Recycling Christmas Cards

Here is a wonderful guest post from Heather in Beautiful British Columbia about recycling holiday or any other kind of cards:

Do you treasure the Christmas and birthday cards that friends and family send you? Handsigned, SWAK and via the Post Office with a real stamp – you know someone cared deeply to take the time to send you this special gift. What do you do with your cards? It hurts to throw them out yet it’s difficult to justify keeping them all.

As the ‘net’ consumes my life I find I receive fewer hand written cards every year, so when a friend showed me a craft to use my cherished cards I was delighted. It’s actually very simple to recycle cards into Treasure Boxes or Christmas Tree Ornaments, to share and to be enjoyed over and over!

These darling little ‘card boxes’ could be filled with ‘wishes’ or with gifts. Picture an advent calendar type application, perhaps with a tiny toy inside or a candy – you or your child can open one a day. You could reuse them every year, make them for friends, give them as Christmas tree ornaments or simply as a gift box to hold a tiny present.

Supplies: Greeting cards, ruler, pencil, scissors, tape or glue.

For this lesson I will assume you are using a regular size Christmas card, although nearly anything of card stock quality, even calendars, may be used. Optional supplies needed if you wish to hang your card boxes as ornaments: Ornament Hangars, paper clips or even ribbon, thread or string.



Cut card in half to use one for the box top and one for the box bottom. I use a strong metal ruler to ‘rip’ the card in half quickly. Kids will need to use scissors.

On back side of the ‘box top’ card, draw a line from corner to corner then line up your ruler vertically at the edge and draw a line on each side. (I’ve used a pen to demonstrate the lines but pencil is much less noticeable. The top and bottom lines intersect the other lines and are 1/2 inch wider than the side lines – to look like this:

Cut along the line at each of the 4 corners to where lines intersect:

Place ruler along the top line – a ruler width plus 1/2 inch – and fold card, creasing sharply. On the center section fold over the 1/2 inch, creasing sharply. Repeat on other end:

Now, fold the sides, creasing sharply:

Your box top is ready to fold together:

Make the box bottom exactly the same (I usually trim 1/4 inch off the card on the two sides to make it just slightly smaller so it will fit inside the top). You may put the writing side of the card out so you can see who sent you the card or put the back side out if it’s interesting! Also, it might be a good idea to glue the end flaps down if the box will be opened regularly. (TIP: Everyone is going to want to see how you made it – and to copy your pattern – so make one box to give as a pattern).

Use a sharp object (adults only) to pierce two small holes in corner to put ornament hanger, ribbon, string or paper clip through. Put the box bottom and top together – hang it from your tree! Fill it with goodies! Give it to a friend! Feel good about recycling your special cards to treasure for years!

I think you will be amazed at how lovely the card boxes turn out – especially when made from Christmas cards – the pictures just seem to fit so perfectly. I love to see the signature on the bottom of the box – it reminds me of the people who care enough to go the extra distance!

I’d love to see pictures of your craft in progress and the finished result. Enjoy! Please drop by my blog, Beautiful British Columbia, to say hello.