It's a shame to throw out all that lovely Christmas wrapping paper, ribbon and cards now that the festivities are over. Here are five fun ideas on how you can upcycle them and give them a new lease of life in the new year.
Idea 1: Make Note Pads From Wrapping Paper
These little note paper pads are perfect to have on your desk to jot something down when it comes to mind and it saves using and wasting a full size piece of paper. Cut gift wrap into small squares or rectangles and secure a pile of them with a small bulldog clip. I cut mine to about 9cm or 3 inches square. If you'd like to make your notepad look prettier fold over the top edge of the paper before clipping the pieces together.
Idea 2: Make Next Year's Christmas Cards From This Year's
You can get way ahead of the game and start making next year's Christmas cards. Gather together a pile of left-over Christmas cards, tags and plain coloured card for this project. Just cut out images, shapes and coloured strips and arrange them in a new way on the coloured card. Add extra embellishments if you want to, like glitter or cut-out shapes and writing. Stick everything down with glue and store them in a heavy book so they stay flat. This is also a great holiday craft to keep kids occupied. Now open your 2013 diary and on a date towards the end of November write down exactly where you've put the cards - otherwise you probably won't remember where they are 11 months from now!
Idea 3: Make Christmas Ornaments From Cards
The illustrations on cards can be really fun and bright and they'd look great hanging from the Christmas tree. Place a clear glass over the card and move it around until you are happy with the image inside. Then trace around the glass and cut out the card. Thread some beads on to twine or ribbon. Make a loop and secure the twine behind the circle with tape. Pack them away with your other ornaments so they'll all be together next year.
Idea 4: Make Origami Paper From Gift Wrap
Use a ruler and pencil to measure squares on the back of wrapping paper. Cut the squares out with a craft knife on a self healing cutting mat if you have one, or cut them carefully with scissors. Place the squares under some heavy books to flatten them out. There are lots of great origami projects and ideas online, and it's a good activity for kids. If you take the time to carefully cut up your Christmas wrapping paper, you'll have a supply of brightly coloured origami paper that will last well into the year.
Idea 5: Make Gift Tags From Cards
Cut out images and messages from your Christmas cards and punch a hole in the top. Thread Christmas ribbon through the hole and next year's tags are done. As for idea 2, make sure you write in your new 2013 diary where you have put them! This idea is also useful for repurposing birthday cards - you'll never be short of a gift tag again.
Over to you, now! Do you have any other cool ideas on how to repurpose Christmas cards, wrapping paper and tags? Share your ideas in the comments below.