Monday, December 15, 2008

Recycled Christmas: Last Year's Christmas Cards

Every year, I feel the same pang of guilt as I go to throw away the Christmas cards, then invariably give in and stash them in what is now a giant bin of cards that spans three decades. This is ridiculous. Seriously, am I ever going to read these cards again? Still, I can't bear to discard them completely, because the tradition of exchanging these well wishes is one I fully endorse. Even if you only communicate with a distant friend or relative once annually, and even if, in this day and age, you are simply stuffing a pre-addressed envelope with a digitally printed card, you still think about that person in that moment and send good energy in their direction. So this season I have decided to compromise and re-purpose those old cards, putting them to new and beautiful uses, honoring the tradition in new ways.

The first time I saw one of these beauties I was mesmerized, and then I found out how easy they are to make and am even more enchanted. Here is a tutorial for the 20-circle version, shown above (one of my favorite gifts last year). I tried my own with 9 circles.

The inside of a Christmas card gets a bad 'wrap.' The outside is shiny, sparkly, and beautifully illustrated, but the sentiment inside often gets overlooked. As I was opening last year's cards to find imagery for the ornaments, I started reading these messages and thought they'd make great gift tags. Select words that resonate with you, or simple images, and clip away. Crynfiction has made some beautiful tags to adorn her recycled wrapping, in a similar spirit.

OTHER IDEAS: Here's a great tutorial for a recycled Christmas card star, tree-topper style. Gorgeous. And my personal favorite, the Christmas Card Puzzle Game from Let's Explore.

How do you recycle your Christmas cards?


Anonymous said...

Oooooh, this is awesome. I am so on it.

amandajean said...

such a great idea to use the insides!!! thanks for that great tip!