Weekly Warm-Up: Contain Your Holiday Cards

It’s December Eve, which means our mailboxes are about to get a lot more exciting—with holiday greetings breaking up the usual junk mail and bill monotony. Hooray! I adore opening my box to find photos, handwritten notes and beautiful cards waiting for me. Throughout the month, I hang these happy hellos in my home. (See my blog for a few creative card-display ideas.) It’s when January rolls around that I reach a dilemma—do I keep the cards or recycle them? And if I keep them, do I simply store them in a boring cardboard box where they’ll likely never be seen again?

I’m happy to say that Jennifer Carreiro, a Creating Keepsakes reader, has found the answer to my quandary. Check out her stunning card keepsake book!

2008 Christmas Cards by Jennifer Carreiro. Supplies Patterned paper: My Mind’s Eye and The Paper Company; Ink: Clearsnap; Chipboard: K&Company; Ribbon: C.M. Offray & Son; Brads and metal tag: Making Memories; Jump ring: 7gypsies; Colored pencil: Newell Rubbermaid; Adhesive: Glue Dots International and Pioneer Photo Album; Other: Cardstock and star charm.

Jennifer created this album with just a few supplies, and she now has a beautiful way to preserve all her cards, photos and letters. Make your own keepsake book this year in just a few simple steps. Here’s how:

1. Gather all the cards you want to save. Don’t feel like you have to save them all. I’m sure your insurance company will understand if their greeting card ends up in your recycle bin.

2. Cut your book covers from chipboard using your largest greeting card as your template. You’ll want your covers slightly larger than your largest greeting card.

3. Dress up the cutout covers with patterned paper and embellishments. If you choose to make a new book each year, you can add the year to your cover with letter stickers, stamps, rub-ons or chipboard. Attach a pretty ribbon to the back cover so you can wrap it around the front of your book and keep it shut after your greetings are inserted.

4. To insert your greeting cards, punch a hole in the corner of each one as well as in the corners of the chipboard covers, then punch holes in your covers and group them all together with binder rings.

Isn’t this an easy and awesome idea? Thanks so much for sharing it, Jennifer.

Here’s a variation created by Elizabeth Kartchner. She’s not only grouped her holiday greetings together but also her family photo and other Christmas memorabilia from the same year.

Holiday Album by Elizabeth Kartchner. Supplies Art journal, patterned paper, felt, binder rings, ribbon, button, paper flower, rub-ons, tag, stamps, ink and clip: Evalicious (from a kit); Adhesive: Pioneer Photo Albums; Other: Thread and pen. As seen in the December 2009 issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine.

With this idea, you can enjoy those heartfelt sentiments year after year and avoid the agonizing do-I-keep-or-don’t-I scenario. The answer is now a resounding keep!

Do you have ideas for containing your holiday cards, letters and photos after the season is through? Or perhaps you recycle those greetings and do something delightful with the pieces? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments section of this post.

Happy soon-to-be December!
—Megan Hoeppner, Creative Editor

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13 Responses to Weekly Warm-Up: Contain Your Holiday Cards

  1. Tami Lopez says:

    Amazingly Awesome Idea! I love it! Will have to start doing that now! Thank you so much for sharing that!

  2. Tanya says:

    I like the idea. I incorporate all my Christmas cards and memorabilia in a scrapbook either by putting them is a envelope folder or by using them directly on the page.

  3. cindy tobey says:

    Fun idea! I am totally going to do this with this year’s cards!

  4. charlene says:

    I don’t get a lot of handmade cards, so I just use the fronts as oversized tag–just tape on the front–on presents the following year.

  5. Jackie says:

    Saw this either in her book or on the web somewhere! So cool!

  6. Diana says:

    Looks awesome! just need for friends who want to send me some cards to Mexico… anyone?? :D

  7. Pingback: Holiday Idea: Card Keepsake Book · Scrapbooking @ CraftGossip

  8. Tiffany H. says:

    I’ve been on the lookout for a cleaver way to store my holiday cards and the keepsake made by Jennifer is the best idea I’ve seen yet! Thanks for sharing. Love these kinds of ideas!

  9. Verena says:

    Hi–this is a great idea, but I also recently read about sending your cards to St. Jude’s Ranch, a home for abused and neglected children. They earn money by using your old cards to make new ones. Here is the info:

    Send holiday cards to St. Jude’s Ranch, a nonprofit home for youths that collects old holiday cards for reuse. Either cut off the backs of the cards or leave them intact. Children at St. Jude’s earn money by creating new holiday cards from the old.
    Step 2

    Mail the cards UPS “ground” or “bound printed matter” to St. Jude’s Card Recycling, 100 St. Jude Street, P.O. Box 60100, Boulder City, NV 89006.

    Can also Google “donating used Christmas cards” for other ideas.

  10. Laura says:

    I decorated a shoe box with pattered paper, rub-ons and stickers last Christmas, and I toss in all of the cards that I want to save. It’s fun to pull out the box and look through the cards at random.

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