What to do with your OLD Christmas Cards (another Dream Green DIY collaboration!)

Well, we did it again. Carrie, from Dream Green DIY, and I got together for another collaborative project (read about our first one here)! This time, after I oggled over seeing Carrie’s beautiful home in person rather than just through the interwebs, and after she and her husband made delicious turkey paninis for our lunch, the mission was a holiday craft.

It all started back when Carrie wrote this post about making a bunting flag for her DIY wedding. I commented that her tutorial would be great to make with old Christmas cards. See?

Comment Geekery

The more I thought about it, the more I fell in love with the idea. I always wondered what to do with Christmas cards once the holidays were over and it came time to take down all the decorations. I felt weird throwing them away recycling them, with the hand-written notes and carefully selected holiday designs, especially the photo ones. I visualized photos of our friends and family floating around in a landfill and some random stranger stumbling upon it 50 years from now like “who is this??” and the emotion-laden guilt that plagued me at the thought of that happening has found me with bags and bags of old Christmas cards stashed in places I can’t even remember but stumble upon at the most inopportune moment. Does that happen to you?

Anyway. Problem solved. I give you your newest holiday tradition.

DIY Christmas bunting flag

How cute is that?!? Paper bunting flags made with old Christmas cards! If each year after the holidays you take the time (seriously, like, 15 minutes tops cuz that’s how long it took us) to make a banner, you’ll have a collection of card mementoes to put to use as decorations for next year. Over time, you’ll have festive banners all over the house. I’ll definitely be continuing this craft well into the foreseeable future. I can already hear my future self pulling things out of the decorations closet…”And here’s our 2011 banner…oh look at how little our second cousin was!…” etc.

Assembling it was easy enough: cut a template of the shape you want to use. Triangles are good. Position your template on each Christmas card so that you capture the essence of the card. Hot glue to a long length of butcher twine, about 1 inch apart. Leave some extra string on the ends so you can tie off as needed. (Click here for a more detailed tutorial).

Christmas Card Bunting Flag with Carrie

We even did you the favor of hanging our creations in several places around Carrie’s house so you could get some ideas for where to hang yours! How about across a window treatment? Around an entryway table? On the tree? Or to jazz up a spacious wall?

Christmas bunting flags can go anywhere!

I can’t help but smile when I see that one in the middle. That could be because Carrie’s husband, John, pointed out he felt like the wall was smiling a big toothy grin at him…betcha can’t not see it now, huh?

There’s just something about bunting flags that says “party!” to me. But if that’s too cutesey for you, or you don’t have the space for a bunting banner, but you still want to do something with your old cards, here are some more things we thought of:

– Take a picture of your photo cards using your phone and set it as the contact photo for the sender in your phone. I do this with my inlaws’ cards and update them each year. Every time they call on the phone, I see their Christmas card photo.

– Grab a few of those mini photo frame ornaments from your local craft store, cut your Christmas cards to fit, and hang your relatives on your tree.

– Or, if you don’t want to buy ornament frames, use the rings from canning jars to frame your cards and photos to hang on your tree, wreath, or elsewhere throughout your home.

Canning ring ornament

Are we on a roll yet? (P.S. Hop over to Carrie’s blog here to read three more ideas and her rendition of the afternoon’s events!) Here’s where I hung my banner chez moi:

See the dogs supervising in the background?

Up close

And when the holidays are over, we’ll just fold up the cards nicely and store until next year!

Christmas card bunting flags ready for storage

Thanks, Carrie, for another great home decorating success!

I hope you find inspiration from our project. Save a tree and cherish your Christmas greetings from year to year! Where will you hang your Christmas card bunting flags? What other great ideas do you have for repurposing old holiday cards? Do tell (and remember to check out Carrie’s post on the same topic here).

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3 thoughts on “What to do with your OLD Christmas Cards (another Dream Green DIY collaboration!)

  1. Carrie says:

    I LOVE how yours turned out hanging from the balcony!! What a fun project =) Glad we could make your vision a reality!

  2. Lynd says:

    Thanks for the great idea! I was wondering what to do with years of christmas cards that I didn’t want to throw away.

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