Monday, December 14, 2009

Two more things to do with old cards

So my post title is totally uninspired - don't let that deter you from reusing some more of those old cards that I'm sure you have hanging around after my last three years of Save Your Cards For Other Purposes hysteria.

You do, right? Have a big old pile of cards from this year, including some holiday ones from Holidays 2008, that you are getting ready to pitch because your 2009 cards are coming in through the mail?

I knew it. Because so many people love you that they keep sending cards. Love that.

I mean, I love that now.

Now that I have the super fancy Card Holder Thingee (hey, leftover ribbon from an box can be fancy) to handle the incoming cards. Before the Card Holder Thingee made an appearance in our house, I would go through three very distinctive card having stages.

1. Excitement - There's something in my mailbox and it's not a bill for supplemental taxes - RE-FUCKING-JOICE.

2. Uncertainty - Now that I've opened this card and enjoyed its message, where will I put it so that Bubba can also enjoy the message that may or may not include a newspaper clipping or printed out email from a not super tech-savvy relative? Does it go on the mantle where a breeze may blow it into the fireplace? Does it go on the entry table with every other goddamn thing?

3. Guilt - After having just put the card on the table for the requisite week so that all inhabitants could have adequate time to appreciate its beauty and/or decode the meaning of the enclosed newspaper clipping, is it OK to throw it away or is this sender of cryptic newspaper articles going to hunt through my house to find their card shrine next time they visit? Because if that's the case, we need to move, disassociate ourselves with this person and change our identities. In that order.

But with the Card Holder Thingee, thankfully some order was introduced to my life, and insodoing, also some peace. And we haven't disassociated anyone, though it's up for debate as to whether they'd care.

When we get cards now - throughout the whole year - they get appreciated from the mailbox to the table, where they may sit for a day or so - and then pinned gracefully to the ribbon, where they will hang adored until the next holiday when they're torn asunder and turned into some variety of craft.

Or used to scrape out the pee cement adhered to the bottom of Rocket's litterbox.

I'm just saying - sometimes I need a rigid tool for the job and I don't own a scooper because I just dump the litter all at once but sometimes the litter has formed an immovable mass which can only be dislodged with a rigid object and sometimes that object needs to be cardstock and sometimes the only cardstock around is a big ugly card with somebody's kid on it.

It's OK. Feel free to use my cards to scoop out your litter boxes, too.

And, HOORAY, that's an unintended but totally legitimate 3rd Thing To Do With Old Cards that I hadn't even meant to include because I thought you'd all hate me and/or stop sending me cards.

Well, whoopsy. It's out there now, so I hope you can still love me enough to send me cards so that I can appreciate them on the Card Holder Thingee until such time that they're either recycled in a cat pee-free way or, you know, the alternative.

Moving on.

Thing #1 You Can Do With Old Cards: Wrap gifts with them.

If you have something small, like, say, a Going Out Without Your Big Girl Purse Wallet that you just crafted and are giving to some friends as a way to test out a new tutorial (coming soon), and you want to wrap it, but just not in that way where you're folding giftwrap around it and trying to not make it look like crap, try using a cute card instead.

Like so...

Gather your materials:
Glue stick
Old card
Scrap paper
Hole punch (not pictured because I forgot)

Glue your scrap paper over the inside of the card, covering up any sentimental notes or divulging of personal holiday secrets.

Trim the scrap paper edges, if necessary, and fold the card along its original crease.
Slide your smallish gift in there like you're filling a taco.

Punch a hole on one-side, making sure your item is in the middle of the card.
Then punch a hole on the other side and at the top.
Thread ribbon through all three holes and tie a knot. Or a bow.
If you're fruity like that.

See how it is all snug in there?
And you're done. Wrapped. Ready to go.

Thing #2 You Can Do With Old Cards: Make Gift Card Holders Just Like Target. Or Whoever.

Gather your materials:
Old card
Gift card for Chili's or something fancier because you really treat your mailman nice unlike us WT folk
Razor blade
Envelope to fit

Open the card and tear it in half, severing front from back. Scary.

Center your gift card on the old card's front, design side up, and make marks around your gift card at each corner, about half an inch up each corner, with your razor blade.

Move the card away and connect the corner lines, bottom line to side line.
Slide your gift card's corners into the slits and then the card into your envelope.
Feel free to put a fruity stamp on the envelope and maybe write a little note on the card so the mailman knows to whom he should deliver a bag of flaming poo when he realizes you gave him $10 to Chili's instead of the C-note he'd had his heart set on.
Greedy bastard.

