If, like me, you have a drawer full of last year’s Christmas cards, here are some ideas to use them in a creative way – particularly those cards with glitter, foil, bead or ribbon decoration that aren’t recyclable. If you don’t have any cards, you could also make them using cereal box cardboard and leftover/used wrapping paper. They’re easy to make, don’t require any special materials, and the templates provided can be saved to use for other craft ideas.
Materials: You will need: a variety of used Christmas cards (or cereal boxes and wrapping paper scraps), scissors, pencil/pen, glue: PVA or a glue stick, string or wool, [optional: small Christmas tree bauble, paint, hot glue gun]
NB: If you plan to use cardboard and wrapping paper, glue it onto the cardboard in advance and leave to dry before use. You could get creative and do a collage of different wrapping papers to use up all those small scraps. PVA is the best glue for this slightly watered down, as you can brush it over the top too and it will dry clear and gives a nice satin finish.
1. Angel hanging decoration or garland
a. Cut out the body and wing templates roughly and stick them onto some stiff card. Then cut the shapes out carefully – these are your templates. You can now use them to draw around on your Christmas cards. You could choose different card designs for the body and wings. If you have a spare mini tree bauble for the head, you won’t need the head part of the body template (but you will ideally need a hot glue gun to attach the bauble). You could paint the blank side of the pieces with metallic or red paint if you would like to add a bit more colour to your angel.
b. Curl the body around carefully to form a cone and feed the two tabs into the slots you have cut out. This can be a bit fiddly, but as long as the slots you have cut are the right size for the tabs, they should fit in quite easily. You may need to use a spot of glue to keep the tabs in place.
c. If making an individual decoration, cut a piece of string or wool to hang the angel form and glue it to the back of the angel’s body near the top, then glue the wings over the top of the string ends. A hot glue gun will do this most securely, but any glue will work.
d. If using a bauble for the head, hot glue gun carefully around the base of the ‘neck’ part of it, and then place the bauble upside down into the hole at the top of the body. You may want to use a bit of ribbon or wool to conceal any glue around the join. I used a bow that I found on a Christmas card. You could glue several angels onto string to make a garland.
2. Tree decorations/garlands
These robin or hare garlands can be used as wall or Christmas tree garlands, or individually as decorations for your Christmas tree. If you plan to use them for your tree, it’s best to stick two shapes back to back so you have a design on both sides. You could decide to paint one side instead, and then alternate patterned and plain designs on your garland.
a. As above with the angel, create your card templates first to draw around. If you want the patterns on both sides, stick different card designs back to back, then draw around your templates and cut them out. Finally, you might want to draw an eye on your robins or hares with a felt tip.
b. If making individual decorations you can now just make a hole at the top of your shape, and feed a piece of string or wool through it to hang it on your tree. Alternatively, you could attach the string with a dot of hot glue and cover the glue with a sequin or other decoration, or you could tie the ends into a neat bow, and stick the bow onto your shape and make a feature of it.
c. If making a garland, you could make neat holes in the top of each shape and feed them onto your string, tying a knot after each one to keep them in place. Or you could use a dot of hot glue and add a sequin or bead on top.
Don’t forget to save your Christmas cards and wrapping this year for more upcycled crafts next Christmas!
Download the template kit here: