For most households in the Bay of Plenty all that remains of Christmas is the fragments of tinsel, pine needles and glitter of magnificent trees and decorations that once were.
However, one piece of Christmas that doesn’t pack away quite as nicely, as described by one Bethlehem woman, is the stacks of used Christmas cards.
Eileen Jones is looking for a solution to make the most of her used cards.
“I always find it a struggle at this time of year when you take down your tree and all the decorations and you’re stuck with all these really beautiful and very expensive cards.
“It seems like such a shame to put them in the recycling bin. It’s not like throwing an old magazine out, these actually have sentimental value.
“I’ve still got all of mine bundled up,” she says.
“Some I keep from very close family and from those older relatives who you only hear from once a year and you keep them because it could be their last year. The rest go into the recycling bin and with great regret.
“No one writes on the front, so I figure surely there must be a way to recycle the card or at least the artwork.”
Tauranga card maker Jo Weir says upcycling is a good start.
“Cutting off the fronts and using the blank insides one-sided note cards is one good way to reuse them.
“If the cards have pretty images these could be cut out and applied to blank card stock for a home-made re-purposed card.”
She says donation is another good idea.
“Cut off the front covers and donate them to schools or playgroups who can cut out the pictures for scrapbooking purposes or advertise them on Neighbourly or Facebook for crafters to collect.
“They may also be of interest to scrapbookers.”
Steph Kane, another card maker in the region also come up with some clever upcycling ideas.
“Cut out components of the card to make bookmarks or mini gift tags for next year.
“You can laminate the cards and make them into Christmas Coasters for drinks or stick them on the side of candles.
“Use Christmas tree dye and make the cards into abstract Christmas trees for your own cards or use them to decorate a cake tin when you gift shortbread or a fruit cake next Christmas.”