As I’ve talked about before, I love getting Christmas cards. Each year, I hem and haw at spending the money to buy and mail our own Christmas cards, but then I remember how much I appreciate that others spend their money to buy and mail me theirs, so I should do the same.
But there’s always the question, “What should I do with old Christmas cards?”
A few years ago, I started hanging our Christmas cards on the wall and making a Christmas Tree shape out of them. It wasn’t perfect, but it was a fun way to display them.
They hang on the wall until, at least, January, sometimes later, and then I take them down. Taking down Christmas cards used to be a sad day for me. I didn’t want to get rid of them, but I didn’t want them on my wall forever and I didn’t know what else to do with them.
I got the idea from a friend to put them in a scrapbook. She had started putting hers in photo albums years ago and her daughters loved looking back through to see what people used to look like.
My friend used those old albums where the entire sheet is sticky and you adhere the picture anywhere on it, then lay the plastic sheet over the top. I’ve done enough scrapbooking to know that that is not the best preservation method for photos (and I’m pretty sure that no one sells those any more). The simplicity of sticking cards to paper without a lot of thought or “decorations” was appealing, so I decided to go the way of a scrapbook.
Old Christmas Cards Album
1 – Choose Your Album
Simplicity was the name of my game, so I went with the cheapest and most simple album I could find.
Almost any craft store has these generic albums with front and back covers and an expandable binding (similar). Each set of pages you add comes with extenders which allows you to make the book as thick as you want. Cheap plastic sleeves and 12×12 Christmas scrapbook paper packs after Christmas when they were on clearance finished off my list of supplies.
2 – Sort the cards
Sort by size and orientation. I do this as I take them off of the wall. This will be helpful as you’re figuring out how to arrange the cards on a page.
3 – Adhere Old Christmas Cards to Scrapbook Paper
My goal is to fit as many cards on a page as I can. Some people may want to embellish them or matte the photos to make it look more scrapbook-y, but my purpose is solely to have them in a book, so I just try to get as many on a page as I can.
4 – Add Pages to Album
Once all of your cards are adhered, put the pages in your album. For the album I chose, I put the pages back to back and slide them in the plastic sleeves and put them in the book.
5 – Create a Page with Your Family’s Card
Make your family’s card the title page for each year. Because I have multiple years in a book, it’s a great marker for where one year ends and the next begins.
I put our family’s Christmas card on a page by itself, and because we often have double-sided cards, I put two on there with each side showing. If the year isn’t printed on the card, write or cut out numbers on a cricut die-cutting machine to make the year and put that at the top of the page with your family’s card.
Depending on how many cards you have, it takes about an hour.
We have our Christmas card albums on the shelf with our other family albums, but I pull them out and put them in a more prominent spot at Christmas time.
You don’t even have to use Christmas scrapbook paper. Last year I was out, but I had a bunch of another type that came in an array of neutral colors and had a subtle print, so I used that. What kind of paper you use and any embellishments that you choose are totally up to you.
P.S. Christmas cards can still be useful even if you don’t want to keep them. And you can use this tip to get started on next year’s Christmas cards now.