5 Ways to Repurpose Gift Cards

Here are five DIY projects for repurposing those cherished holiday photo cards.

After receiving countless holiday photo cards from family and friends, many people feel guilty about tossing them in the trash at the end of the season. After spending hours arranging the perfect photo ops, sorting through to find the best family pictures and then making holiday photo cards online, we all understand the work that went into making these charming holiday greetings, which is why it can be tough to get rid of them at the end of the season.

The beginning of the year is always hectic. While you're getting your home ready for the new year with house maintenance, catching up on bills, researching house insurance quotes and purging your house of clutter, make some time to recycle your holiday cards and ornaments into fun crafts. You may have already taken down the lights, put away the ornaments and thrown out the old eggnog and fruit cake, but you don't have to give up the holiday spirit yet.

Here are five DIY projects for repurposing those cherished holiday photo cards:

Scrapbook of Christmas 2012 Memories

Start a new family tradition and make a scrapbook of each year's Christmas memories. Print your favorite family photos from holiday parties, as well as Christmas Eve and Christmas day festivities. Get a scrapbook binder and some festive holiday scrapbooking supplies. Alternate a page or two of holiday photo cards with a page of family photos. The finished book makes a lovely coffee table accessory to leave out next holiday season.

Yearly Holiday Card Binder

This is another great idea to make into a new holiday tradition. The supplies you'll need for this project include: two loose binder rings, a sturdy standard-sized hole punch and festive ribbon. Punch two holes, three to four inches apart on the same side of each card. Feed the binder rings through the holes on each card and secure them shut. Decorate each binder ring with a bow using your choice of ribbon. To give each year's card binder a cohesive look, add a cover noting the year using holiday paper.

Framed Photo Collage

Another way to repurpose holiday photo cards is to make a framed photo collage that can be displayed year round with some creative photo cropping. Purchase a large photo frame with a mat that has space for several small photos. Trim pictures of friends and family from your favorite photo cards to fit the spaces in the frame. To make the collage suitable for display throughout the year, crop out any holiday decor or messages. If you don't want to cut or hole punch them, you can also make a festive wreath to use every year.

Tree Ornaments

This is an easy project that you can do with your kids. Get a sturdy standard hole punch and red, green and white ribbon that is thin enough to be threaded through the hole. Punch a hole in the top of each card and then thread the hole with a five-inch length of ribbon, tied in a knot to form a loop. Voila, new Christmas ornaments for next year's tree.

Valentine's Garland

Want to repurpose cards to make decor for another holiday? A Valentine's Day garland is an easy craft. All you need is a need, thread and scissors. Cut 30 to 40 hearts from your collection of Christmas cards, ideally framing faces or your favorite holiday messages. After threading the needle, string the needle through the back of each heart. Depending on how many cards you have, you can make a single garland or a few of them to display this Valentine's Day.

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