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Question: Crafts Using Photo Christmas Cards?

13 January 2012 4,610 views 15 Comments

by rhonda

Oh, Christmas cards.  How I love to receive you in the mail, and how I hate to throw you away when the new year rolls around!  It's bad enough tossing out pretty cards with scenes of snowy trees or glittery angels or jolly snowmen, but then there are the photo cards.  I mean, how can I bring myself to throw out a picture of my cousin's two little boys in their John Deere pajamas, or of dear friends I haven't seen in years grinning together in goofy his-and-hers holiday hats?  On our Facebook wall, reader Julie S. wants to know what she can do with them.  She writes:

I got a lot of photo holiday cards this year. Mixed with last year's, my refrigerator is packed! Any ideas, aside from just putting them in a photo book, for a craft that I can make out of them?

Do you save photo Christmas cards from year to year? Do you have any crafty ideas for them?

[photo by Flickr user blush printables, Creative Commons]

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  • Julie said:

    I saved all the photo cards from my nieces and nephews from last year and this year I turned them into gift tags. They loved seeing their smiling faces on their or presents!

  • Sara said:

    Cut out around the actual faces, or primary focus of the photo. Then cut the rest of the photo into confetti or larger sized pieces. Arrange the photos of nephews, friends, and grandchildren (etc.) on a flat surface (piece of wood, photo frame glass, etc.) Use the tiny pieces of left over photo to mosaic around each picture leaving gaps between each piece. This will give it a stained glass effect!Add on some mod podge to seal the whole thing in and keep it glossy! If you do this on an old photo frames glass, placing black paper behind it will immediately “grout” between the photos! Inst-photo collage with an artsy twist! Do one every year to remember photos through the years!

  • Valerie said:

    I have some friends who adorn one of their Christmas trees with photo cards they receive each year (punch a hole in the top, hang from tree with ribbon). It’s such a sweet reminder of the people you love that send you cards, and it is a free way to decorate a tree!
    If you didn’t get a bunch of cards every year, you could continue to collect cards and use them all as ornaments as the years go by. As your tree gets fuller, you could simply retire the older ones as necessary, and put those in a scrapbook or photo album.

  • Katie said:

    Similar to Valerie’s idea:
    When we were little my grandmother would help us make Christmas ornaments out of old cards. We glued 2 cards together photo side out. Make a frame out of toothpicks log cabin style. About three layers on each side. It is really cute with the colored toothpicks. Once it is dry hang with a piece of ribbon. If you want to be really crafty make a star shaped frame instead of plain squares for larger pictures!

  • Debbie said:

    A couple of years ago I saw on Ali Edwards’ site that she uses a square punch to cut out as much as she can of each photo (sometimes doubling side by side blocks) and then she makes a collage out of them for a scrapbook page. If there aren’t enough for a large page, fill in some of the blocks with punched squares of Christmas gift wrap or a square or two with captions.

  • Gabli said:

    Here is what we do:
    cut n get rid of the back and use the pretty front as postcard
    cut out cute sections to use as gift tags for next year
    donate to a preschool or childcare for crafts (they like the letters)
    make origami boxes out of them
    save them and make next years paper ring garlend out them
    use them for scrapbook sceneery


  • Stephanie said:

    I saw someone who made a scrapbook page out of all the cards they received. They just cut very closely around all the pictures & made a 2 page layout.

  • Amber said:

    When I saw the question my first thought was “could you make something to give back to the person”. One thought was on of those make your own photo snow globe kits that are often out around Christmas. But also just saw this post: http://www.soyouthinkyourecrafty.com/2012/01/christmas-card-bookmarks-upcycle-tutorial/ which looks neat also

  • Sarah said:

    This is an idea I read about last year that I’m starting to do with our photo cards:

    – punch a hole in each photo card
    – get an individual ring (like the kind you find in 3-ring binders)for each friend/family and add their photo card to the ring every year
    – keep the bundles of cards with your Christmas stuff so that you can bring them out each year and reminisce about how much the kids have changed over the years, etc.

    I hope this will be a nice tradition for us and help us to think about family and friends that we don’t see very often.

  • HeatherLeah said:

    I saw on another blog recently where someone Mod Podges the cards to a canvas and makes a wall hanging for each year. She glued the majority of them down entirely, but on ones where she wanted the inside to show, she left the cover unglued.

  • Life via Lens said:

    Love reading through everyone’s ideas on how to re-use their xmas cards! :)

  • Jill said:

    I have used an ellison die cutout machine to recycle Christmas cards. I cutout mittens, christmas trees, and stars out of the cards. My students glue these cutouts to the front of construction paper cards for their parents. I have made the mittens cutouts into wreaths to hang up. For these I picked cards that had blue and purple color in them.

  • Morgan said:

    I crop out the photos and put them in a small album so my kids can see their cousins all year long. It’s nice to go over the album just before family get-togethers and remind ourselves who everyone is. As I run out of room in the album (it holds about 3 years worth) I throw some of the older pictures away to make room for the new ones.

  • Melissa said:

    Here is an idea for photo Christmas cards on my blog… check it out!


  • Jessyca said:

    This chick has a great tutorial on her blog about reusing Christmas cards…..