44 answers

What to Do with Received Christmas Cards After the Holidays

Ok, this may be a kinda weird question, most people probly just throw them away. We got some beautiful Christmas cards this year and during the holidays we hang them up on the wall to display, but afterwards I feel bad throwing them in the trash. I know there are alot of crafty moms out there...any ideas on what I can do with the cover of the cards. i was thinking just cutting off the back half and using the pretty fronts to make something, but what? I'll probly get rid of most of them, but the really neat ones are too nice to end up in trach cans.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Wow, I sure did get a ton of responses from you all..Thank you!!!
I like the scrapbooking ideas and also will give some to schools too. that's a great idea.

Featured Answers

Hi S., My mom always cut off the front of the cards or cut out the design on the front and used them as gift tags the next Christmas.

1 mom found this helpful

I keep the tops of Christmas cards, birthday cards whatever in a shoe box and my preschooler likes to draw on the back and re-mail them... she loves mail!

1 mom found this helpful

The St. Judes Childrens hospital will take them and use them for arts and crafts projects. You can mail them to them or drop them off in Boulder City. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

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I cut out what I can and make them into gift tags for next year. Just take a plain index card and glue it to the back and you can use a holepunch or even a pin and thread to create a hole and put a string through it. Caution - do it now, because you will be too busy to do it at Christmas time next year!

2 moms found this helpful

There is a home for abused and abandoned children called St. Jude's Ranch for Children. For years, they had a program for the children to take the fronts of Christmas cards and cut and glue them to new card stock to sell as Christmas cards. The children would get 15 cents per card made toward their college funds and pocket money. They are starting this program up again this Spring. Basically, you send them the fronts of your cards as a donation. It is a great cause. The page of their website explaining this is http://www.stjudesranch.org/give/Recycled_Cards.php

2 moms found this helpful

When I was a child, one year my mom had us cut out our favorite designs from the Christmas cards we received. Then we attached them to candles and made Christmas candles. We made "Christmas candles" with any size candle. As I recall we glued the design onto the candle & I think we used parafin(?) over the top of the design. It was inexpensive and alot of fun. If you search the net you might find additional info & ideas i.e., "what to do with old christmas cards"--google it.

1 mom found this helpful

Many of your responders suggested you recycle them into gift tags for next year's presents, a very good idea. Here's another: When our children were still home, they liked making Christmas place mats for each place setting at the dining room table from re-cycled Christmas cards. Taking clear contac paper, they carefully measured 2 of the size needed for the place mat. They trimmed the cards as needed; removed the backing from one of the pieces of contac paper; carefully placed the layout of pre-trimmed cards as they wanted them on the sticky side smoothing them in place; removed the backing from the second sheet of contac paper; and VERY CAREFULLY placed that inverted contac paper over the cards smoothing all bubbles and creases out. Sometimes they put a decorative cut around the finished product. When they made these mats, we would use a plain colored table cloth so the beautiful designs of the recycled card mats were displayed to best advantage. I thought this was a wonderful way our children chose to recycle the Christmas cards. By creating these mats, our children learned to honor the sender showing respect for their original thoughtfulness in sending us the card. This project helped build creativity and self-esteem in our children while they contributed something useful to our family, colorful place mats and a way to remember our friends and family. I hope this idea is one your family employs.

K. R.

1 mom found this helpful

The St. Judes Childrens hospital will take them and use them for arts and crafts projects. You can mail them to them or drop them off in Boulder City. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I save mine for the next year and use them for name tags on presents.

1 mom found this helpful

I keep the tops of Christmas cards, birthday cards whatever in a shoe box and my preschooler likes to draw on the back and re-mail them... she loves mail!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S., My mom always cut off the front of the cards or cut out the design on the front and used them as gift tags the next Christmas.

1 mom found this helpful

Make a small scrapbook with the cards as back drops or mattings to add to it... the fonts would work well also..

1 mom found this helpful

Hello. My sister used to use old christmas cards by cutting off the front picture and then gluing them onto the top of christmas presents and then tying some ribbon on the corner. I think it turned out beautifully.

1 mom found this helpful

One idea is to use the pretty fronts as future Christmas gift tags, my Aunt does this and it really is a beautiful way to recycle. Another idea is to check with a local preschool or elememtary school teacher. As a former teacher myself I often used recycled cards in centers during the holiday season.

