Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Recycle Christmas Cards Now!

Samples of Recycled Card Scenes

In this day of recycling and reusing, we all try to do our part to save the trees by recycling our paper trash.  Why not reuse your Christmas cards from this year?  While you are still in the spirit of card-making, make a few from some of the scenic card fronts you got from friends.  Afraid you might mail back one of the cards to the person who sent it?  Fear not.  If you do, they will either forget what their card from this year looked like a year later, or they will be impressed that you have taken their store-bought card and made it your own!

Since it is obviously impossible to use the entire card front, it is possible to get one or two new cards from the scenic ones.  I have scanned in eight cards I made two days ago from card fronts I cut off and saved last year and just got around to using them for next year’s cards or for late cards that have New Year’s wishes inside.  Receiving a couple of very great scenic cards this year inspired me to remember the ones I had saved last year, too.

Using a window die, and there are several manufacturers making great windows now,  cut a window out of the framing color you want to use and move it around the front of a scenic card to find the best spot to use for this purpose.  Draw lines on the scene to indicate the outer edge of the window and cut the dimensions inside the lines.   

Prepare a card so the front looks like the inside of a room looking out the window into the scene.  I like to either make my own “walls” or to use paper that harmonizes with the scene.  Small stripes work well for a room’s “wallpaper.”  Then mount the window with the scene secured behind it on the "wall" you created. I used Poppystamps’ Grand Madison window for most scenes, and their new Gothic window with the Stained Glass Gothic insert for one of them. 

Bear in mind that once you have cut out the scene, you may have to adjust it more for the crossbar that will obscure parts of the scene.  I try to never have it cross a face or something that needs to be shown to indicate Christmas decorations or other important elements in the scene.  

Another fun idea is to look for a scene that may work for an interior room of a house.  Then the card front can be the outside of the house looking in to the homey scene, complete with shutters, window box, wall siding like brick or boards, using Distress inks to color and shade the house wall.

More Samples

These cards' greetings were stamped with a Stampin' Up Christmas stamp set that contains some nice greetings. The "Happy Christmas" greeting will be great to send to my friends in England, since they tend to say that more than  they say "Merry Christmas."  The greeting is punched out with Stampin' Up's Modern Label punch and a small oval punch.  

The "Peace" greeting on the Gothic window card was actually cut from the original card front.  Make use of some of the words that are already there!  Turn them into tags or labels with your punches.

Enjoy your holidays and be sure to check out those cards before putting them into the recycle bin!  You may have some treasured scene awaiting your creativity.  One more thing worth noting:  the stock used in manufactured Christmas cards is usually thicker than the card stock we buy, so use some of the white parts for stamping your own images.  You will be pleased with the results!

Now back to the studio to create more for this blog.  I have an altered book in the wings awaiting my contribution to its pages.  If I think it worthy of sharing, it will be the subject of my next post.



  1. I love these! What a clever idea! I have saved greeting cards for years (I actually save everything!) and this is the perfect project! Thank you for your idea!

  2. These cards are beautiful! I may give this a try. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and sending wishes for a happy New Year!

  3. Great idea Nancy! I just got a window de too that I'm dying to try!

  4. I think I NEED a window die now. I already have the card fronts. Been saving those for years - and I don't use them as much as I should.
    HAPPY NEW YEAR, Miss Nancy!


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