Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Card and Recycled Plastic Lid Christmas Ornament

Recycle more than your Christmas cards this season.  Save those cool whip container lids and made these fun Christmas ornaments.

 Items you need:
~Christmas cards
~plastic lid (cool whip lid was used, but any size can be used)
~yarn to match colors on Christmas card being used
~lace trim
~crochet hook
~white glue
~craft knife or xacto knife

Step 1:

To make this Christmas card ornament, start with the plastic lid.  Cut the a ring with the outer rim with a 1/2 inch rim space around.  You can use your craft knife to cut out the inner middle (keep this for other crafts).

Step 2:
Trace the outside of the plastic lid, onto a large Christmas card, and cut out the card.  Set aside.

Step 3:
Crochet around the plastic ring, crocheting into the ring.  You can add a second row of crochet if you prefer. When you slip stitch to end, crochet a loop for a hanger if you prefer before fastening off.

Step 4:
Glue lace around top edge of cut Christmas card, gathering it often.  Add more glue on top of lace trim and place crocheted plastic ring on top.  Press gently and allow to dry.

Enjoy!  Recycling Made Fun!

15 More Ways to Recycle Christmas Cards

Recycle and Reuse Christmas Cards

1.  Paper Weights
Glue cut pieces of cards to the bottom of paper weights for gifts or home use.

2. Glass Magnets
Glue smaller cut pieces to the bottoms of round glass pieces you typically fill flower vases with.  These can be purchased at most dollar stores.

3. CD Case Covers
Cut portions of Christmas cards to create CD case covers for gift giving.

4.  Book Plates
Cut small portions of Christmas cards and attach them to the inside of your books for a handmade book plate.  Cover it with a piece of clear contac paper or attach it with white glue.

5. Lunch Notes
Cut Christmas cards into small portions and write notes to kids and family members.  Insert them secretly into their packed luches for work or school.
6. Scrap booking
Cut portions of Christmas cards to decorate scrap books of all kinds.

I have mentioned this in many posts.  You can cut Christmas cards into several fun bookmarks. Add stickers or other embellishments that will not harm your books.

8. DVD Case Covers
Give a DVD with family movies or a CD with family photos as a gift.  Cut the Christmas card to make a fun Christmas DVD (or CD) Case Cover.

9. Business Cards
Cut Christmas cards into hand written, seasonal business cards.

10.  Prayer Cards
Cut Christmas cards into the size of business cards, and hand write quick prayers on the back.  Write out several and give them as gift sets.  Make a folded box out of a larger card to store them. Use the on-line pattern for a handmade wallet to make your box to hold them (use for business cards and Bible verses also).
Handmade Wallet

11. Bible Verse Cards
Use directions in idea #10, but write out your favorite Bible verses.  Punch them all in the top corner with a one-hole hand punch and hold them together with scrap twine, ribbon, or recycled key ring.  Gift as gifts also.

12.  Thank You Notes
Simply cut the front of a Christmas card to fit your mailing envelope, and write a thank you note on the backside.  If the measurements are permitted for the postal system, mail it as a postcard.

13.  Repurpose a Clementine Wooden Box
Glue cut Christmas cards to the inside bottom of a wooden Clementine box.  Allow them to dry, and seal with a coat of decoupage.  Use as a gift or storage box.  Note:  Before you glue the cards into the inside, embellish the box with paints, glitter, rick rack, sequins or other items you may have.

14. New or Used Food Tray
With the directions in idea #13, cover the inside bottom of a food tray with cut Christmas cards.  Attach them with white glue and allow to dry.  Give as gifts or use at home or work.  Old food trays may sometimes be found at local thrift stores, or new ones at hobby and craft stores.

15. Love Notes
Cut Christmas cards into the size of business cards.  On the backside, write love notes to your spouse.  Place them around the house, in vehicles, in lunches or on bed pillows.  Reuse these over and over.  Cover a few with contac paper (clear, transparent) and place in showers for added fun (attach to the wall with poster putty).

Photos will be added when available.  Visit Often!

Christmas Card Lid Magnets / Ornaments

There is no limit to what you can do with leftover Christmas cards.  Save your plastic and metal lids and create Christmas ornaments or magnets.  Nursing home facilities and similar may have metal doors in which residents can use magnets to hang pretty pictures or letters on.  Here is one we made with a recycled milk jug lid. 
Begin this craft by tracing around the lid you have, onto a Christmas card.  Cut it out with scissors.

The cut out card should fit over the rim of the milk jug lid.  A blue lid would match this card better, but it is what we had at the moment.  You can use any lid, metal or plastic, and you can paste your card inside or outside the lid.  For the milk jug lid, we will paste it to the outside, with the top of the lid down and the open side up.  First, you will need to wrap one piece of coordinating chenille stem around the lid twice and twist to secure.  No glue needed.

Place a line of white tacky glue around the top rim of the lid, and gently press down your cut out Christmas card.  Allow this to dry completely.  Glue a magnet to the backside, which will be the flat side of the lid.  Allow it to dry completely. 

We will add more photos as we collect more metal and plastic lids.  These can have hangers added for Christmas tree ornaments or tied to gifts for an added touch. 

Note:  Use any type of greeting card to created another theme.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Card Tissue Box ~ Recycling Made Fun!

Recycle your Christmas cards by using them to decorate tissue boxes for gift giving.  Nursing homes and other long term living facilities may not provide a softer tissue for residents. 

The square tissue boxes are easier to cover than the rectangle shaped one I have in the photo.  Simply cut the cards to fit each side and glue them on, allowing one side to completely dry at a time before gluing the next side.  A ruler, pencil and scissors will make the measuring and cutting easy for you. White tacky glue will provide a stronger hold than plain white school glue.

Cut the inside greeting of the card, and make a personalized gift tag for the special person you are giving it to.

These are very useful gifts for those who are shut in, in long term living facilities, or anyone on a very tight budget. 

Note:  Use greeting cards of any type to make special tissue boxes for other holidays, seasons, get well, and birthdays.  Buy tissues when they are on sale, especially when schools start up for new school years.  Tissues are typically sold at low prices during back-to-school sales.

Christmas Card House Tree Ornament

I made this tree ornament from a Christmas card several years ago.  At the time I found the pattern on-line, and currently have it packed away in my Christmas crafts.  There is a similar pattern on the Web site: Sewing and Crafts.
Stone Cottages (another pattern)
Putz Houses (blog)

If I do locate the printable pattern for the one in the photo, I will be sure to post it for you.  Enjoy!

Christmas Card Cup Coasters

These are simple to make and are perfect handmade gift ideas for kids to make too.  Simply purchase a roll of clear, transparent contac paper, have some leftover Christmas cards and scissors.  You may also want to use items in your home to trace around to cut different shapes, or use large cookie cutters.

Give these as gifts to parents, grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, teachers, neighbors, friends and others. 

The size and weight of this gift make it perfect to mail it to someone special.

Note:  Write a special note or saying on the backside before applying the contac paper. 

Trace a stencil, or item over the top of the Christmas card.  Squares are very easy for kids to cut.

Once you have your shape cut out, cut 2 pieces of contac paper.  This is simple to do.  Don't worry about edges, but cut the paper about an inch larger than the shape you cut out of your card.  The contac paper will have a peel-off paper to help measure and cut.

Take one of your cut pieces of contac paper, and peel of the paper.  Lay it sticky side up and gently place the cut out card in the center.

Peel the paper from the second piece of contac paper, and carefully press it down, sticky side down, on the top of the card.  Press out any air bubbles and run your fingers around the edges to seal it shut.  Take your scissors and trim away the extra sides, but be sure to leave a small edging (see below).

Do not throw out your leftover pieces of Christmas card just yet.  Cut portions into future gift tags or bookmarks.

Canning Jar Topper ~ Christmas Cards

Make these easy canning toppers for gift giving by recycling your Christmas cards each year.
Note:  These can also be glued to lids on recycled glass jars from other items.

