The Christmas cards you receive can become part of your holiday decor. Use this year's cards as they arrive or save them year to year. Showcase the cards on a unique surface, such as a salvaged shutter (left) or wooden sled. Other best bets: a ladder, garden trellis or empty picture frame.
Short on space? Use mini clothespins to clip cards to a garland framing a doorway.
Hang ribbons vertically and secure with tacks, or wrap ribbon diagonally around the sled, tying at the top and bottom. Attach cards to the ribbon with double-sided tape or hot glue. For variety, mix in die-cut holiday shapes. Some scrapbooking stores offer free die-cutting services.
Leftover holiday cards are the base of a quick crafts project. Use medium- and large-size hole punches from crafts supply stores to make paper circles, then arrange them, overlapping, on a wreath form. Glue them in place; dot with pom-poms. Hang it over a doorknob or from ribbon glued to the back of the wreath.
Christmas cards adorn a centerpiece "tree" made with twigs from your yard. Arrange twigs in a pitcher or vase, and clip or tie cards to twig ends. For an added burst of holiday color, weave a red ribbon or piece of rickrack through the display.
A ribbon draped over the mirror holds Christmas cards of coordinating plant and color motifs. Expand on the theme by adding mantel accessories such as ornaments and fresh or silk flowers.
Trace around a cookie cutter set on most visually interesting part of your card. Cut out along the lines, punch a hole, and tie to a garland with narrow red ribbon or yarn. You can use the same technique to make quick and easy Christmas tree decorations from your cards.
A vintage frame showcases a special card collection. Mount the cards on ribbons with tape, then drape and tack (or tape) the ribbons around the back of the frame. Continue the cheerful colors with china or other accessories.
Punch holes in each card and string through pretty ribbon to add to a chair back (or over a doorway).
Did you save last year's cards? Create eco-friendly season's greetings by repurposing decorative scraps. To start, cut your favorite scenes from leftover Christmas cards or wrapping paper. Glue to cardstock.
"If a card's design isn't particularly interesting, cut it in a simple shape, such as a Christmas tree, and glue it to a contrasting paper," says Chicago designer Amy Roman, who crafts cards from vintage picture books.
Other artistic embellishments: ribbons, holiday show ticket stubs, rubber stamps, cupcake liners, buttons and used seasonal postage stamps. For the type, trim words from old greetings