By Abigail Beal
It is always a fun part of the holiday season giving and receiving Christmas cards. But what can you do with them after the holidays? It is often a shame simply to throw them out - they have beautiful holiday scenes and many of them now have sentimental value. Here are some craft projects to give a new life to your Christmas cards.
Make a Christmas Card Wreath - for this project you will need an embroidery hoop, a glue gun with glue sticks and at least a dozen Christmas cards. Cut the backs off the Christmas cards and lay out the cards on the embroidery hoop in a fan pattern, circling all around the hoop. Once you have found a design that you like, glue them to the embroidery hoop. Glue gun a small piece of ribbon on the back of the hoop as a hook to hang the wreath.
Kids Placemats - these are fun for the kids to make, and they can use them for next Christmas morning! You will need inexpensive plastic or vinyl placemats, colored paper and Christmas cards, scissors, glue and clear contact paper. Help your children (depending on age level) to create a design they like with the Christmas cards, perhaps to write their name making construction paper letters, or draw a picture. Once they have a design they like, glue the design to the mat, using sparing amounts of glue. The glue will help you hold the design in place for the next step, it is not the only step you will use. Take clear contact paper and place it over the placemat and cut it slightly larger than the placemat. Fold down the corners over the edges of the placemat. Placemat will clean with a damp sponge and a little dishwashing detergent.
Coasters - you will need some plain wooden coasters, decoupage glue for outdoor projects and foam brushes. Cut your Christmas cards to show the designs and patterns you like the best, measuring so they fit on the coasters. Glue them down using the decoupage glue, with the foam brushes. The outdoor decoupage glue is stronger and will help protect it from liquid.
Ornaments - this is an easy ornament the kids can make with little supervision. You will need white glue, scissors, hole punch and ribbon. Match Christmas cards up so you have pairs of cards that you like. Decide on a shape to cut them in - stars, hearts or even just leaving them as rectangles. Glue the cards together and allow the glue to set. Once the glue has set, cut the desired shape. Punch a hole at the top of the ornament and put a ribbon through to hang it on the tree.
Magnets - this is a fun project the kids can make. You will need scissors and a sheet of magnets. Decide on the shape to cut the Christmas cards. Then press down on the sheet of magnets and then cut the Christmas card. The sheet of magnet has a stick on side that will hold the Christmas card to it, and the other side is a magnet.
Serving Tray - for this project you will need a wooden tray, at least six Christmas cards, craft paint, paintbrush, decoupage glue and scissors. Paint the trim of the wooden tray your desired color and allow it to dry. Then decide the layout of the Christmas cards. Glue the cards down and apply several coats of decoupage glue on top to seal it. Allow this to dry for at least twenty four hours before use. Makes a nice hostess gift.
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