Recycle those cards!

I started sending E-cards mainly because I was disgruntled by the ever-rising cost of postage. Then I became quite captivated with the animation and music as an enchanting way to share a holiday message. But a few of my friends don’t use the computer much, so we still exchange paper cards. I’ve saved many of them over the years—can’t bear to toss those delightful images.

But what to do with the cards? Stored in the drawer or a box, they’re forgotten and rarely enjoyed again. I decided years ago to recycle them when I came across a great craft idea as a teacher. This placemat used most of each year’s cards, and after a few years I had enough mats to use on my holiday table. The placemats are easy to make, wipe clean and will last forever. Below are directions for this craft if you want to try it too.


And one thing led to the next…..when I had enough placemats, I made a round table centerpiece in a similar manner and a large square under-the-tree collage/mat (waterproof in case the tree stand leaked!).


This year, I used more leftover cards to make a couple of door hangings. Now that people are sending fewer paper cards, I’m glad I’ve recycled so many to enjoy over and over.










Holiday Placemats

Material for each placemat:

27 cards, 9 cm diameter round template, plain or patterned MacTac, clear or frosted MacTac. Teachers: give your class advance notice to collect old cards from relatives for a pre-holiday (any holiday!) craft.


  1. Cut out a 9 cm diameter round template. Use that circle to trace around your favorite part of each card’s image.
  2. Cut out the 27 circles.
  3. Lay out a piece of MacTac (50 cm x 35 cm, plain or with a design) sticky-side up.
  4. To form the bottom edge, arrange 6 circles on the sticky MacTac, overlapping them slightly (the finished mat will be oval shaped, about 44 cm by 30 cm). Don’t press down too hard yet so you can easily peel/rearrange the circles to get a pleasing design of colors or pictures.
  5. Overlap 6 circles to form the top edge of the oval.
  6. Inside the bottom edge, place another row of 4 circles, overlapping the bottom row slightly. Repeat this row inside the top edge.
  7. Working from outside in, across the middle, place 3 circles left to right, then 3 more right to left.
  8. Save a favorite circle for the centerpiece.


9. Once you are happy with the design, place clear or frosted MacTac   over the placemat. Tip: Before covering, write the year on the placemat if you want to remember when you received those cards.

10. Trim around placemat following the scalloped edge, leaving a .5 cm border of plain MacTac showing.




4 responses to “Recycle those cards!

  1. Looks like a good idea – might try that myself, methinks!

  2. Nancy Krumwiede

    Where can I buy the Mactac?

    • Hi Nancy, It may not be called MacTac now, but any department store with home decorating material would have this adhesive-backed vinyl. Try Canadian Tire, Home Depot….that kind of store. Good luck with your project!

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