1 mom found this helpful

I incorporate the creative cute cards into my scrapbook pages that I make of our family's Christmas. That way I get a cute, artsy scrapbook page with virtually no effort on my part. But mostly I just throw the cards away unless I will use them to scrapbook with. There are some good ideas down below (I've heard school teachers also like them to have their students make cards out of the following year), but only keep the cards if you'll actually do something with them. I'm a professional organizer, and like I tell all of my clients, LESS IS MORE. Only keep what you will use. Don't hang on to clutter (cards in this instance) that just takes up space in your house. And, as much as possible, don't hang on to things out of guilt. This also applies to the Christmas gifts we get that don't really fit us or the 100 too many toys that overwhelm our children. If we won't use it, then out it goes to charity. And what you won't use really can bless someone else. Sorry for the tangent, but it kind of applies :)

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.
Could you use any of them (pieces or whole) as gift tags for next year? Just punch a hole in them and put ribbon through them to attach to a gift. Use them in scrap booking. If you don't scrap book maybe a friend does. I use the cards and photos we get to create mini photo albums/holiday picture books for my daughter who loves to go through them and look at the pictures of our friends' kids. Just a couple ideas.

1 mom found this helpful

send them to St Jude's Ranch for Children - check it out at www.stjuderanch.org the kids there can use them! they make new from old and resell them in their Learn to earn program - 100 St Jude's Street, Boulder City, NV 89005.

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter goes to story time at the public library on Fridays and they do a craft. The one craft that would be perfect for this was to take the front of the card and cut it into one inch long strips. Then you punch a small hole in the top and bottom of each strip about 1/4 of an inch down. Then you put a brad in each end and fan it out and around. It turns into a pretty Christmas bulb for your tree. You would just tie yarn around one of the brads to hang it. My two year old daughter loved it. They might be neat Christmas gifts for your kids to give to grandparents or family members.


I do not throw them out i think that people were sending them because they either love you or like enough to send u the cards. I put them in albums.

Either get a tag punch or print out a tag(s) size that you like & copy it on the back. Punch or cut out tags for next years gifts from the 'pretty' part. These could be used all year, depending on what part of the card you use (and what it looks like!). :-)

Try this website it has ten ideas.
http://ms.essortment.com/christmascard_rjix.htm also you could look it up on yahoo or google. I know there is a type of stacking cards you can make but I can't remember the website. Good Luck!

They had something on Good Morning Arizona, where they took cards and scrapbooked them into place mats, it was really cute then you can use them at the holidays if you have people over. Hope that helps :)

Hi S.,

My grandma pasted all of her x-mas cards on a standing japanese screen until it was covered. Every year she put it behind the x-mas tree. I loved it.


I keep some of them to use for scrapbooking.

My daycare lady bought the little picture "brag" books for photos. All of the pages were just the clear photo sleeves. They were like $.99 at Wal-Mart. She cut the old Christmas cards to size to put in the sleeve and then opposite it she put a cute poem that went with the picture or a verse of a children's song that they may have learned about say a snowman or peppermint stick. It was very cute and my daughter loves looking through it and doing the poems or songs. Also, if you scrapbook, you could use them for accents on scrapbook pages. I hope this helps.

You can use them as thank you cards or lay them out together and cover them with clear protector paper. (kinda like shelf paper)and make placemats to use next Christmas for your kids.

We have used them to make an Alphabet Book for Christmas. We cut out things beginning with each letter of the alphabet and pasted them onto sheets of construction paper with the letter printed large with a Sharpie. For any letter we couldn't find on a card, we drew a picture. Then we bound the pages together with staples to make a book.

Our kids have also used them to make their own cards using the cut and paste method. I know of people who glue the cards to poster board cut to card size. They punch holes in the card/board pieces and sew them together with yarn to make open boxes or containers to put Christmas items in, such as candies or cookies.

Have fun!

I've heard people make little gift boxes out of them to make edible gifts and fill them up and give away the next year.

Also some friends of my family in the past have taken old christmas cards with the backs cut off... gotten candy canes and tied a pretty bow on them then glued them to the back side of the cards and given them to the old folks home near them every year. Hope this helps.

Please let me know what the responses are, I sure would like to hear what others do with them as well. I have sued them in the past for new gift tags on the gifts for next year. M.

I was watching Martha Stuart (don't really like her but) she had a good idea that I am using with this years cards..The idea is to take the fronts of the cards and use cookie cutters to trace a shape. Then cut out the design and use as ornaments on the tree or around the house hanging on garland for next year.

Another idea(my own) is to use regular brown recycled paper to wrap next years presents and use the Christmas card fronts as designs on the presents. (you could use plain colored christmas wrap also if you don't want to use the brown paper).

Hope this helps or sparks some ideas you may have.

