors and some glue, you can transform old holiday cards into delightful paper ornaments that will brighten up even the tiniest tree!

Decorative gift jars

Homemade cookies and candy make great holiday gifts, but it can be hard to know how to package them so they’ll be both fresh and festive. Images from old holiday cards can be cut out and glued to upcycled coffee cans to create the perfect gift jar for edible treats.

Holiday gift tags

Why waste money on expensive gift labels when the wrapping will just be ripped off and forgotten? Instead, keep track of which present goes to whom by recycling old holiday cards into decorative gift tags.

Upcycled holiday luminaries

Use recycled greeting cards to cast a holiday glow over your favorite room by creating these festive luminaries. All you need are at least four cards of the same size, embroidery thread, a needle and a small hole punch.

What are your favorite handmade holiday decorations? Share your ideas in a comment!

About the author

Beth Buczynski is a freelance copywriter and environmental journalist in the Rocky Mountain West. She specializes in providing online content and community mana[...]
Learn more about Beth Buczynski

Related Articles

Comments

There are no comments for this post yet


Articles by Beth Buczynski

RoboSteel Creates Amazing Art from Scrap Metal

By Beth Buczynski on March 28, 2012

Old scrapyard bits and pieces are recycled into jaw-dropping sculptures big and small.

Samsung Blue Earth: Everything an Eco-Friendly Phone Should Be

By Beth Buczynski on February 9, 2012

The phone, composed of recycled plastics, features a solar charger and CO2 calculator, among other green features.

Sprint’s Buy-Back and Reuse Program for Mobile Devices

By Beth Buczynski on February 6, 2012

The mobile carrier offers users incentive to recycle. A sister program, Project Connect, accepts any old cell phone regardless of condition or carrier.

Reuse Articles

Spring Cleaning: Recycle Your Denim

By Kara DiCamillo on March 24, 2014

Blue Jeans Go Green transforms used denim into home insulation for those in need.

Give a Green Card This Valentine’s Day

By April Stearns on February 13, 2014

In order to help reduce Valentine’s Day waste, many companies have taken the initiative to create recycled cards.

Crafty Alternatives for Valentine Flowers

By Maggie Wehri on February 12, 2014

Do some different this Valentine's Day: reuse.

Current News

Recycling Profile: Long Beach, CA

By 1-800-RECYCLING on April 18, 2014

Long Beach's weekly curbside recycling program accepts items like polystyrene, plastic bags and paint cans.

461 Colleges and Universities Nationwide Recover 89.1 Million Pounds of Organic and Recyclable Materials During RecycleMania

By 1-800-RECYCLING on April 14, 2014

During this 14th annual tournament, updated weekly rankings allowed schools to track their performance in eight categories measuring their recycling rate.

Recycling Profile: Nashua, NH

By 1-800-RECYCLING on April 11, 2014

Nashua's single-stream curbside recycling program could be a model for other programs around New Hampshire.

Loading