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November 22, 2020

How to Make Recycled Paper Christmas Decorations

How to recycle your old Christmas cards into beautiful ornaments and garlands

This is just a quick post, because there are no printables to download. I just wanted to share an idea I had: paper Christmas decorations made from recycled Christmas cards. You can make very simple but pretty garlands and ornaments out of them, and they'll cost next to nothing.

I literally had 20 boxes of leftover boxed Christmas cards from years gone by. Since I make my own cards now, the chances of my sending out any of the cards in my massive collection is pretty remote. So I came up with the idea of making paper ornaments and garlands out of them. They're very easy to make. Here's how you do do it:

1. Gather your Christmas cards. The project would probably also work with leftover Christmas wrapping paper (although the thicker, the better), and it certainly would work with small leftover pieces of scrapbook paper.

2. Use a punch or a variety of punches. I used a 2" circle and a 1 3/8" scalloped circle. You could also use snowflakes (which I would have done if I could have gotten my snowflake punch to cooperate), stars or other shapes.

3. Punch out as many circles as you need. I used six per ball but you can use fewer or more than that. I alternated colors from different cards on some of the balls and used all the same color on others. You can do whatever works best with your assortment of cards.

4. Fold all the circles in half.

5. Get a length of string, thin ribbon, beading cord or anything else you want to use to use to create the garland. You can also use the same if you prefer to make these as individual ornaments.

6. Use a repositionable glue stick to apply glue to the back of each one and stick all the backs for one ball together. I left the last two panels open on each ball, though, so I could glue them once I added them to the beading cord. I also used knots on the sides of the smaller balls to hold them in place. Adding the larger balls were an afterthought, so instead of using knots, I ran a line of Elmer's school glue down the center before I sealed the ball shut with the glue stick. you can also add beads to your garland to make it even more special.

If you want to make an individual ornament; cut a length of ribbon, cord or whatever you're using; long enough that it can run through the center of the ornament and have a loop at top to hang it. Spread a line of glue down the center of the inside spine of an ornament that hasn't had the final panels sealed yet, and then lay the folded-over ribbon (or whatever) down the center, leaving a loop at the top. Apply more glue, if needed to hold the ribbon in place. Apply glue stick to the last two panels and seal the ornament shut.

7. Have a happy holiday!

You might also be interested in these other holiday goodies:


  1. Thank you for the workshop. It's a great idea

  2. You're welcome, Rosie. I'm glad you like these!

  3. This is GREAT! I just had to share this on Pinterest! :-) I one of those people that just can't throw away Christmas cards that people send, but then I have NO clue what to do with them when I keep them. This is PERFECT! Thank you! :-)

  4. Hi Caty. Thanks for your comment and for posting this on Pinterest! I appreciate both. :-)

  5. This is such a great idea! I, too, have a box of unused cards, plus all the card we receive each year. What a great way to reuse them! Thanks for posting this!

  6. You're welcome, Amanda. I guess a lot of people are looking for ways to use their old Christmas cards, because this post has been very popular!

    Thanks for your comment.

  7. what a great idea!! thank you!

    ps found you via pinterest. :)

    1. You're welcome, Kellie! Thanks for leaving a comment and letting me know where you found me. :-)

  8. I can't wait to try this. I also follow you on Twitter. Thanks for all the great ideas and resources!

    1. I hope you have fun making these. I know I did!

      Thanks so much for the kind words and the Twitter follow. :-)

  9. Replies
    1. You're welcome! Thanks for your comment. :-)

  10. Thanks for the idea saved me money!


I welcome your comments!