Old Cards, New Uses

By: Chaunte McClure

saving greeting cardsWeddings, anniversaries, birthdays and other special, and not-so-special, occasions usually yield heartfelt, humorous, or meaningful greeting cards. After 39 years, I’ve had my share of cards. The problem is I hold on to them. My name is Chaunte McClure and I have a hard time parting with cards.

I am also one who doesn’t like clutter and is self-diagnosed as slightly O-C-D, but I’m okay with using space for the sentimental messages on decorative cardstock paper of varying weights and sizes.

Collecting cards became habit-forming after I got married, so I have cards from the past years! Some of them have made it to the landfill, but most of them have personal space in my home. I feel guilty if I even think about throwing one away. After 12 years and a gift bag stuffed with cards and a few other sentimental items, I need to know: What can I do with these cards? Sorry, throwing them away is not an option – at least not for now. They’re not like unwanted gifts that you can re-gift. Maybe they’re more like that T-shirt you know should have been thrown away 10 years ago, but you’re still wearing it.

I took to Google for help to find out how to put old greeting cards to use and found some rather interesting options.

  1. DIY Gift Tags – Cut your old gift cards into little squares or rectangles or use a fancy gift tag punch to turn this year’s cards into next year’s gift bags. (Care2.com)
  2. Frame Your Faves – So many greeting cards have beautiful art or motivational text on them. Enjoy them year-round by framing them up. (Care2.com)
  3. Create Bookmarks – Make bookmarks to give to friends who love to read. (Care2.com)
  4. Reuse As Postcards – Cut the card apart, address the blank side, place a stamp on it and send it someone you love. (ThriftyFun.com)
  5. Donate Old Cards – Some charities and other organizations collect used greeting cards for fundraising activities and crafts. (ThriftyFun.com)
  6. Re-Read Them – Re-reading them for old time sake. (Chaunte.com 🙂 You probably shouldn’t listen to me though if you’re honestly trying to get rid of your cards.)

Since I have a few frames around the house, I decided to go for number two. I took a beautiful card that a sweet, sweet lady gave me last year and framed it for my office. I know that’s only one out of I-don’t-know-how-many cards. Hey, you’ve gotta start somewhere.

saving greeting cardsI do take pleasure in grabbing that worn, silver gift bag with missing rhinestones that once formed the words “I Do,” to experience the warmth of the words penned or printed on the cards. Going down memory lane provides inspiration and reminds me of how special I am (or was) to friends, family, and former co-workers. Cards can say what people want to say, but perhaps they’re not well-versed or affectionate enough to say it.

I smiled when I read a birthday card from my sister expressing how I believe she sincerely feels about me, but I would never hear those words from her mouth – NEVER. (That’s too mushy for her.) Another one she gave me a few years ago caused me to pause and think about how well or if I’m living up to the message on that card. It reads:

For My Sister

You do a lot of good in this world, and you probably don’t even know it. When you get up in the morning and mentally make your plans for the day, those plans most likely do not include

“Be a positive presence in the world, smile in a way that touches people’s hearts, be open and helpful and tolerant and a joy to be around.”

But that’s what happens…

That’s what you are.

And however you manage it,

This one thing is for sure…

The world is a better place because you are here.

Happy Birthday

Now do you understand why it’s hard to part with cards? This one will probably be around a little while longer, as will many others.

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