Christmas cards brighten the holidays, particularly if you're among the few people in the world whose friends and family mail their cards on time. Perhaps nothing makes you feel quite so loved -- quite so connected to a larger group -- as a mantel piled high with messages of good cheer.
Old Christmas cards also happen to provide a large, readily available stash of holiday images and colors. With a few other supplies and little work, they can easily be turned into decorations.
To turn a card into an ornament, you'll need the following:
- Craft knife
- Cutting surface, such as a cutting mat or a clean plastic kitchen cutting board
- Backing, such as colorful card stock or a heavy wallpaper sample
- Spray adhesive or a glue stick (cleaner and safer, but less permanent)
- Sponge brush
- Hole punch
- Narrow ribbon
You may also want to include decorative touches such as glitter, leafing, metallic ink and paint, beads and other edging.
With the craft knife, trim the image from the card. Trim out a larger piece of backing. Place the backing on your work surface with its colorful side facing down. Put adhesive on the image and position it on the backing so that the edges of the backing frame the image. You can paint or decorate this border, or you can cut out a frame from the backing material. Punch a hole through the top center of the ornament.
Working in a well-ventilated place, coat the front and back of the ornament with varnish. You may want to add several coats to give the paper a thick, glossy, enameled feel. When the varnish is dry, thread the ribbon through the hole and make a loop for hanging the ornament.
On the next page, we'll look at a way to fill the holiday with friendly faces.