Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Recycled Crafts--Greeting Card Placemats

I don’t know about you, but I love greeting cards, and I save everyone I get, not for sentimental purposes, but for crafting.

One of the simplest uses of greeting cards is making placemats. I can’t take credit for creating this craft. I saw it over 30 years ago on a PBS station. Advertised as a quick easy craft that you could do with children, I decided that it would make a great gift for my then-young daughter to make as Christmas gifts for her grandparents. We enjoyed the craft so much we made placemats for our family, too.


Here’s what you need:



·       Heavy, colored cardboard stock.

·       An assortment of used Christmas greeting cards.

·       A circle template (we used the open end of a clear drinking glass), but you could use a plastic quilt template, too, or a different shape. The main thing is to be able to see through the template so you know what the cut-out shape will look like.

·       Glue.

·       Clear, heavy plastic or vinyl that has adhesive on one side.

·       Sharp scissors (for parental use), or scissors that your child can use if you decide to let them cut out the shapes.

·       Pen or pencil.



1.     Cut the cardboard to a desired shape. Oval or rectangles work well for placemats. You can use a cloth placement for sizing.

2.     Choose your greeting cards. You can theme them or make the choices eclectic. We chose to center each placemat with a theme and go eclectic around it.

3.     Place the glass or template over the section of the card you want to highlight, trace around the outside of the glass and cut out the shape you’ve traced.

4.     Arrange the shapes on your cardboard placement in whatever design you choose, then glue them to the cardboard. If you don’t have enough cards to fill the placemat, just space them out on the cardboard in a pleasing pattern. There are no hard and fast rules here.

5.     Cover the placemat on both sides in the plastic adhesive and trim the edges so it ithey are just a touch wider than the cardboard. Press the edges down to seal the paper inside the plastic and protect the placemat from spills.

6.     Enjoy your new creation!



This craft can be duplicated with any type of greeting cards: birthday, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Thanksgiving, Valentines. You can make a whole set, or just a single placemat to honor that special person on their special day. It’s simple, easy, and child friendly.


  1. What a great idea! My children will love this!

  2. I love this idea! Some greeting cards are so beautiful and I always hate to do away with them. Now I can make a lasting treasure. Thank you!

  3. Britany and Melanie,
    Glad you like the craft. It is a lot of fun.

  4. What a great idea. If the cards have personal messages, I think I'd cut them out too, maybe add the year, and scatter them around. Thanks for this idea to bring our memories out instead of keeping them stuffed in a box.

  5. Elaine,
    What a clever addition for personalizing! That would be perfect for special occasions like birthday or anniversary placemats.

  6. What a neat idea! We always hang our Christmas cards on the wall, then take them down one at a time after the first of the year and pray for the sender. After we take them down, I'm going to try this!

  7. Love this idea. And I have just about every card I've ever received. lol As I've been renovating my house, I've wondered what to do with I know. Thanks.