Now that Thanksgiving is over, Christmas cards will start rolling in and they’re always so fun to see! I love Christmas cards and have such a hard time throwing them away each year, but it’s really impossible to save them all forever. Last year, I decided to hang onto them and see if I could make something new from them. Below are a few ideas to upcycle the cards you receive.
I separated out all the cards that had family photos, and used the remaining greeting cards for this project. It’s super easy – all you need is a tag punch! I tore off the tops of the cards. Look for pieces of the card that are blank on the back and that aren’t glossy – glossy paper is hard to write on. Then, just punch out as many tags as you can get out of it. Bonus if you can line it up just right with the images, but it’s not necessary.
For this project, I used photo cards, a 2-inch circle punch and clear plastic ornaments. I also added glitter, but you can use any small items that fit inside the ornament to dress them up – I saw tiny little snowflakes, presents, candy canes and other items at the craft store that would work.
This particular card had a design on the back, so I used it as is. I punched it out, rolled it up around a pencil, and then dropped it into the ornament.
It immediately turned sideways. I used tweezers to take the photo back out, and added thread to the top, which I strung through the holes in the top of the ornament to keep it upright. (Alternately, this blog suggests cutting the images larger, or gluing them to the back, but I wanted mine to hang in the center.) Lastly, I added a ribbon for hanging.
The next photo card I used had other images on the back, which cut off awkwardly. I cut out a piece of holiday scrapbook paper, taped it to the back of the photo with double-sided tape, and laminated it to keep them together. Again, I threaded the top, rolled it with a pencil and dropped it in. I used two skewer sticks to sort of un-roll the photo once it was inside the ornament, then ran the thread through the top of the ornament and knotted it, and then added a ribbon for hanging.
Bottle cap magnets
We’ve been saving bottle caps for a few months, so we had plenty in supply for this project, but you can also buy some from the craft store. I used a 1-inch punch to cut out the images, and then glued them to the inside of the bottle caps.
Once the glue was dry, I filled the caps with Modge Podge Dimensional Magic. (Side note – I have used resin to make these in the past and I think it worked better. You do have to mix resin, so it’s an extra step.) It takes about 24 hours to dry, then you can add a magnet to the back and they’re done!
I used this blog as a general guide. I used a 1.5-inch punch for an approximate size, and then used an Exacto knife to fit them just right on the clear glass gems, which were each a slightly different shape.
I used Modge Podge Matte to affix the photos to the gems. It took about a day to dry for the matte cards. (It also worked on the glossier photo cards, but those took several days to dry. If I were to do it again, I’d use Modge Podge Photo Transfer for those.) Once dry, affix a magnet to the back.
I plan to send these to the families whose cards I was able to use for the project, and I think it will be a fun surprise.
I’d love to hear what other people do with the cards they receive. Let me know in the comments!