recycled christmas cardsby Debora Dyess

The average American sends out 28 cards each Christmas. That means most of us spend between $12 – $20 on cards every year and receive cards worth just as much. That doesn’t even include the cost and landfill space of the wrapping paper we use.  It’s time to quit chunking that bit of change into the ‘round file’ when the holidays are over! Remember – reduce, recycle and reuse cards and paper. Here are some ideas to help you reuse your holiday cards and paper.

Christmas Door-Decor
Materials: Thick glue, holiday ribbon, large safety pin, 5-7 cards or scraps of gift wrap with cute pictures and an equal number of frozen, concentrated juice lids (washed and dried).
Directions: Cut the card into a circle to fit the lid, glue in place; dry. Glue lids to the ribbon, making sure all pictures are facing up. Attach the safety pin to the top lid to form a hanger. Use indoors or, for outdoors, cover pictures with matte spray or clear ContacPaper.

Photo Frame
Materials: Christmas card or gift wrap, clear acetate frame, thick glue

Directions: Cut elements from the card or paper to decorate your frame. Glue to the edges of the frame to accentuate the photo you plan to insert. Santa may be watching your kids open gifts, snow-covered pine trees may dot the frame around the photo of your snowman or a sleigh may be jingling past your Christmas tree.

Scrap booking elements
Materials: Scrapbook page or paper, specialty scissors, paper punches, other scrap booking supplies as needed, cards or gift wrap
Directions: Use portions of cards or gift wrap to embellish scrapbook pages. Simply cut the portion of the card you wish to use and proceed as with store-bought embellishments.

When you reuse cards and wrap during Christmas, you’ll keep alive the spirit of Christmas past, and be staying green in a season of red-and-green. And don’t forget to make the cards you send out recycled Christmas cards. Keeping your holidays green should make everyone a little more jolly!