tutorial :: Crafting a Holiday Card Keepsake Ornament :: by nicole of lillyella

recycled holiday christmas card ornament

Hey everyone! I’m Nicole of Lillyella and I’m thrilled to be stepping in on Scoutie Girl this week to share a fun and easy post-holiday craft project with you. I’m sure I am not the only one who cringes just a bit when it’s time to throw away all the pretty holiday cards you received throughout the season, so today I’m going to show you how to make a lovely keepsake ornament out of them.

supplies for recycled holiday card ornament

What you’ll need:

  • Greeting cards
  • Hole punch, 1″ – 2″ (I used 1.5″)
  • Clear drying craft glue
  • Cardboard
  • Ribbon or cord
  • Ruler
  • X-acto knife

step 1-4 - recycled greeting card ornament

Begin by punching circles from your cards. If you do not have a hole punch, you can use something round to trace around, then cut them out by hand. You will need 20 circles for each ornament.

Next draw an equilateral triangle the size of your circles. Click here to download a printable PDF of triangles for 1″, 1.5″ and 2″ circles.

Cut the triangle out of a piece of thick cardboard.

steps 5-8 - recycled greeting card ornament

On the back of each circle, trace around the triangle. Using a straight edge and an X-Acto knife, score each line by gently cutting into the paper, but not all the way through. You can also use a scoring tool. Fold the three sides up as shown.

steps 9-12 - recycled greeting card ornament

To form the ornament, begin by gluing 5 circles together with the points of the triangles all facing the same direction. This will be the top.

Make a loop out of ribbon or cord for hanging the ornament and thread it through the middle of the five circles before the glue dries.

Glue another five circles together to form the bottom.

steps 12-15 - recycled greeting card ornament

Next, glue the 10 remaining circles together, side by side with points in opposite directions. Then join the last circle to the first. This will form the middle of the ornament.
Glue on the bottom followed by the top and you’re done!

recycled holiday greeting card ornament

Hang this pretty little ornament on your tree or a doorknob, or make it without the ribbon loop to display on a shelf or table. Make a few in different sizes for a nice display or even fill them with scented herbs before gluing the top on.

You can make this keepsake anytime of year using birthday and anniversary cards, or even decorative papers — get creative!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my crafty contribution here on Scoutie Girl! You can visit my blog to find more fun projects and lots of other handmade goodness. Have a safe and happy new year!

nicole - lillyella

about nicole

Nicole Young quit her day job in May of 2008 to sell her jewelry on Etsy full time after opening her shop, lillyella, a few months earlier. She spends 18.5 hours a day attempting super human feats of time management balancing her shop, her blog and her personal life which includes one newlywed husband, four cats, two turtles, seven little birds and one gigantic “art barn” in progress.

Author Description

Tara Gentile is a business coach and blogger serving passion-driven entrepreneurs with fresh ideas about productivity, passion, and profit. She's the author of the digital guide, The Art of Earning.

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48 Responses to “tutorial :: Crafting a Holiday Card Keepsake Ornament :: by nicole of lillyella”

  1. December 29, 2009

    Teresa Reply

    This is a wonderful tutorial … a perfect one for me to try with my children. Thank you for sharing. :)

  2. December 29, 2009

    Mandy Reply

    Love this! I was literally just searching for something to do with my cards when I saw this link on twitter. Excellent!

  3. December 29, 2009

    lillyella Reply

    This is in fact a great project to do with the whole family, and a fun tradition to start making one after each holiday. A great way to remember years past. Have fun everyone and thanks for letting me share today, Tara!
    happy new year!

  4. December 29, 2009

    heli Reply

    Wow! so cute! It looks a little difficult to put together but that’s a great change to my lazy brain ;P
    Thanks for sharing Nicole!

