The phrase heard most often, when it comes to Christmas cards, is, “This is just too pretty to throw away!” What follows is either 1) hoarding boxes and boxes of old Christmas cards, in your attic or under your bed, with no intent to do anything other than not throw them away; or 2) you swallow hard and throw them away, forgetting that it’s not only their beauty that should keep them out of the trash, but also their ability to be used again.
Glitter and embellishments prevent many greeting cards from being recycled, but that doesn’t prevent them from being reused. Last year, I sang the praises of upcycling cards into one-of-a-kind gift tags, and a few readers were so supportive of this idea, they gifted me with the stash of cards they received before Christmas. This year, I’m doing more than nudging you toward reusing your cards – I outright challenge you to make something of them!
Here is a simple sign you can print and attach to a box or hang above any kind of bin, promoting the fact that you’re collecting used Christmas cards. If you don’t have the time or inclination to upcycle them into something else, I bet you can find someone who does.
You’re always welcome to donate them to me and I’ll put them to good use myself or donate them to another maker or group of makers.
In fact, If you send me cards, I’ll use 10% of them to make gift tags that I’ll send back to you. You can use the tags, gift them, or make them part of your display next year, helping contributors see how their cards were upcycled!
This is an easy project to do in churches or any nonprofit and could become a great fundraiser. Make the tags right after Christmas and they’ll be ready to sell (or use as door prizes, thank you gifts, staff gifts, etc) in the summer or fall. When you think about the number of Christmas greetings you get at the office (from vendors, coworkers, networkers, etc.) it makes sense to have a box at your workplace, too.
This is truly one of the easiest efforts toward making our world more sustainable. It’s something so simple your children can do it. Best of all, it’s a great exercise in learning to see the potential in things.
If you’ve got questions or need help with this project, or if you want to donate your cards to me or another maker, just use the form below.