One of the standard criticisms of the traditional Christmas card is the waste of paper. Well, that’s easy to remedy, just buy cards made from recycled paper. But recycled or not, what do you do when the decorations come down in January and you are left with a pile of unwanted Christmas cards. Take a look at some of our ideas.
- Plain cards can go in household recycling but anything with bows, glitter, beads or sellotape cannot be recycled so is disposed of into the normal household waste. Some supermarkets have dedicated recycling bins for Christmas cards
- Spend a happy afternoon listening to music and cutting out sections to use for gift tags for next year – robins, Christmas trees and Santas, just cut, punch a hole and loop through some ribbon
- Cut them into strips and staple or loop the strips together to make paper chains for next year
- Cut off the blank sections and keep a stack of scribble pads for notes or shopping lists
- Create your own festive bunting, cut triangles or a variety of shapes and thread them onto a length of a string. Children love doing this and its a great way to spend a rainy afternoon before they go back to school. You can also attach them to a large circle of cardboard to make a festive garland or spell out lettering such as ‘Merry Christmas’. The patchwork effect of the different colours creates a lovely effect
- Cut out images to keep for your own handmade cards for next year
- Cut up the pictures to make simple jigsaw puzzles for young children, pop them away for the school holidays next year, children adore them
- Follow some crafting sites which show you how to make boxes out of the stiffer, better quality cards. Small card boxes are perfect for next year’s gifts, add ribbon for something really decorative
- Create pretty place settings for the festive dinner table
- Use three pieces to make a 3D Christmas ornament to hang from the tree
- Keep all the nice cards in a box ready for the start of the school holidays next year and spend time with your children cutting and pasting ready to decorate the house. Your local school might also be interested in nice cards which they can use for the same purpose
One of the main complaints from those who have ditched the traditional card for the new electronic version is the waste but classic Christmas cards don’t have to be wasteful. You can recycle the envelopes and collect the stamps to donate to a charity of your choice, there are plenty of charities which run these schemes. You can even use some of the old stamps, particularly if they are Christmas issue or unusual, to add to your crafting efforts.