  5. December 29, 2009

    heli Reply

    I mean challenge but change it is too after lazy holiday days 😛

  6. […] of those pretty Christmas cards you got this year.  Make an ornament!!!  lillyella posted this tutorial on the Scoutie girl […]

  7. December 29, 2009

    becca.elpy Reply

    i was just looking at the cards and thinking about how sad it will be to throw them away. this is a cool way to keep bits of my favorite ones.


  8. December 29, 2009

    Amanda Jeanne Reply

    I absolutely love these. I can’t wait to go home and make these!

  9. December 29, 2009

    Barbra Reply

    Wonderful! I made something similar years ago with my 3rd grade class and forgot about it. Thanks for the poke!

  10. December 29, 2009

    Brenda Reply

    I love it! Really beautiful with such clear instructions. Excellent tutorial, Nicole!

  11. December 29, 2009

    Shelby Reply

    Love this! What a fabulous idea! Thanks so much for sharing it!

  12. December 30, 2009

    Alicia Reply

    I’ve always been curious how to make these. Thanks for sharing!

  13. December 30, 2009

    Mary Grace Thomas Reply

    Great idea!

    I have a “basket” made from vintage Christmas cards. Once upon a time, probably 1970s, one crafty lady cut out the cute illustrations from her Christmas cards, punched holes along the sides and wove them together with yarn.

    It’s one of my favorite Christmas decorations.

  14. January 2, 2010

    Kristina Reply

    I absolutely couldn’t wait to make one of these as soon as I saw the tutorial. I just posted it to show off your project on my blog! http://www.knucklesalad.com/2010/01/lillyellas-christmas-card-keepsake.html

  15. January 3, 2010

    Amanda Jeanne Reply

    Just finished mine (finally found time) It came out so beautiful! This is definitely going to become a holiday tradition. Great job on the tutorial. Stop by the blog if you want to see it! http://amandajeanne.wordpress.com/2010/01/03/craftiness-christmas-card-ornaments/

  16. […] finally finished the Christmas Card ornaments that from a tutorial that I mentioned in an earlier post.  (Here’s another example – Thanks to a friendly […]

  17. January 5, 2010

    Leah Reply

    I love these! I saw a picture of one of these somewhere last year and wondered how they were made. Thanks for the easy to follow tutorial, I am going to try some out!

  18. January 6, 2010

    Judy Ransom Reply

    Wow – I’ve got to get a hole punch like that. Beautiful ornament! I made some smaller ornaments with my cards – Shimmering Christmas Card Ornaments.

  19. […] from Lillyella posted this tutorial on ScoutieGirl this week, and I knew I had to make one immediately. It’s incredibly easy and quick to make, […]

  20. November 27, 2010

    Susan Reply

    I made these in my Camp Fire group in the early 80’s! Thanks for taking me back. I have to do one now. Would be nice to make one with the photo cards people send.

  21. […] for a while.  Of course nowadays with the wonders of Google it didn’t take me long to find a tutorial for just the type of ornaments that Nanna used to […]

  22. December 3, 2010

    Carbonfeet Reply

    Found your article on the Our Greener Future Facebook page. We you mind sharing your article as a feature article on our site. Please email us if you are interested.

  23. […] 10. De très jolies boules de Noël!! […]

  24. […]  Read the full tutorial for the holiday card keepsake ornament on Scoutie Girl. […]

  25. December 31, 2010

    Chelsea Reply

    Great tutorial, I made one of these yesterday. I think it turned out pretty good. Thanks for sharing. Oh and here’s the post on my blog with my snazzy new ornament: http://fabricyoyoqueen.blogspot.com/2010/12/christmas-cards-ornament.html

  26. June 18, 2011

    Lynda :-) Reply

    I have kept every card I have ever received, well since I was about 8 anyway. So as you can imagine, I have a huge stack of cards just waiting for interesting ornaments like this, to transform them from old memories to new ones. Thank you for sharing this amazing idea. Best Wishes, Lynda :-)

  27. August 27, 2011

    R.Narewski Reply

    I learned to make these over 30 years ago in school we used old used Christmas cards, back then they put alot of glitter on the cards. When the light hit them they sparkled like crazy. You could probably make the ones you make today by spraying adhesive on it and throwing on some glitter. We also used to make bowls with lids from Christmas Cards, crocheted together by crochet thread and we would put candy in them and give them as gifts, I will try to make up a pattern for anyone who wants to try it.

