From Off My List: Handmade Holiday Cards



“Christmas is too sparkly, said no one ever”

-No One Ever

December is already here and you know what that means: the big Christmas countdown is in full swing! My usual desire to make all kinds of things really kicks into overdrive at this time of year.  There are sooo many creative ways to decorate, to entertain and to gift- and so little time to put things together. Deciding which projects to take on and make time for is tough.  Should I gather eucalyptus and holly and make a wreath?  Should I get the beads out and make jewelry gifts?  The first week of December is mostly too early for baked gifts but for now, which new cookie recipe should I try out on a test run?


The winner for First Holiday Project on my list this year is handmade holiday cards, and I have to admit it was a project I had actually been planning for quite some time.  A few years back while cleaning up gift debris after everyone opened Christmas presents, I scooped up a handful of ribbons and gift tags for the trash.  I had already been saving colorful slips of ribbon for re-use for years, but I usually threw the used gift tags away.  However one Christmas Day morning, looking down on some pretty tags in my hand I thought can’t there be some way to recycle these sparkly and cheerful little treasures?  Right then, the idea of turning used gift tags into holiday cards was born.  I started stashing away used gift tags for this project a couple of years ago until I had plenty of items in stock to choose from.  I also started saving reusable pieces of other greeting cards to further bulk up my stash.

For my Recycled Holiday Cards project, I used:

  • Red, green and white blank cards with envelopes from Amazon , starting at $12.99 per set
  • Glue dots and Mini Glue dots from Amazon, $8.31 per pack
  • Washi tape from Paper Source, $9.95 for 3 rolls
  • Gel pens from Paper Source, $10.95 for pack of 6
  • A variety of Jolee holiday stickers from Joann, $4.39 per pack (mine were $2.39 as I used Joann coupons for the purchase)
  • A ”handmade by” rubber stamp from Paper Source, $6.50
  • Quickie glue pen from Paper Source, $2.95
  • And last but not least, my saved up used gift tags and pieces of old holiday cards, $priceless


I first stamped and signed the backs of my blank cards.  Stamping them after the cards are completed can sometimes be tricky, as uneven surfaces can contribute to incomplete impressions.

Once the ink is dry on the back and the cards can be turned over, select 2 or three like-minded tags out of your pile and arrange them on the card front until you are satisfied.  Once you are pleased with the design, apply the glue dots to the backs of your tags, turn them over and place them where you want them.  Run a finger or two over the tag to help set the glue dots to the cards.  Add stickers or ribbon for more flair, and your first card is finished!



Once you’ve secured all your supplies, these cards are so easy to make.  I also picked up stickers and other items to decorate the cards with from the Target Bullseye section (no shock there for my loyal readers) for $1 per package (stars and bow stickers in this case).  The hard part is really just figuring out how to best design each card front.


You can keep the inside of the cards blank, or you can stamp or emboss a holiday message inside (more on the technique of embossing your cards later).  When the card insides are blank, they can be used as needed: as invitations, thank you cards or just plain old fashioned holiday greetings.  This year, start saving your own stash of adorable used gift tags and pieces of other holiday greetings.  You may have enough to create your own set of handmade cards to send out in 2018 🙂

©2017 Lisa Ihnken, All Rights Reserved

4 thoughts on “From Off My List: Handmade Holiday Cards

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