Hi, that is not wierd at all. I cut them out and make a collague on a round tin (like a pizza pan, but I think I got them at Michaels), past them on put a protective covering over and it makes a nice cookie sheet for Christmas time. I had received one like this about 30 years ago, actually I think even longer. Wow! Anyway and then I gave it as a gift to my nieces and nephews, children, etc. along with a great cookie recipe. I would like to make a cover for the cookies out of plastic and felt, but haven't found time for that as yet. Take care, S.

Well, I am not a crafty person, so I don't really have any suggestions from that aspect except to possibly make them into ornaments for your tree. But, I heard this great idea the other day. Each night your family picks a Christmas card from the bunch that you received and prays for that family. Then you will hopefully feel better about letting that card go (recycle if possible). I thought it was a neat idea and I don't have the guilt any more of getting rid of the cards! Good luck!

In the past, I have cut off the part with the greeting, signature, etc, and saved the artwork (front)to use on packages the following year. Sometimes I just use the whole thing, and sometimes I will cut out pictures and glue them onto the front of a package.

Hope this helps.

Hey! Your little kiddo might not be ready for this for almost another year, but when I taught preschool, I decided to draw some simple lines (maybe a squigle or two) across the back and let my preschoolers practice cutting on them. When they were done, they could flip them back over and put together an easy puzzle. We also used them for sorting activities. For example, I'd say, "Let's put all of the cards with snow flakes in this pile, and all the cards with santa in this pile." Then this could lead to simple addition, patterning, and even graphing.

This year, a friend of mine and her grandson made homemade cards by cutting out the pictures from old cards and pasting them on folded construction paper, then inserting a folded sheet of plain paper and tying them together with a yarn binding. The little boy (he's 3) then colored on the inside sheet. They were really cute.

Myself, I save everything that has any sentimental value, so I put all the cards (and Christmas letters) back in their envelopes, print out my Christmas card list spreadsheet to go with them, put them all in a Ziploc bag, and store those in a bin with all the cards from Christmases past. Maybe someday I'll do a similar project with them, especially the fancy ones my husband gets at work which hold NO sentimental value.

i face the same question! for one, I simply cut off the "second page" of the cards that usually has the writing on it and resend them to friends next year. who cares if they are not complete, recycling is an act of integrity, and it's the thought that counts anyway!

also, it is fun to make a holiday collage with them...cut out your favorite parts and create a big collage on another paper...it can be serious or fun, and mixing the serious content cards with the silly ones can be an avenue for much creativity and fun, especially with kids!! then, if you'd like, you can color copy and reduce in size this collage, and send it out as your next year's homemade christmas card!!

also, by saying "throw them away," i hope all of you are meaning you recycle them with office paper at your local recycling place. they can also be burned in the fireplace as fire starter. let's not fill up the landfill needlessly!

Hi S.. Why not let your son help you make a collage to display next Christmas? Cut out the fronts of the cards, the Santas, Snowmen, or whatever and arrange on construction paper or poster board. You could also use leftover holiday ribbons, bows, name tags, wrapping paper to make it really special.

A neat idea is to cut up the pictures and then have your little boy put the pieces back together like a puzzle. Since he is only 2. Make it easy, maybe only 3-4 cuts. Then he can glue it together onto a piece of construction paper. Another fun idea is to just let him practice cutting with the cards. Have him cut out the snowman or the baby Jesus and so on.

I have put them in a scrapbook for years so we can see how everyone changes year after year. We look thru it every Christmas.

I use the covers of old cards to make holiday gift bags and gift tags. You can buy plain or colored bags (w/handles) at Expedx for next to nothing. The old cards are great for kids crafts too.

I have used beautiful Christmas cards to make decoupage on glass. I also cut out part of the card to make gift cards for next Christmas.


My neighbor told me that she cuts squares of the pretty parts of the cards that she likes. She uses them for tags for next year's presents and what is left over she recycles. They also can make pretty shreds for gift baskets if you do that type of stuff.

Great questions.. I take all of them every year and keep them in a box .. its great to compare year to year my friends children.. great to see how much many of them have grown through the years.. hope that helps

cut the fronts off and use them as gift card tags for next year to teachers, neighbors, friends etc.......

I put the nice ones (especially, ones with photos) in a scrap book like book - glue them in there and make notes to my kids like, "These are your cousins and they are 5 & 7 years old here" or "These kids are friends of ours - they live in the town next door and we get together for parties" so years from now, the kids will know what was going on when they were so little.

I keep the cards I don't want to throw away in a file cabinet.

My mom always cut off the front of the cards (Christmas & Bdays) and put them in a box, then when we kids would make homemade cards, we could go thru and cut out whatever we wanted to and design our own cards.

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