Greeting cards and letters from loved ones are so special that it’s hard to throw them away. It’s a shame to waste such thoughtful words by putting them in the trash, but it’s equally sad to let them sit in a drawer, never to see the light of day. If you’re guilty of hoarding old notes in an attic box, consider getting creative and incorporating the messages into art and decorations.
1. Scrapbook or journal
Keep special notes in a safe place by adding them to a scrapbook or journal. Greeting cards are fun for event scrapbooks because you can remember the advice and memories associated with that particular day. For more general letters that you were happy to receive, place them in your journal. You won’t have to worry about them getting lost, and when you later flip through the dates, seeing a message will be a nice reminder of your relationship with the person who sent it.
2. Bundle the cards
Make your stack of greeting cards into a little booklet by adding a couple of hole punches along the spine of your cards. When the holes are in place, use loose-leaf rings to hold everything together. Doing this helps keep everything neatly organized and makes a cute little flip book for future enjoyment.
3. Gift tags
Yes, this means cutting up your old cards, but it’s a nice way to repurpose them. To create your tags, find a greeting card with a cute image or character on the front and cut out the picture. You can then either glue the picture to a package or put a hole punch in the picture and attach it to a present with string. This is also a great way to make ornaments! So, if your tree is looking sparse during the holiday season, decorate it with last year’s greeting cards.
Place markers can be made out of greeting cards or old letters. For cards, cut shapes out of the decorative fronts to stick in the pages. Try embroidering some string or twine into the paper as well to have a tail hangout of the pages.
Letters are a little trickier to reuse. They tend to be a little more personal, so for this project, find one you wouldn’t mind someone else reading. Instead of making a simple, straight marker, create an origami heart bookmark like The Cheese Thief. Be sure to practice a few times on a regular piece of paper first so you can get the technique down.
If you run out of regular holiday cards this year, reuse last year’s by turning them into postcards. This can be done with old cards that don’t have much writing on them. For instance, if the back of the card cover does not have any messages written on it, cut your card in half and use the blank piece to write a short greeting. It’s kind of a unique way to make a postcard.
6. Wall art
Find a frame that your letter will fit inside, and then look online for different image silhouettes. A few silhouette ideas could be relevant to the letter or the person who wrote it. When you have your letter ready and your image picked out, Ruffles and Stuff says to send it through the printer like a regular piece of paper. When the image prints out, you’ll have a unique piece of wall art that will let you remember that person forever.