How to recycle and upcycle your Christmas cards

Welcome to our ‘Where to recycle Christmas Cards’ blog! If you were inundated with cards this Christmastime (hopefully from Creased), you might be wondering what to do with them after the 25th day of December is done? Maybe you have just simply thrown your surplus cards in the trash without a second thought. But if you think about it, these cards have potential to live a new life as something else, or even another Christmas card next year. We aren’t suggesting scribbling out the recipient’s name or tipppex-ing out a written message. Instead, this blog will help you to think more sustainably about your cards, whether that’s recycling, upcycling, and even how to get your hands on some super cheap Christmas Cards for next year, that would otherwise be thrown out.  

  • Creased Christmas card sale 
  • Christmas Waste Stats 
  • How to recycle Christmas Cards – Recycling  
  • How to recycle Christmas Cards – Upcycling 
  • Recycle your Christmas Card Stamps 

The mayhem of Christmas day is behind us for another year at least. Now comes the clean-up operation… and the diet detox. It is hard to know just where to start to get back to normal – as if that is even possible after the year we’ve had. If 2020 is anything to go by then anything could happen between now and Christmas 2021. But if you are after a bargain and looking to get Christmas Cards sorted (VERY) early, you will love our Christmas Card Sale. Our sale offers a whopping 50% off all our remaining festive selection and starts on Boxing Day. But be quick, it is only live for a short period and when it’s gone… it’s gone! 

Christmas Waste Stats 

The amount of products we consume and waste we generate at Christmastime is mind boggling. We think it’s important to take notice of this increased consumer waste and look towards more sustainable options. Some of the statistics surrounding Christmas waste according to Wildlife and Countryside, might make your eyes water (or maybe that just the last of the Sherry). Around 114,000 tonnes of plastic packaging will be thrown away and not recycled in the UK this Christmas. Finder tell us that over 21 million people receive at least one unwanted gift each Christmas. A small percentage of those (around 5%) will be thrown away – not even a cheeky regift or given to charity! 

Over four million Christmas dinners are thrown away every year – that’s equivalent to 263,000 turkeys, 7.5 million mince pies, 740,000 portions of Christmas pudding and 11.3 million roast potatoes.  

How to recycle Christmas Cards – Recycling

They looked lovely on your mantle piece but now it really is time for them to go. No, it’s not that 70s chic vase your wacky Aunt bought you, we are talking about your cards. It’s time to get down to your local recycling centre to give them a new home. Maybe your sparkly Christmas Wishes card will become a paper coffee cup, or you novelty festive feline card will have a new life as another Christmas card (7 more lives to go!). 
Most cards are paper based and can be recycled, along with their envelopes, either in your household recycling collection, at local recycling points such as household waste recycling centres or at collection banks in supermarket car parks and the like. Any embellishments such as ribbons or glitter cannot be recycled so should be removed first by simply tearing off that section. Batteries should also be removed from musical cards and disposed of at battery recycling points

To make it easier for you and your recipient to recycle Christmas cards, you can: 

  1. Avoid buying any cards with glitter, sequins or plastic decorations on them 
  1. Buy cards in bulk to avoid unnecessary packaging 
  1. Buy them from local makers and reduce carbon footprint while supporting small businesses 
  1. Make your own cards by reusing bits at home 
  1. Buy plantable seed cards from Thoughtful Human – more info here 

You can find out where your local Recycling centre is by clicking this link here  

How to recycle Christmas Cards – Upcycling 

If you aren’t ready to say goodbye to your beloved festive designs, and you don’t mind being covered in glitter. Why not get creative and reuse your cards by upcycling them.  

1. New Year’s Eve decorations 

There’s no need for Christmas cards to only be useful at Christmas. Turn them into stylish New Year’s Eve decorations. Cut them up, paint them and stick pieces together to make decorative garlands and bunting. 

2. Place settings 

If you have an intimate dinner party planned for New Year’s Day, or any other time of the year for that matter, you could upcycle your Christmas cards into lovely table place tags. Cut squares, rectangles or a shape of your choice from your festive cards.  

3. Next year’s Christmas decorations 

If you are guilty of being a bit of a sentimental hoarder, then this one is perfect for you. It means that you can hold onto your greeting cards from loved ones for another year. Put the most beautiful ones in a frame, if you are extra proud. 

4. Gift tags 

In keeping with the Christmas theme, old greeting cards also make great upcycled gift tags. Cut out the central motifs from the cards, then write your message on the back. 


Are you always losing or running out of bookmarks? Why not use your old Christmas cards to make a selection of new ones, so you’ll always have one at hand to pop inside the next book you read. This is our favourite way to upcycle our festive cards. 

Recycle your Christmas Card Stamps 

Did you know you could donate used stamps? Start collecting used stamps on the Christmas cards you receive and donate them to charity. Stamps are sold by weight, meaning that many charities can turn old ones into funds to help their ongoing work. Simply cut the stamp off the envelope leaving a small envelope border round the stamp, and post to the correct address. Here’s a list of 10 charities that accept stamps as donations. 

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