Friday, December 21, 2012

Recycle Christmas Cards

(Ideal central motif card to use)
Recycling Christmas cards has been my hobby for a number of years. I have taught 1st graders-to adults, including my neighbor Helen who was in her 90s when she learned to make them. Most go on to make many boxes.

These make wonderful gift boxes for small items such as jewelry, scarves, money, checks, and candy.

My directions are simpler than many I found online. I published a how-to in the kids' magazine put out by Focus on the Family last year.

If you choose to make them, have fun. The first one is a little hard, but after that you can make many. Kids, especially boys, seem to make the most!

What you'll need:

  • Old Christmas cards
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Stapler, white glue or tape

How to make them:

    Below is an example of an asymmetrical design. It can make a cute box too, but some parts will be lost in the folds.
Cut the card on the fold line (if you choose a card with a central motif, the boxes are normal looking. Asymmetrical designs look funky, but are fun too.)

  1. On the inside of the card hold the ruler from one diagonal corner to the other, and draw an X mid line. Can use pencil if you want to erase your mark later.
  2. On the short end, cut a slit from the end to where the two lines intersect There will be two cuts on each end. (See the picture below)
  3. Repeat on opposite end.
  4. Place the ruler on the inside of one line. Hold it and bend the card towards the inside and crease, or use scissors, ruler or a glue stick as a creaser/iron.
  5. Repeat on each line, creasing toward the middle.
  6. Fold the short end (wall) up.  Cross the two shorter legs criss-cross under the longer "tab" that has been created that sticks out past the short end.
  7. Fold the tab to the inside (they are creased). Place a piece of tape on the tab and stick it to the inside "wall" (short end) of the box.
  8. Repeat for opposite long end.
  9. Repeat the three steps above for the opposite short end.
  10. Repeat the above steps for the back of the card. This will be the bottom of the box.
  11. Optional: Cut a piece of paper or cardstock to fit inside the box to cover up the greeting and signature from the card. Tape in place.
  12. Make the bottom of the box just like the front side. If the card is not too thick, you can fold the two sides through all steps. You can also use scrapbook paper to make boxes as long as they are not too big. Thinner paper isn't as strong as card stock. 
See the folded sides and the X in the middle. Note: cut the folds on the shorter side of the rectangle, fold in and make the tab which is taller hold the legs in. You can use glue, tape or a staple to secure the end.

This is how to use the ruler to find the center of the card from one corner to the next. See picture above to see the drawn x. Fold the sides to the center and crease. (The man in the picture was such a good sport he allowed us to use some of his cards from his "tacky Christmas sweater" to make boxes.)

After both halves of box are assembled, but the bottom into the top. (How do you like my "tacky Christmas sweater"?) At this point, you can fill the box with candy, etc.

Happy Christmas boxes!

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