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Ripped Christmas wrapping paper.

How to Recycle Christmas Cards & Paper

Recycling at Christmas

After Christmas most of us need a little time to recover from the excess. And what better way to get back on track by using up left over wrapping paper and Christmas cards to do a recycled Christmas craft? Recycling at Christmas will help to minimise your family's general environmental impact and keep pennies in your pockets at the same time!

Our eco friendly Christmas ideas, below, such as recycling Christmas cards, will save you from buying more than you need to next Christmas. These and other recycled Christmas crafts also make for great gifts!


How to Recycle Christmas Cards

Christmas card giving and receiving has long been a tradition in Britain – making cards is one of the classic Christmas crafts that kids really enjoy. But what do you do with all the cards you've received after Christmas? Here are two fun ways to recycle Christmas cards, but before you get started you need to cut the backs off the cards and put them into the recycling bin. Then, separate the cards into two piles: one for cards with writing on the reverse of the picture, one where the back of the picture is blank.  


Blank picture cards

These can easily be made into gift tags to be attached to gifts the following year. All you need to do is cut the card up into rectangles using scissors or pinking shears and punch a hole in one corner, so you can thread ribbon or string through. You won't need to buy gift tags next year! Just remember to supervise your kids when they’re using scissors.  


Written-on picture cards

Sections of these can be cut up and glued to folded paper to form festive collages on the front of handmade cards. Embellish with glitter to finish off your simple homemade Christmas cards for next year. For more ideas on how to make recycled Christmas cards with your kids, check out our tips on card designs.  


How to Recycle Wrapping Paper

There's always so much wrapping paper left after Christmas – either scrunched up, or ripped. Most of this usually ends up in our recycling bins. But there are lots of fun things you can do to recycle wrapping paper in a crafty way. Here are a few ideas:  


Reuse large pieces to wrap parcels, line boxes or drawers

If you manage to salvage any large pieces, consider covering them with a clean tea towel and ironing on a very low temperature, so all the creases are flattened out and the paper can be used again – this should only be done by an adult. Do not attempt this with wrapping paper that contains foil or plastic!


Use small pieces for decoupage or paper craft

What better way to make eco Christmas gifts for next year than by using up this year's waste paper! Cut and paste strips of paper onto decorative items like gift boxes and tree ornaments and then varnish (decoupage); or use any left over pieces to do some of the paper craft activities found on our site – mosaics, collage picture frames, funky bangles, the possibilities are limitless!

Although Christmas recycling crafts are fun for all the family, there may be some stains created in the process, but don’t worry, for advice on how to tackle things like glue on clothes, check out the stain removal section. And, don’t forget, always supervise kids when doing craft activities!

We'd love to know whether you put all your Christmas cards and wrapping paper in the straight in recycling bin, or are there any fun Christmas crafts you enjoy doing instead? Let us know in the comments box below!

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