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Thursday, December 6, 2012

51 UHeart Organizing: Christmas Card Books

Best time of the year when it comes to mail, is right now!  I stalk the mail lady and rush the mailbox for holiday card goodness on a daily basis.  Something so special about opening the mailbox to find the grinning faces of those we love.

I know some of you chose not to keep the holiday cards each year, others take photos of them and and use them as the contact images on your smart phones.  But if you are like me, you hold on to those cards since it is the best way to keep photographic memories of your favorite friends and family from year to year.

Chelsea, from Two Twenty One, is here today to share her super simple and fantastic way of organizing her annual greeting card collection.


Hey, IHeart Organizing readers! Happy Holidays!

It won't be long until your mailboxes will start piling up with Christmas cards from friends and family. You'll proudly display the cards in your homes until the end of December, and then what happens to them? Well, if you're me, you put them in plastic zipper bags, write the year on the front, and toss them in one of your Christmas decoration totes. You see, I have a hard time throwing away sentimental items. Some call it 'hoarding'. I call it 'memory treasuring'. It's not like I've been stockpiling newspapers since 1998, and I can't find my 16 cats in my hoarder's den. So in an attempt to organize and make my past Christmas cards more useful, I made them into Christmas card books.


I started by gathering my Christmas card bags. See. I wasn't lying.


I created a few 6 inch by 8 inch covers for the Christmas card books, which you can download for free at the end of this post. My Christmas gift to you. Ho, ho, ho.

I printed a cover onto card stock, cut it to size, and used a hole punch to make two holes on the cover. Then, I used the cover as a template to punch the holes in the cards.


After all the cards were hole punched, I grabbed two binder rings and started slipping the cards onto the binder rings. I did one binder ring at a time, but do whatever works for you. Once all the cards were on the rings I added the cover, closed the rings, and wrote the year on the front of the cover.


I displayed the books in a small basket, that I jazzed up with some ribbon and a bow, on an end table in our living room


This project was super simple and inexpensive. My kind of project. I will admit, my hand was a little sore from all the hole punching the next day.

You can download your preferred cover{s} below. Enjoy and happy Christmas card organizing!


{click here to download}

{click here to download}

{click here to download}

Do you typically keep or throw away Christmas cards?

Do you think you'll turn your Christmas cards into a Christmas card book this year?


"Hey friends!  I'm Chelsea from Two Twenty One!  I'm a twenty-something living in Indiana with my husband, Brad, and our crazy mutt, Jack.  My loves are photography, travel, DIY projects, baking, wine, sarcasm and my iPhone.  The husband and I are attempting to make our home a little less cookie cutter and a lot more awesome.  My little slice of the internet, Two Twenty One, is where I share my latest home improvement projects, furniture makeovers, crafts, recipes and home & seasonal decor ideas.  I am beyond excited to join Jen and the rest of the IHeart Organizing team!"

51 comments:

  1. LOVE THIS!! And thank you so much for the freebie printable. I keep my cards every single year and I have lovely ziploc bags for every year back to 1993 (the year I was married)- I've tried to cull through them occasionally but I just can't get rid of more than a few of them each time I do that. I've been wanting to put them into books or do something nicer than a baggie for them forever and you have make that so much easier for me! Thanks for the great idea and for sharing:):) MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

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  2. This is such a great idea. I always struggle with what to do with cards after the holidays. Some years, I've tossed them. Some years I've made them into gift tags. Now, I think I'll be making books, thank you very much. Thanks for the idea, Chelsea.

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  3. OH one more thing! You should totally use a crop-i-dile to punch your cards. I can see why your hand is sore!!!! I love my crop-i-dile and you can punch through probably 5 cards at a time, if not more.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Raesha! I've never heard of a crop-i-dile before, but I'll look into one. Very clever name.

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  4. I did something like that for our wedding cards we got!

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  5. Way cuter than the plastic bags. I have all our wedding day cards all over the place! This would be great for them! Thanks

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  7. I've always wondered what to do with all of those cards! So adorable!

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  8. What a cool idea! Thanks for sharing!

