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.

58 thoughts on “tutorial :: Crafting a Holiday Card Keepsake Ornament :: by nicole of lillyella

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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 :-)

  7. 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.

  8. 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

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

  10. 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!

  11. 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!

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

  14. LOVE this idea! Can’t wait to make one. Wish I had saved cards from years past! I think I may even make a wedding gift version, included names, dates, etc!

    Question: If I use a 1″ circle cutter, how large will the ball be in diameter? And a 2″ cutter, would that just be twice the size? Trying to decide which size cutter to get so the ball is the right size for our tree!

    Thank you!!!

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