Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Recycling Old Christmas Cards

What should I do with old Christmas cards? That question has kept me awake at night. I can not just toss them into the trash and I do not always make it to the stores that recycle them on time. Yet, I could not live with the guilt I felt throwing them away considering the time and amount of money that is involved in sending them.

Then one day, many years ago, I received a gift from a sweet little lady at our church. It had the cutest gift tag attached and I asked her where she found the tag. Come to find out, they were made from old Christmas cards. She is in heaven now, but would be pleased to know her idea is being passed along.

But first things first. With the cards I receive I place them into a basket and set the basket near our kitchen table. When we bless our food, we also pull out a card and pray a blessing upon the sender of the card. We might go through the stack two or three times before I decide to do the next step.

Sometime in January or February when the kids are bored with their Christmas gifts and begin to whine, "I'm bored," I place the Christmas cards before them with scissors and say, "Have a ball!" If you have decorative edge scissors or pinking shears, it makes it even more fun. I then instruct them to cut out pictures from the front of the cards. When they are through cutting, you will have a stack that looks similar to this.

After they are cut, the rest becomes trash and I can sleep at night knowing I threw out trash.

You can use them at this point for tags but if they are embossed it makes the back rough. I use scraps of card stock paper (construction paper is fine too) to fix the problem. Just lay the cut out on top of the paper and then cut around the edges leaving a border. You can stick the card onto the paper by using double sided tape or a glue stick.

Next, spend 30 mintues searching for your hole punchers that end up being in the bottom of your child's underwear drawer. Stand and wonder why for a couple of minutes until it troubles your mind, then get back on task.

Punch a hole in the top, corner, or side of the tag. Take some string, ribbon, twine, or even colored trash bag twists and use them as your attachment thingy. Simply write on the back the "To" and "From" and you have a cute gift tag.

Also, if you are lacking decorations for your tree and want to save money, these also make cute ornaments. The little lady who taught me this also made extras, placed about 25 in a ziplock bag and sold them in crafts shows, yard sales, etc. for .50 cents per bag, or just gave a bag as a gift when company stopped by for a visit.

Hint: This idea can also apply to old birthday, valentine, get well, etc. cards. You would then have gift tags for different occasion gifts.

This is a very kid friendly project and can not be made wrong. It teaches children several lessons, including but not limited to, thinking of others, recycling, creativity, over-coming boredom, and working with their hands in delight.

Thanks for reading, Rosie

PS: If you are looking for the apron giveaway winner you can go here.


Linda said...

I love this idea! I'm definitely going to use it. I just wish I had some old cards to make tags with now.

Anonymous said...

Cute idea! I especially love the idea of letting the kids cut the tags out. My 5-year-old son will love this!

Tara said...

Here's a thought. Until you get cards saved up to make these out of cards, make them out of the leftover bits of wrapping paper! "Crazy Quilt" the scraps together with a glue stick on a cut out cardstock/construction paper shape and go to town! That will at least tide you over until next year when you have saved up your cards! Or, use the festive touches from magazines, catalogues or ads! Hummm, I feel a craft day coming on! And just in time, too. I've got three extra kidlets tomorrow!

Rosie said...

Good idea Tara! Thanks for sharing. A lady who knows me and reads this blog called me today after reading my post and offered to give me all of her Christmas cards from last year. Oh My! Anybody want some old Christmas cards?

Anonymous said...

Just so you know: It was me! I was the one that received the purple polka dotted apron (mentioned and pictured in a previous blog) for my Very Happy Birthday. I just knew eeryone in the Rosie Blog World would love to know that said apron DID come with purple panties! I love my gift! Never underestimate our Rosie. Thanks Rosie!

Beth said...

Love the tag idea! never enough ideas for 3 kids 5 and under!!!