Two Ways to Turn Old Cards Into New Art


We are more than halfway through January, and most all of the remnants of the past holiday season have been taken down or put away.

There is only that pile of holiday or Christmas cards that need going through before they are tossed in the recycler… or trash.

Before you discard them, here are two all-ages ways to turn last year’s holiday cards into creative little art pieces that can be kept or used for gift-giving throughout the next year.

A peaceful snow scene becomes a DC invasion.

Make Some Geeky Mashups

Have you seen those painters who take old garage sale oil paintings and add their own pop culture embellishments? This is the same concept on a much smaller, easier scale.

Find a good, easy landscape… and there are often plenty of those in the holiday card world.

Now, find an old catalog, magazine, or comic book. If you don’t want to like to tear up your favorite comics, find those free “comic preview guides” to use for images and other inspiration.

Repurpose old cards and old comics with one craft.

Think of what will look best, funniest, or most epic mashed up with the photo, and find something that fits. Cut the images you want out and glue them in place.

If you want an image, like a figure of a monster or alien to look like it standing behind something in the picture (like a house or tree). Cut a slit in the base image and pull the figure through it, then glue it into place. This is an easy way for younger crafters to get the angle they want without cutting up the image they want to paste.

collage steps
Making the mashup collage is just a matter of cut and paste.

You could have a giant TIE Fighter battle over a Dickensian streetscape or a giant robot hovering over a peaceful woodland pond.

The more outrageous the better, and these are so fun to make with family, particularly with you want a reason to be creative and laugh together.

Add String Art

Add string to old cards to give them a little something extra for future repurposed cards or gift wrapping.

I got this idea over the holiday break when I saw some wonderful art pieces by a regional artist who took portraits and well-known images and added yarn to them. The technique looks simple and the result is eye-catching.

This same method could be done using yarn or embroidery thread with cards.

I did a similar craft in November on “Turning Coloring Pages Into Needlework Fan Art,” only this takes much less effort.

This works with any kind of image from a portrait to a landscape or more abstract drawing. Poke holes in the image around the edges of certain shapes to create the pattern you want to make.

Take a couple of different colors of thread, and pull them through. Even a few strands in one or two sections will look cool.

Use some double-sided tape to tape these images onto blank note cards or folded cardstock for some artistic cards for next year. They also look good on plain wrapping paper for some cool gift-wrapping.

The holidays are over, as well as much of the first month of the year, but that doesn’t mean the creativity has to stop, and it is always fun to look forward to something new.

See last week’s post on holiday upcycling projects using an old chocolate advent calendar mold.

Bring other worlds into familiar scenes.
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