Christmas just isn’t Christmas without holiday cards. I’ve always loved to get mail, and at the holidays, I find the beauty of Christmas cards from around the world make me smile in their color, sparkle, design, and different languages. Some are elegant, others sparkly, some are celebrating winter and snowflakes, while others show off all the traditions of the holidays. Every year, I carefully pick out or make my cards and try to get them out the first week of December. And then.. the waiting begins. I practically stand at the door every day (hurry up postman!) waiting for the colorful envelopes. After all, no other time of year does the mail from my friends and family come in droves – out weighing the bills. (Who likes bills?!?).
Once they arrive, I carefully open each one, basking in the joy of the card (it’s like a little gift in each one) and then put it on the mantle or tape it up to the walls in a lovely display. When Christmas is over, I save each card – and try to find unique creative things to do with them later. It’s a great way to Upcycle, be eco-friendly, and keep memories intact from year to year.
This year, I didn’t have much money for decorating my flat. I’d spent most of my savings on medical bills, and that meant that not only was I trying to do handmade items for Christmas (I had time – not money) for everyone, I had to find a unique way to decorate. This is what I came up with. A simple re-purposed series of Christmas cards that were a bit folksy, eco-friendly, and totally made me smile every time I saw them hanging across my mantle.
Here’s how I did it, so you can make your own Recycled Christmas Card Bunting.
Old Christmas Cards
Round template – I used the top off of a Pringles Can
Oval Template – I used an old Scrapbooking shape
Ribbon or String
Step 1: Take your circle or template and move it around on the card until you find a place you’re happy with. Depending on the card, you may be able to get two circles or ovals per card.
Step 2: Trace around the template and then cut out the shape. Repeat for each of your cards. Try to get an even number of similar theme or similar looking cards. Don’t forget that you may be able to use the inside wording from the card or back of the card may have pictures too!
Step 3: For double sided cards, match similar cards together – eg. The two snowmen on the far left came from the same card and look nice front / back. Add glue to the reverse of one of the rounds, taking note of which way is “up”.
Step 4: Attach the round to the other selection, again, being careful that they are both in the correct direction when looked at on the front and back.
Step 5: Squeeze out excess glue, wipe it off, and then weight the round with a book for a while until the glue sets. Wait for the glue to dry.
Step 6: Once the glue is dry, punch 2 holes in the top of each card.
Step 7: Thread the ribbon through the card, making a center and trying to balance the size / shape / color on each side of the bunting.
Step 8: Hang up across your mantle, on your wall, or anywhere else where you want the display.
A few other things you can do with the same technique – just punch fewer holes –
Mobiles to hang from ceiling
Why not make a Rectangle from a card – and hang several different size rounds down from it like raindrops from a cloud
Add some mod-podge and make necklaces
Attach some flower wire and make centerpieces for the table
What else can you think of? Share your ideas and how this turned out for you – I’d love to see it!