Simply trace your canning lid around the edge, while holding it to the top of a Christmas card cover.  Cut it out.
Save your leftovers.

To use, simply place the cut circle on top of the canning jar lid, then screw your canning jar rim back on, on top of the cut out card.

You can write a special note on the back of the cut out card.  You can also punch a hole with a one-hole punch, and add a note from the gift recipient to tie a piece of ribbon for a Christmas tree ornament (you could provide the ribbon or twine, by wrapping a piece around the lid also).

Take your leftover cards and cut out bookmarks or gift tags, reusing them again.  Or cut more Christmas tree ornaments from it (see below).

Recycle and Reuse!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Tree ~ Recycling Old Jean's into Christmas ornaments

Recycle your old denim jeans into these cute, country Christmas Tree ornaments.
To make these you will need:
*old denim jeans
*red buttons
*red decorative ribbon or scrap ribbon
*sewing machine (or hand sew with needle and thread)
*batting or other recycled material to stuff the inside with
*straight pins

Step 1: 

With your scissors, cut two identical triangles from your jeans material/fabric.  This can be any size you prefer for your ornament.

Step 2: 
Sew three red buttons to the front of one of the cut triangles of denim as shown in the photo.

Step 3: 

Cut two pieces of ribbon.  One for a loop at each end or the ornament. Pin the two pieces of jeans together, right sides out and with ribbon between the top and bottom of each tree you sew.  Start sewing from one of the bottom corners and sew around, adding batting or other material to gently stuff the inside of the tree.  Continue sewing around until the entire ornament is sewed shut.

Note:  This photo is an older photo.  I made these ornaments over 2 years ago and just remembered them.  I gave them out as Christmas gifts.  The photo is not that great, but I will swap it out for a better one when I unpack my own ornament.  With 2 very active cats, along with an older one, we did not put all the ornaments on the tree this year.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Card Tree Ornaments

These recycled ornaments are pretty simple to make.  Again, they can be made from any used greeting cards.  Simply cut a shape, punch holes evenly around the edges, and single crochet your scrap yarn around the recycled card.  These are fun to use for gift tags also.  Write a note on the backside for an inexpensive gift.  I may have already shared this one, but posted it again for the Christmas season.

Christmas Gift Tags ~ Recycling Christmas Cards ~ Tree Ornaments

These are very easy to make, and you can reuse all of your Christmas cards you receive each year.
Items Needed:
-greeting cards
-pencil or pen
-cookie cutters or stencils
-scrap yarn, twine, string or ribbon
-one hole, hand punch

Step 1:  Trace a stencil or cookie cutter over your recycled card.  Cut it out with your scissors.  You can cut any shape you like, including simple squares, rectangles and circles.

Step 2:  Punch a hole anywhere on the cut out card, and tie on a scrap piece of twine, string, ribbon, or thin cut piece of fabric.

Step 3:  Write "To:" and "From:" onto the card for a gift tag, or write it on the back and the gift recipient can reuse the tag once again for a tree ornament.


Bottle Gift Tag ~ Recycling Christmas Cards

Cut the front cover of a Christmas card off of the card.  Cut a piece about  21/2 to 3 inches wide by 6 inches long.

 Fold the top portion down to create a fold about 2 1/2 to 3 inches from the top.
Trace the bottom of a round object onto the top, backside (the portion you just folded down). See below.
You can use stencils, the bottom of a cup or anything round.

Cut out your circle gently and carefully.  If you don't have a circular cutter and stencil, simply poke a hole in the center of the circle you just traced.  Carefully cut from center of circle to line of circle.  Cut into 4 directions, then carefully cut away the pieces from the circle.

With a Sharpie or other permanent marker, write a "To:" and "From:" at the bottom of the card.  Simply place the cut circle over the top of any bottle you wish to give as a gift.  It doesn't have to be wine.  It could be a 2-liter of someone's favorite pop, mineral water, mixed homemade herbed oils, homemade syrup - anything in a bottle.

