Years past, I handmade all my Christmas cards (over 50!) with cardstock and scrapbooking materials. After kids? Ha! I usually send photo cards to friends and family these days. But sometimes I find myself needing a Christmas card without our family on it – for greetings to people like the mailman, newspaper delivery and more. Sometimes you just need a generic card, right?
Over the years, I’ve saved all the pretty Christmas cards I receive. The photo ones, I keep in a box to remember my friend’s kids, but if the card had no personal message in it, I stick them in my craft bin.
This year, I finally decided to make use of them. Instead of going to the store and buying a box of Christmas greeting cards, I made my own upcycled DIY Christmas cards with them!
Of course, you can go incredibly basic and simply cut out the front of the Christmas card, and glue it onto a folded piece of cardstock for a brand new card. But there’s more ways to add a personalized touch to upcycled cards!
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What you’ll need to create DIY Upcycled Christmas Cards:
- A large stack of old greeting cards
- Package of blank cards and envelopes – I go for the larger 5 x 7″ size
- Liquid glue stick
- Fine point / detail scissors
- Double sided tape runner
- Glue dots
- Foam adhesive squares
- Large paper punches
- 12×12 paper cutter – trust me, you’ll want this!
- Embellishments – ribbons, paperclips, buttons, glitter, brads, etc. I have loads of this stuff, so it’s getting put to good use this year!
Ways to personalize your DIY Upcycled Christmas cards
Punch circles – you can punch out the prettier sections of cards into circles to create ornaments, strings of lights, and more. Try using other shape punches and see what happens!
Deconstructed Trees ‘n Things – many cards have great patterns or textures to them, on the back sometimes even. I slice these up into 1/4″ strips (or punch into circles – see above!) and then use them to build Christmas trees, ornament bulbs and the like! Top with a button star or draw one on!
Embellish with trinkets – sometimes it’s just as simple as cutting out the main image from a card and remounting it over a ribbon or piece of card stock. Then add brads or paper clip embellishments that match the design or color!
Laced ribbon – for larger card fronts that you wish to keep intact, add interest by punching some holes along the entire outer edge. Then thread a thin ribbon through and either leave ends behind the card for a clean finish, or tie into a bow at the top or bottom. Affix to a larger card with double sided tape.
Sparkle embellishment – if you have a matte picture card, trace the main portions of the image with a liquid glue stick. Then sprinkle some sparkles or glitter over the glue tracings. Let set for a minute, then shake off excess. Voila! You just prettified the picture! This bird card is my favorite because I happened to have that lovely tree paper to put behind it – it looks made for this card! Hope you can see a glimmer of the sparkle in that photo!
Now, these cards are a bit more plain, because I was trying to put them together quickly to show you some ideas. But I plan to go back and add on further to them.
Here’s some ideas for adding more to these card creations:
Stamping a large background texture stamp behind the image
Layering cardstock two or three levels to give a framed look
Using word stamps on the front of the cards – for instance, the string of Christmas ornaments or lights, I have a large “Celebrate” stamp that would fit across the entire blank space at the bottom.
Tying ribbon around the fold in the card – a simple way to add an embellishment to any card.
Affixing the images with brads or buttons
Using printed background papers that coordinate with the colors or imagery (see the sparkly bird card).
How would you upcycle your Christmas cards?
If you have a craft post or tutorial that shows how to use old greeting cards, please share in the comments (I am trying to make a linky but it’s not working!)