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Recycled memories

The holiday's over, so what to do with those leftover Christmas cards?

The holiday's over, so what to do with those leftover Christmas cards?

December 27, 2008|By CRYSTAL SCHELLE

Every year as the Christmas season ends, I'm left with a pile of Christmas cards. Some, like the ones sent from my grandmother, are tucked away in a keepsake box. But what do you do with those other cards that are too beautiful to part with, but not sentimental enough to be put in the scrapbook? Recycle. Christmas cards can be turned into decorations or gifts for next year. Here are just a few ideas for giving those Christmas cards a second life.

Postcards

Before Christmas cards were shoved into envelopes for mailing, holiday cards at the turn of the century often arrived through the mail as postcards. For a modern version, cut off the original back of the card. Flip the front of the card over, so that it faces down. Draw a line down the center. Write your note on the left, the mailing address on the right and stamp it. Most of the cards you reuse will cost more than a postcard to mail, so weigh it with the postmaster first. Word of caution: Try not to reuse the card to the person who gave it to you.

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Decor

Cut the front off of the card. Using a sheet of foam that has an adhesive backing, attach the back of the card to the sticky portion of the foam. You can use glue and a heavier card stock if you can't find foam. Cut the foam to the size of the card. Find a greeting from a favorite card and cut it out. Glue it to a piece of red felt. Cut the felt to a square shape. Glue the felt to the front of the foam-backed card. Punch holes in the top and tie on yarn, ribbon, decorative twine or something similar. Hang up during the holidays.

Gift tags

After dividing the card into front and back, both parts can be used for this project. With the front, cut out the fun portion of the card. Punch a hole in the top and thread ribbon through the hole. Nothing interesting on the back? Cut into useable squares while making sure there is space for writing to and from. Punch hole to use to attach to gifts. Use holiday stickers to decorate the tags to make more festive.

Mini-luminaria

Using the decorative front of the card, take an X-Acto knife and cut out stars from the card stock. Make sure the stars make sense to the picture, without damaging your favorite part of the image. Once finished cutting, attach card front to a piece of wood about a 1/2-inch shorter on each side of the card. Attach piece of wood in the middle of the bottom of the card with glue. Wrap around and attach sides with glue. Let dry. To illuminate, use battery-operated mini-votives that flicker like candles. It's important to note never try to illuminate this project with a real candle. That's a fire hazard.

Placecards

Cut cards into squares, keeping front panel image intact. With contrasting glittery pen, write the names of guests on card. From about a 1/4-inch on each side cut into the card vertically about 1/8-inch deep. Slip the cards over the lips of place-setting glasses to let guests know where they will be seated.

Puzzle

This can be a fun gift for a child. Attach the decorative front of the card to an adhesive backed foam. Cut foam to fit card. Cut card into easy-to-handle pieces. The younger the child, the bigger the pieces and fewer number of pieces. Don't make them so small that the pieces can be lost easily.

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