What To Do With Leftover Christmas Cards

Obviously I should have done this post closer to the day after Christmas when the overzealous among us were already sweeping Christmas out with the bathwater, but hey, you can remember it for next year, right? I believe you can. You have an excellent memory.

So, I know some people save previous year’s cards in baskets and binders, but I am a user upper/thrower outer, not a saver, so here’s what I do with my Christmas cards…I turn them into gift tags for next year. And now you can too! (It’s pretty easy, but I’ll walk you through it anyway.)

First, take all your cards, and assess them for usefulness as gift tags.  Throw out everything that is on glossy photo paper. You don’t want that. Throw out any card that has only photographs, or that has no space that might make a pretty gift tag.


It’s pretty easy after that – you can freehand a shape or use a circular or tag punch. Write your message on the blank side, punch a hole in it, and tie it on with that cute striped twine that’s everywhere these days.

I have two punches, and both of them horrified me with their astronomical costs and then of course I use them all the time, and I have never regretted the shocking price.  You could also just trace a circle and then cut it out neatly, although the scalloped edge punches are really nice.

I do like to make sure that the punched out area isn’t from a spot on the card with handwriting on the other side so that the back of my punched tag is blank  and I can use that space to write a message, but if you had a ton of cards and wanted to make a garland for next year out of them, I think some writing on the back could be a nice touch, actually.  Just punch punch punch and then string them together or sew them in a straight line on your sewing machine.

Here’s what I ended up with from this year’s batch of cards. More than enough gift tags for next year, free of charge.


(Is your card in there?)


11 Responses

  1. What a great idea!

  2. Oh, how pretty and smart! And I still have all my cards: I put away all the other Christmas stuff, but I leave the cards up until I’m sick of them! And I have some super pretty ones this year!

  3. You are a genius. What is the hole punch? Does it have removable plates? Ie, can you get different shapes with one punch?

  4. Yay! I already did that! I actually cut up a lot of the cards as they came in and used them for gift tags this year:) (I don’t display cards, mainly because I’ve never found a good way to do it.)

    I got one of the cards with the gold background and red/greeen/white swirls that you have three circles of up there and it was my favorite this year:) It was from one of our local friends, so not the same person you got it from, I’m sure.

    I need to get some circle punches to do the rest of the cards!


  6. I LOVE this idea!

  7. This is BRILLIANT!

  8. Oh I love this! I do something simlar, I punch circles out with a scalloped punch (1 1/2-2 ” maybe) and then pair them, run them through the sewing machine in a big long chain for a garland. Then I strong the garland up for decoration.

  9. YOU ARE SO SMART!!! Thank you! Thank you!

  10. You are brilliant! I do save the picture cards because I think it’s fun to see the kids grow up over time. The regular cards, though? Whomp, whomp… This gives them dual purpose. I’m totally stealing your idea!

  11. Great idea! On my way to hack up my Christmas cards.

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