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How to Recycle Old Holiday Cards into Gift Boxes
Use Christmas Cards to Make Gift Boxes!
Make Gift Boxes Out of Used Holiday Cards
Holidays come and go, and often bring a flurry of greeting cards in their wake. Christmas cards, Birthday cards, and other holiday cards are often thrown into the garbage, and end up in a local landfill. Making your own gift boxes also saves money: don't buy gift card holders and small gift boxes from the dollar store - make them yourself, for free!
Instead of throwing out all of those cards, consider recycling them into useful gift boxes. The process is extremely simple and only requires the use of tape and scissors. These small gift boxes are perfect for small presents: earrings or gift cards fit into the boxes well.
Gifts that would fit into these boxes include:
- Gift cards
- Seed packets
- Socks (larger cards/boxes)
- Mittens (larger cards/boxes)
- iPods or other MP3 Players
Turn Old Greeting Cards Into Gift Boxes
Choosing the Right Cards
Select cards which have a centered design, or else the picture may become distorted or lost as you fold the card into a box. Cards with text near the bottom are excellent, as the text will show on the side of the box after folding. Cards must also have a front and back that are equal in size - cards with an overlapping back or a small front will not create a nicely nesting lid and bottom.
The image at the top of this article contains several gift boxes I have made from greeting cards. These little boxes were all Christmas cards in their former life - the final box size depends on the initial size of the greeting card.
I will turn two of the cards in the background into boxes: the "Peace on Earth" card and the "Season's Greetings" card are both great cards for this method.
The "SNOW" card on the left will lose the S and W when the card is folded, and will simply say, "NO" on the lid. This card is an example of one that may not be suitable for use as a gift box.
Four Simple Steps to Make a Gift Box
The Final Step
Turn a Card Into a Box in Four Simple Steps
- Cut the card in half along the center fold (lengthwise). The front of the card with the picture will become the box lid. The back of the card will become the box bottom. Use a straight edge and place it from corner-to-corner on the card. Mark a small line, then move the straight-edge to cross the initial line. This will create an "X" in the center of the card. This marks the exact center, and will be used as a guide for folding. The "X" may be erased once the folding is complete.
- Cut approximately 1/4" off the edges of the back of the card. This will reduce the size of the box bottom so that it nests inside the lid.
- Fold the short ends of the box in to the center (marked by the "X"). Then fold the long side of the card in to the center.
- Cut the vertical fold marks on the short ends of the card. This will create two tabs on each end of the card - pull the two tabs together and tape them. This will form the short side of the box. Repeat this process for each end of the box lid and bottom. On each end, there will be a remaining card piece jutting out. Simply fold this up and over the box edge, and secure with tape.
Once this is done for each box lid and bottom, the box pieces will be complete.
Finish the Boxes
Finishing the Boxes
Once the boxes are taped together, simply nest the box bottom into the lid. Since the boxes are made out of old greeting cards, there will be text and signatures visible on the inside of the boxes. If desired, a piece of scrapbooking paper can be glued over the writing on the bottom of the gift box. Tissue paper or batting can also be placed in the box bottom to cushion the gift and hide the writing.