Upcycling Holiday Cards

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Call me old fashioned, but I still love sending out traditional holiday cards via snail mail. And although I stopped writing a personal note by hand in each card years ago, we still include a letter that recaps our year and each of us signs every card. One thing I love about this tradition is that we get quite a few holiday cards in return. Enough to create a garland of cards along one wall in our dining room, in fact. Rather than stuff them into a basket or drawer, never to be seen again, my clever husband came up with the idea of hanging a strand of red and white baker’s twine along the wall between the kitchen and dining room. The cards, hung with paperclips, were now readily visible and added a colorful border to an otherwise undecorated space. This year is no different, as you can see from the photo above.

But what happens to the cards after the holiday season? Well, being the sentimental type, I have a hard time throwing those sweet greetings from friends all over the country in the recycling bin. So I stash them in our desk drawer, where they sit for a year or more, until I find them, come to my senses, and toss them.

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Now, though, I find myself in the heart of the holiday gift wrapping frenzy, so today I began to scour my stationary collections for possible gift tags. And, you can guess what I pulled out…sure enough, a stack of holiday cards from 2013, ready for a little upcycling.

So, I pulled out my 1.5-inch hole punch (if you have a slightly larger size, that would be even better!), my standard hole punch, that same baker’s twine we use to string the cards along our wall, and some plain white paper. Then I went to work.

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In a few minutes time, I had a good stash of tags, ready to embellish and identify gifts. (Note: I used the white paper punched circles on the back side of the patterned circles for writing the names of gift recipients. I didn’t bother to glue them, as I liked the idea of simply flipping the tag up and reading it like a book.)

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Voila! My first gift of the season, wrapped and finished with an upcycled holiday card tag. Happy Holidays, everyone!

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