How to Reuse Holiday Cards

In Articles, Entertaining, Home by Lori Hill7 Comments

Now that the holiday season is over, I still need to take down our decorations and our tree. I’ll take one more look at all the holiday cards we received, but I’m not going to chuck all of them. I save my favorite holiday cards to reuse in future years. Here’s how I do it. 

Decorate Gifts

I cut off the cover of holiday cards (the whole shamoley or just bits and pieces such as certain words or phrases) and use to decorate gifts. We used Kraft paper for many of our gifts this year, so adding a colorful holiday card from years gone by added a festive splash of color.

Make an Ornament

I cut out interesting features from holiday cards, punch a hole through the top center, attach a ribbon and use those to decorate our tree next holiday season.

Give Them Away

For those holiday cards I don’t plan to keep myself, I’m going to donate them to an organization that accepts unwanted art and office supplies. If you don’t have an organization like that in your area, check with your neighbors to see if they would like your old cards. Freecycle is a great way to dispose of – and obtain – someone else’s stuff for free! You can also check with a day care center or your local elementary school. 

Turn Into Scrap Paper

When cutting up the cards for decorations, if I notice any white spaces, I cut those out to use for scrap paper.


A last option is to recycle them. Most holiday card paper can be recycled, but when in doubt, leave it out. Also, most jurisdictions won’t accept photo paper for recycling, so sadly, those will have to go straight for the landfill. So take note, when planning for your 2018 holiday card, if you plan to send a photo, use a company that prints images on paper, not photo paper. We use Greener Printer for our holiday cards. Watch my video about how we do holiday cards at our house by using Greener Printer. 

Lori Hill

Lori Hill

Lori Hill is a plant eater, trash picker upper, climate activist, wife, and mom to 2 human boys, 2 cat boys, and 1 dog boy. On a mission to do all she can to take better care of the planet, Lori created Sister Eden Media, a green lifestyle company, to inspire others to give a damn and live more gently on Earth. She shares tips on her YouTube channel, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and also frequently appears on television.
Lori Hill


  1. I’m definitely doing this next year! I love to spend the time to decorate the adult gifts and I reuse stuff all the time. This is a fabulous idea.

  2. Pingback: How To Save Green and BE Green This Christmas - Sister Eden

  3. We have been using them to make ornaments for several years now. I cut them out in circles, ovals, or squares, and paste two together back-to-back, then punch a hole and hang them on a garland. It’s a great way to keep little reminders of our friends and family in our homes during the holidays.

  4. Hi Sister Eden,

    I like the simple, all paper cards. I am saving this years ones along with my Christmas decorations for craft projects to do for next year like paper lanterns, paper ornaments or gift tags. All of the rest can be recycled .( By the way, even if there is glue or glitter on the front of the card , there is no reason not to recycle the back part!)

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