  28. November 8, 2011

    Bibi Reply

    That is so sweet. My youngest loves to do seasonal crafts and this one reminds me of Christmas crafts we used to do at school growing up….thank you for sharing it

  29. November 9, 2011

    Katy Reply

    I love these, I have to make one, or two, or three ;).

  30. December 1, 2011

    Kristin Reply

    Can’t wait to try these! Something to cheer me up after the holidays are over. May give them out as gifts next year!

  31. […] tutorial :: Crafting a Holiday Card Keepsake Ornament :: by nicole of lillyella – StumbleUpon On the back of each circle, trace around the triangle. Using a straight edge and an X-Acto knife, score each line by gently cutting into the paper, but not all the way through. You can also use a scoring tool. Fold the three sides up as shown. […]

  32. December 18, 2011

    Fred Reply

    My friend and I made 15 of these yesterday. I scored while she glued, and we took turns punching out the 300 holes. We used a combination of cards and gift boxes, because they’re a dollar for three big ones and the provided a lot of circles. We used three packs, plus about 25 cards. I also made one out of pokemon cards for my boyfriend haha.
    We also punched out holes of the white part of the card, then scored them, and then wrote a little message in the triangle like “to Steve From fred Merry christmas 2011” It looks great if you have neat tiny writing.
    Also, we used hot glue. It worked out fine and it was a lot faster.
    Thanks so much for the tutorial!

  33. […] cards wreath 2. Holiday card keepsake ornament 3. Make a gift pouch – Turn old cards into a re-usable gift wrapping […]

  34. […] cards wreath 2. Holiday card keepsake ornament 3. Make a gift pouch – Turn old cards into a re-usable gift wrapping […]

  35. January 19, 2012

    preety mahreen Reply

    just i like so much greetings card.

  36. […] it on Pinterest not only reminded me of it, but it also motivated me to actually do it. I followed this tutorial, and although it took a little longer than I expected – I’m very happy with how it came […]

  37. April 30, 2012

    Connie Reply

    When I was a kid these are how we decorated our trees. Thanks for reminding me. I haven’t seen them in ages.

  38. […] photo ornament – lots of fun papers. Source Source Source […]

  39. […] you’ve drawn on your circles, you’ll be able to glue the tabs together to make a ball! This tutorial is the one I used, and it has every step photographed along the way — it really helped me […]

  40. […] your Stampin’ Up circle punch, you could make these adorable little hanging tree ornaments! Here is a great tutorial on how to make […]

  41. […] ScoutieGirl – Holiday Card Keepsake Ornament […]

  42. […] out of them! Here’s the link to the full tutorial over at the Scoutie Girl blog. Enjoy… ScoutieGirl – Holiday Card Keepsake Ornament Image Credit: […]

  43. […] ScoutieGirl – Holiday Card Keepsake Ornament […]

  44. November 20, 2014

    Gina B Reply

    I made these about 25 years ago with photos of my girls. I gave them to my daughters when they grew up, and they still have them! I was looking for a cool idea for my daughter using photos of my young grandson. I was looking for the pattern when I came across your site. Thanks!

  45. December 23, 2014

    Julia Reply

    Hi! We are from Ukraine.Made this toy with her daughter, a very beautiful Christmas decorations, tomorrow she will suffer it to school, thank you for this tutorial!

  46. March 6, 2015

    Betty Reply

    Made these many years ago but had forgotten how, I was so happy to have found this, they were such a hit years ago, now I can get busy making these again with the many cards I have been saving!
    Thank you.

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