Colorful Christmas card made into a gift tage

Gift Tags from Old Greeting Cards

There comes a time, at the end of every celebration, to breakdown the decorations. Everything paper gets thrown away or tossed in the recycling bin. The saddest part is throwing away piles of greeting cards. Anything handmade or with a particularly thoughtful inscription I’ll save. But most cards end up in the landfill.

One year I had enough. I just had to find a second life for all this paper. One day I was in the store with a relative. It was the holidays and she was buying gift tags. Gift tags! That’s it! I can reuse my old cards and make gift tags.

Since the purpose of this exercise was to reduce waste, I didn’t want to use any new material. I used my hand-held crafting hole punch to create a hole to run the string through. Then throughout the year I save bits of string for this very purpose. The string in the images above was created by unraveling old twine that had been in our junk drawer for years.

I wasn’t able to stick entirely to my “no new materials” rule. To give the tags a final touch, I ran a metallic silver marker around the edge of the front and the back.

These days friends and neighbors donate their old cards to me. The cards can be from any occasion but it’s important that the backside of be blank: that’s where I calligraphy “To” and “From.” Needless to say, I end up with more tags than I could possibly ever use, so I wrap them in old ribbon and give them as hostess gifts and stocking stuffers.

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