A quick web search for DIY Christmas decorations will lead you to pages and pages of results. With the popularity of Pinterest, the do-it-yourself movement and creative reuse is growing by the day. But what about AFTER Christmas? What fun ways to recycle those leftover items can you use after Christmas?


One of my favorite memories of Christmas is my grandmother’s card tree. She has a dedicated tree that she pins cards on with these tiny vintage clothes pins, at least 100 cards – it’s crazy. It’s always beautiful, and she will slap your hand if you dare try to touch one of the cards. The funny part is, being a borderline hoarder, there’s no doubt she probably has at least 2,000 Christmas cards stashed away next to about a decade’s worth of Reader’s Digest magazines.


As a habitual DIY’er and creative reuse extraordinaire, I’m always looking at them, imagining what type of awesome I could create. Visions of granger and crafting madness flood my mind, all while knowing if I dare touch I’ll draw back one less finger than I reached with. This year however, with Grams a little less mobile than previous years, she asked for my help in taking the cards down. As we took each card, she told me all about the person or family that sent it - a memory I’ll always cherish.


While we were taking them down, I asked if she had ever thought of repurposing, recycling, or reusing the cards. “Heavens no,” she replied. So I quickly whipped out my Pinterest app and showed her some ideas. “Oh my,” “gracious,” “beautiful,” she’d say as I scrolled through the creative reuse tutorials. She asked if I wanted to take a few for “my crafting,” and made me promise her to bring her at least two samples of what I made. While searching for creative reuse ideas beyond Pinterest, I found the perfect article that really has me excited for my new ephemera. I thought to continue the Holiday cheer, I’d share with you my favorites from the article:


DIY Christmas Card Luminaries – There’s no denying that luminaries are beautiful. So two cards, a hole-punch, and some yarn can give you a beautiful luminary to enjoy for seasons to come – you could even create luminaries for each year to create a family tradition.


Christmas Card Puzzles – If your kids love puzzles, just a few minutes and a pair of scissors could make a great play idea for the little ones. (Extra tip: using clear contact paper could help your puzzle pieces live a little longer if you have a rambunctious little one.)


Recycled Gift Tags – Using a gift tag punch, find your favorite designs and make unique, one-of-a-kind gift tags for next year!


Holiday-themed Bunting – If you have cards that are a heavier card stock, they could be perfect to make holiday-themed bunting for parties or general Holiday décor.


For more ideas, jump over to Care2 to see the other projects.

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