Write the person's name onto the gift card when you are ready to give you gift.  You can make several of these cards ahead of time, and you do not have to limit this project to Christmas cards.  You can make these from any type of card.  Recycle "get well" cards and place them on a bottle of 7-Up.  Get the idea?  Have fun and recycle and reuse!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Card Recipe Cards

Reuse your Christmas cards by writing a family favorite recipe on the back of the cover.  Cut the front of the Christmas card off of the card, or any portion you wish to use.  Turn it over, and hand write a recipe for an inexpensive gift to someone.
You can also glue a recipe card onto the back of a recycled Christmas card. 

Christmas Card Place Mats

Save your Christmas cards, and create whimsical table place mats for your table this holiday (and for future Christmas meals).  Simply cut the cards to fit a piece of poster board or thick recycled cardboard.  Arrange them and then glue them down.  Allow them to dry, and cover with clear contac paper.
Save the portions that you cut away, and reuse them for bookmarks too!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Reusing Old, Removed Postage Stamps ~Christmas Ornament

This was the first year I did not make handmade ornaments.  I was stumped when someone very close to me asked for a handmade ornament.  This is what I came up with:

Note:  You don not need to go out and buy the styrofoam.  I found mine at a SCRAP store, but you can recycle styrofoam food trays, by cutting shapes and gluing several pieces together for thickness.  You can also use recycled cardboard.

How to Make a Styrofoam Stamp Heart Ornament

Items you need:
~ styrofoam hearts, size 3 inch, with a 1/2 inch width
~ old, removed, postmarked stamps (see notes at bottom for tips)
~ decoupage medium
~ flat edged paint brush
~ silver ribbon, wire edged,1/2 inch width
~ tacky glue
~ baby blue ribbon, 1/4 inch width or thinner
~ one straight pin
~ scissors

Safe working surface or piece of washed and dried cereal bag (waxed bag)

 Step 1:  Brush a coat of decoupage medium over one top side of the styrofoam heart.  Overlap the stamps and add a thin coat over the top of all the stamps.  Don't worry about the edges just yet.  Allow this side to completely dry.

Step 2:  When side one is dry, turn over and carefully and gently cut away the edges of the stamps that exceed from the edges.  In the above photo you can see the stamps sticking out.  Simply trim them away, but save the pieces to use for the other side if needed.

Here is a photo of two finished hearts, with both sides completely dried and trimmed.

Step 3:  Cut enough ribbon to cover the edges, around the heart.  Apply the ribbon, by bending it in place and pressing gently using the tacky glue to hold it in place.

Allow the glue to dry for a few minutes.  Then proceed with the next step.

Step 4:  Cut a piece of baby blue ribbon.  Tie a knot with the cut ends.  This is the hanger, and can be as short and as long as you prefer.  Push your pin through the ribbon, opposite of where you tied.  In other words, the knot is the top, and the bend of the ribbon at the other end is where you will pin it to the heart.

Once you push your pin through the ribbon, dip it in tacky glue and gently press it into the top center of the heart.  Adjust the ribbon if necessary.  Allow to completely dry.

Step 5:  Allow the entire ornament to dry.

You can use just about any size heart by simply adjusting the width of the ribbon you use.  You can also use any other shape of styrofoam for your ornament.  These are fun to make and make great gifts for ornament exchanges, postman gifts, teacher, friends and family.

Optional:  You can jazz these ornaments up with sequins and sequin pins also.  Dip the ends of the pins in tacky glue to secure them longer, and be creative.  You could simply add sequins to the edge or to the sides.

Enjoy!  SCRAP and Have Fun Making Art!

NOTE:  To removed postage stamps from envelopes, fill your sink (or a large flat bottom bowl) with warm water and a drop or two of dish detergent.  Tear off the portion of envelope where the stamps are glued to, and toss them into the water.  Allow them to soak, until the stamps start to float.  The dish detergent should gently remove the stamps for you.  Simply remove the stamps from the water and dry face down on a flat surface until completely dry.