It's the 6th of January, the twelve days of Christmas are officially at an end, and traditionally the decorations and cards must come down today to avert bad luck!
But what do you do with all of those lovely cards? I tend to box up the 'special' ones with very personal messages, but it does seem a shame to simply put the rest into the recycling. Here are some ideas of how to reuse your cards.
1. Gift tags
This one comes from my mother, and her love of using pinking shears (the zig-zag scissors). You will also need a hole punch, and some ribbon/string. Have a look through your cards for ones with images that will fit nicely onto a gift tag size - not too small, not too big. Cards with repeated images are good, as you can get quite a few gift tags out of one card. If your hands aren't steady, use a ruler to guide the pinking shears along. I usually just cut square or rectangular gift tags, but if you're dexterous you can go for circles too. Then you just need to punch a hole in one corner, and use a small piece of ribbon (the hanging loops from new clothes are just the right size for this, I always cut them out and stash them away) or string. Here's one I did earlier, along with the front view of the Christmas postcard in my next suggestion:
2. Christmas postcards
Cards with a 'landscape' rather than 'portrait' orientation work best for this - simply cut off the front of the card (checking the back hasn't been written on), and use a ruler to separate out a section for the message, and one for the address. Ta da! It's now a Christmas postcard. Here's the back view of one I did (make sure you use a pen that doesn't leak, mine left a few wobbly lines, so it's not the best - gives you an idea though):
3. Christmas angel decorations
This works best with those slightly thinner cards, because you'll need to bend them into shape. There is a fantastic tutorial at Couture Craft on how to achieve these little beauties - perfect for using up larger cards. (Photo from Couture Craft also)
4. Re-use the same card
Yes, you read that right! My younger brother once splashed out on a very expensive card for my parents, and said it had cost so much that it had to be used more than once. So, you guessed it, he sends them the same card every year, just adding in a different message with the date. When the card is completely full, he'll buy another one.
5. Christmas card bunting
You can get the pinking shears out again for this one! If you pick cards roughly the same size to start with, you'll be able to get your bunting triangles the same size. The triangles can then be glued to a long piece of ribbon, then you have a home-made decoration ready for next year. I haven't made any this year, so here is a photo of some made over at It Started With Yum, but I think they would look better if you used pinking shears to get a nice zig-zag edge rather than a straight cut. I'd also use ribbon, and line up the top of the cards with it - personal preference!
I hope this gives you some ideas of what to do with your cards - if you're not feeling crafty then please at least put them in the recycling! Some shops recycle cards to give the proceeds to charity.