DIY-Ways to Recycle Old Greeting & Wedding Cards

DIY-Ways to Recycle Old Greeting & Wedding Cards


When we talk of ways to recycle old greetings and wedding cards, we should first know why we have to recycle paper. Paper is an important resource that is easily and cheaply re-used. Most materials that are not recycled cost many times more to dispose of than to recycle them, in both money wise and in environmental harm wise.

The trees that paper comes from are a key resource; and they absorb carbon dioxide, which we exhale into the atmosphere.  If there are no trees this carbon dioxide builds up in the atmosphere causative to global warming and climate change.  It is in our hands to keep as many trees as possible.

It is also true that recycling paper uses much less energy than making new paper. Hence, recycling paper conserves natural resources, saves lots of energy, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and also keeps landfill space free for other types of garbage that can’t be recycled.

I learned the art of folding paper at the age of 5; my favorite was making paper boats and floating them in the rain water puddles in front of my house. The rivulets at that time seemed like the mighty Amazon River! We, my cousins and I, would tear paper from old used notebooks and make lots of paper boats. That was our way of reusing paper. I also liked to make a purse, dunce caps and airplanes from paper.

In school when we had our annual day or any other function, we were taught to make our own colorful streamers from sheets of colored paper. At that time,e we didn’t even have a fevicol tube or glue stick to stick the papers. We made glue from rice paste…boil rice or rice flour in water till it becomes a paste and the starch therein becomes transparent and sticks like any glue.

The feelings of accomplishment and of making something ourselves made us feel very proud. I rarely waste paper; printed paper on one side is used as a jotting pad which I make by stapling folded sheets of paper. We used to preserve empty pages from old school notebooks to make rough notebooks.


My grand nephew (all of ten years) gifted me a beautiful sketch of Gurunanak Devji and I wanted to hang it in my room so that I could see it all the time. I contemplated going to the frame house and getting it framed, but then it would look very professional and impersonal. I tend to hoard the wedding cards that I get as I hate throwing away the wonderful invitations and wasting the fine paper. I have a sizeable collection. I took them out and set about making a photo frame from a hard cardboard card. All I needed was old wedding cards, a pair of scissors, glue stick, small piece of string, a pencil and scale for measurements. I chose a chocolate brown and dull gold for the frame and pasted it on all four sides with gum. The header I gave a broad border and embellished it with an Ek Onkar sticker cut out from another card. On the reverse side I put two small bits of cardboard with a small string in it, so that it could be hung easily on a nail.All this did not take much time and it was so easy to make and I am proud of my accomplishment and I also gave a fitting display to Sahej’s art! Now it proudly hangs right opposite my bed and it’s the first thing I view every morning.



This gave me a much-needed impetus and I sat with all the cards spread in front of me, contemplating what all I could do with them. I decided to make gift cash envelopes, gift tags and bookmarks. I chose those cards that were good enough and looked fancy. I folded them into envelopes and embellished them with flowers, stones, strings, etc. You would just need, a scale, pencil, glue, old cards, ribbons and other baubles to decorate them.

I made them in two ways-square and rectangle some with rounded edges. Envelope-folding is easy. Just take a rectangular or square card and fold it into 3 with the edges folded inside.


Part A & B should be the same size while C is smaller.

env3-001Then fold 1 cm of the margin on both sides.

Cut out the margins A & C. Leave B as it is.


Fold A over B. Now fold B over onto A from both sides and stick all sides with a glue stick. Fold part C over the folded part A.Stick a small piece of double tape to close the envelope.

My envelopes….




I made bookmarks by cutting long strips and embellishing them with quotes, flowers and ribbons.



Next you can make small tags for your gifts, place cards or coasters or create your own collage art! Gift tags were a hit and I actually sold many and got orders too.



6 Comments Add yours

  1. Leanie says:

    I have to agree with you regarding to recycle paper. I believe in the 3R’s = re-use, reduce & recycle. Personally we (household) recycle all paper and other recyclable products. Scrap-booking are also one of my hobbies to re-use paper. What i like the most are cards that have been made than the ones that have been bought, since i can see that the person really took the time and put some effort to make a card especially for me.


    1. Thank you for stopping by Leanie and for your comment. I absolutely agree with the three R’s. Cards are precious only when they are made by the person giving you the card. But in India, we are a huge population and there are so any weddings. WE Indians believe in flamboyance in everything especially weddings and wedding invitees run into thousands. Lots of money is spent on the wedding card thus, they are made of expensive paper and designs. I feel its a waste of money as the cards are just trashed.


      1. Leanie says:

        Once when i was younger we as a church group used old cards and cut out all the beautiful pictures and made some sort of scrapbook – written some inspiration words etc and once finished we donated those books to children’s hospitals, since some of the children are very ill and they need some inspiration or beautiful things to look at.


  2. Wow! Now that is something very inspiring.Really wish each one of us could recycle paper or at least plant a tree or we will be soon left wearing oxygen masks.


  3. Kalpana says:

    The idea of reusing cards and any such item to make craft work gives not only the person satisfaction of doing her/ his bit for conserving our planet’s scarce resources but also immense joy of creating a piece of art… in a thing of beauty is joy forever!!! Loved your envelopes ….it shows you have an eye for design!!


    1. True Kalpana and thank you for your encouraging words 🙂
      I would like to see your art too showcased on a blog soon.


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