Then, if you're like us, do this with all your gift cards and set them out in arm's reach of the front door so you can catch the UPS guy during one of his visits to your front door and give him the gift of Skillet Queso this holiday season.
Because nothing says, "Thanks for always putting my packages on the back doorstep so they're safe!" like an alarming case of Queso Gas.

And then there was that #3 Thing You Can Do With Old Cards that I said before, but you can just scroll up and read it there so that I don't have to talk about cat pee anymore. Barf. I can smell it in my nose now.

Happy Holidays.


  1. Okay. So. I never send out Christmas cards (or any holiday cards), but I might make an exception next year. Because do you know what I discovered? The local outdoors store offers free photos of kids with Santa, and the backdrop? IS CAMO. How can I pass up a woodchuck Christmas card like that next year when I will have a small child to fling on woodchuck Santa's lap for a photo? I hope there's a gun in there somewhere too.

    Anyway. I will send you one of these, but only if you PROMISE to use it to clean the litter box, because I really hate the waste of cards and would much rather someone find something useful to do with them.

    You have lots of ideas, obviously, but I don't think a woodchuck Christmas card such as I'm describing would be suitably re-purposed as gift wrap. Unless you have some really weird friends.

  2. I really like the first idea! I think I'll use it to wrap all the portrait stamps that I'm carving for the cousins. If I get them done, that is.

  3. Ooh! Ohh! I think I see our holiday card on your display. I'm so proud! Look, ma, I'm famous!

  4. I think I've shared this before, but I really really enjoy your ideas for re-using Christmas cards. Because it stresses me out, the "What do I do with this now?!" factor (because just chucking them all come Jan 1 seems wrong).

    And yes, I do still have a pile from '08 lying around here somewhere. '09 will soon be joining them, and next year I can have a humdinger of a time "upcycling" them (and, from the sounds of it, maybe tucking in a funky new wallet or two, courtesy of a certain upcoming tutorial). Thank you, Ms. Finny!

  5. Annnnd, now I'm stressing out because we have never, not ever, left something for our mailman in the past 10 years we've lived here. And we have had the same Santa Clause looking postal worker for that decade. Are we going to go to hell?

  6. Kris - Really? No holiday cards? Doesn't your family make you feel bad for not sending cards? I feel like I'd be disowned or at least shunned at parties. Come to think of it, maybe I should stop sending cards...

    Now, with the camo back drop and the story of being able to say that this photo was taken at at outdoors store near, like, the rifle section or something, you can't pass it up. That'd be AWESOME. And, please, send me one of these masterpieces. And I promise to either clean the litter box with it or use it to scrape grease out of a pan or something. Truly - none of these cards go to waste. They're all living second and third lives as bookmarks and fireplace kindling and fabric organizers and what not. It's sad.

    I also have some weird friends that would like their gifts wrapped in camo baby.

    Wendy - How you manage to make those stamps is beyond me. Too awesome. I hope they get wrapped in cards. Imagine the beauty and reuse!

    Decca - Yes, your card is definitely on display. And when I was making these things I kept putting your card from last year back in the pile because, while it was awesome and would have worked great for these projects, I couldn't bear to cut into the humor of Bounty, Joy and so on. Too cute.

    Meg - And tell me what you do with yours, too - because I have a lot of cards and can't be wrapping gifts with all of them! Though I suppose I could clean the litter box...

    Hooli - You're safe. There's no hell. Just your house where the mail will mysteriously stop showing up or be covered in a stinky substance known as flaming poo.

    Really though - it's only because of Bubba that we do this. I never remember. Thank goodness for his good manners.

  7. I like to receive mail, and I assume others do too, so I send out a TON of cards year round. Like if I'm even a day later than I was last year- people assume I'm dying or something. No, it just that mail doesn't deliver on Sunday. CALM DOWN.

    But I have to say- I just freaking recycle mine. I can't save any more stuff in my house. I'm holding onto 20 feet of bubble wrap for no real reason. I've got to draw the line somehwere.

  8. You're so funny Finny -- and very clever, I might add. I'll pass on the #1 (or is it #3 option) although I do love the gift wrapping option!

  9. Great ideas! I have saved all our Christmas cards since we got married. A year or so ago I started making origami gift boxes out of them. You've given me some more ideas that I'll try. Thank you!

  10. oh, i love this idea! I have to say, I am so guilty....I never send holiday cards out. i get yelled at every year!


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

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Sucks, right?

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