Christmas postcards from recycled gift boxes
Everybody is trying to pinch pennies where they can these days, and many are cutting back by choosing not to send out Christmas cards. Cards can get expensive by the time you buy them and pay for postage, so it’s an easy thing to eliminate to save some bucks. However, if you just can’t bear the thought of not sending out holiday greetings but still don’t want to break the bank, I’ve got a great idea for you. And the best part is that it’s totally green.
All you need is some old gift boxes. C’mon, you know when you dig out those boxes of Christmas decorations, you’re sure to find a pile of wrapping supplies. There’s probably ribbon, tags, squished bows, and a bunch of gift boxes that are so torn up on the corners that you have no idea why you even saved them. Don’t toss those boxes, though. We’re gonna make postcards from them!
Start by cutting the sides off the boxes.
Then use a paper trimmer to trim the boxes down to size. Because we’re making postcards, we’ll be able to use the less expensive 28-cent stamps on them instead of the full 44-cent stamps required for typical envelopes. That’s a HUGE savings on your postage bill! The only trick to that is that the USPS requires that postcards be no smaller than 3.5″ x 5″ and no larger than 4.5″ x 6″. So I recommend that you take full advantage and cut them to the largest size you can, which is 4.5″ x 6″.
Now that you have a fun pile of postcards, it’s your chance to embellish them! Go back into that pile of last year’s Christmas junk (um, I mean “memories”) and pull out all the Christmas cards people sent you. Many of them will have cute designs on them that can be cut out and stuck to your postcards. Isn’t it great when you can be cute AND recycle? (Just be sure to use strong tape or glue so they don’t fall off in the mail!)
Another embellishment option comes from that pile of box flaps you cut off earlier. You might find that there are shapes or designs on there that can easily be cut out and used again. Or you can even print some photos of your kids onto sticker paper and use them to dress up the postcard. So cute, right?
As a final, personal touch, you can sign the card with as much of a greeting as you have room for. Sharpie permanent markers are perfect for writing on the slick surface that most boxes have.
Now just flip the card over and address the back. Here you’ll want to use a fine-point marker so that your text is easily readable by the post office. I like to scribble some extra wavy lines around the card, to decorate it. And to remind your family and friends that you’re trying to be environmentally-friendly, why not put a little message on the bottom wishing them a “green” Christmas?
All they need now is a 28-cent stamp and they’re ready to go!