Uses for your old greeting cards

Holiday cards, birthday cards and any other type of greeting cards we receive are often difficult for us to get rid of. Because they typically come from beloved friends and family members, we feel a sense of guilt about simply throwing them away, especially if they took the time to write a sincere message. However, if you don’t particularly love the thought of tossing out these sentimental keepsakes, there are some other options for ways to declutter your home and reuse or recycle the cards. Here are a few other uses for your old greeting cards:

Donate them
St. Jude’s Children’s Ranch offers the Recycled Card Program, which accepts donations of used greeting cards. They ask for everything from Christmas cards to thank you cards, as long as there isn’t any writing on the backside of the front of the card. Children and volunteers then turn the front of the stationery into new cards that they sell. All proceeds from the Recycled Card Program go to St. Jude’s programs for homeless, abused and neglected children, young adults and families.

St. Jude’s Children’s Ranch requests that cards be 5-by-7 inches or smaller, and they can’t accept cards from Hallmark, Disney or American Greeting.

Regift them
I’ve found that regifting cards is a great way to give them new life. You can simply cut off the front flap and use it as a postcard or even attach it to a piece of cardstock to make a new homemade card. Either way, regifting is quick, easy and a great way to extend the life cycle of the product.

Display them
Greeting cards often have beautiful artwork that may be worth displaying. Make a gallery wall out of your favorites and add to it over time. Or, if you’ve gotten several wedding or congratulations cards for a big event in your life, arrange them together in a single frame using a photograph (say, of you and your new spouse or a new baby) as a centerpiece. You’ll have a lovely keepsake that will always remind you of the outpouring of love you received.

Use them as tags
Many people cut out characters or other parts of holiday cards‘ designs to use as gift tags for the next holiday season. Cut out the shapes or designs you want to keep, and punch small holes in the top that you can thread ribbon through. It’s a great way to save some money and personalize your gift wrap for next year.

Keep them for crafts
Greeting cards have a variety of uses for craft projects. Here are some of my favorites:

  • A candle-holder: Use the fronts of four cards to create a candle luminary. Attach them together (face out) by punching small holes along their sides and weaving thread or thin yarn through. Then, set the luminary around an electric candle on your table or mantle.
  • Bookmarks: Cut your favorite cards into strips and laminate them for a new set of bookmarks!
  • Kids’ crafts: Use Christmas cards to create holiday puppets or magnets with your kids. Cut out the characters and glue them to small refrigerator magnets or popsicle sticks.