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  9. I do this with my son's cards that he gets throughout the year. First I started with baby shower cards, and saved everything through his 1st year, and started a new book with his 1st birthday. Maybe I should blog about that... never thought anyone would enjoy it :) I didn't think about making a pretty cover though, I'm excited :)

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  10. I have kept all my cards and letters for several years. I keep them in a three-ring binder in plastic sheet protectors (to fit the 8 1/2 x 11 papers.) It is so fun to go back and read the letters, even one year later. But, I love this format, too. Cute covers!

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  11. I like to save my Christmas cards for one year. I put them in the tote with the other decorations and it's so much fun to pull them out and read them again. Then, I either have to throw them out or I put them into cheap frames and make them decorations.

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  12. I did this with all my picture Christmas Cards last year, except I tied them together with ribbon. So cute and something to put under the tree.

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  13. I love this idea! I've got all years past in one very unorganized basket. (I'm hoping the people dated their cards)

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  14. I keep the cards from family, cut the pictures down to size and add them to a $1 photo flip book from Michaels. My kids like to look through them during church, while traveling, and anytime they have to sit in one place. We live far away from most family so it's a great way for them to be familiar with their cousins. Hmmm, maybe I should out a cute cover on mine too :)

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  15. I am so doing that!!!! I just got my cards in the mail and pulled out my tub of cards I had received in past years (put together by year with a rubber band. I know. I know. After I address all of my cards I am going to put on a Christmas movie and make books. My girls will LOVE it. What a fabulous idea!!! Thank you so much!

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  16. Very nice idea! Always wonder how to organize them! {Just can't throw them out!}

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  17. It looks so pretty in that basket! I love it.

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  18. I love this idea. I keep my cards every year. I just throw them in the boxes with the decorations, then they next year when I get the decorations out, I look through the cards. I believe I might be doing this this year, and with the past cards too. Thanks for sharing.

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  19. oh, and one other thing...this would be great for Bday cards too. When my now almost 20 year old son was about two or so, he loved books. He called his bday cards his happy day books. He loved to look at them, so there, you see, they would make good happy day books for your kids to keep {and you too ;)}

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  20. I have found that when you make a book like that, to hot glue the binder ring together so they don't fall apart! (I made a book with all of my wedding cards!)

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    1. Great suggestion, Laura! Making wedding shower and wedding card books is next on my list.

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  21. I already had this on my to do list for Christmas break. Now they'll all be coordinating! :) Thanks!

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  22. THANK YOU!!! I hate throwing away Christmas cards and literally had last year's cards laying in a pile on a table trying to figure out what I was going to do with them. Your post came at the right time! Now I'm going to make books! Thank you so much!

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  23. I have one question, how did you manage to take a photo of all MY holiday cards from years past?!?!? Seriously, I about fell off my chair laughing when I saw the pic and read the story.

    Anyway, thanks for the printable and the great idea. this might be my absolute favorite thing to do this year - love it!

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  24. I love the cover designs. Maybe I'll have to ponder not trashing the cards this year!

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  25. Great idea! I never know what to do with Christmas cards. I hate to throw them out, but I don't want them just cluttering things up, either. This is a perfect solution!

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  26. A lot of people have trouble letting go of greeting cards. I suggest tossing the ones from your dentist, accountant, paper deliverer, etc. and only keeping the ones that really have some meaning to you. I rarely keep cards unless they have a special message that will make me feel good to read again.

    If you are going to keep them, though, making a book out of the meaningful ones is a great idea. It is fun to see how kids grow every year when people send photo cards.

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    1. I agree Marcie! We only keep the ones with photographs. It is so fun to look back and see how friends and family change over the years. :)

      xo,
      Jen

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  27. Every year I write the year on the back of each card. Then I place them in a wicker basket. I have been doing this since 1992.

    This year I was trying to think of a good way to group them year by year. You have given me a great solution!

    My kids are older now and really like to look at the cards we have received. This is a great project to do with them.

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  28. I do the same thing but I use our card that we send out as the cover. I've also done this for my wedding shower and baby shower cards with the shower invitation as the cover.

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    1. OMG I love you!!!! I have been wondering what to do with our wedding cards! LOVE it! Having them in the tote in the basement seems so icky lol

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  29. This is a fabulous idea! My son loves to look through our old cards and this will keep them off the floor! I'm going to do the same with his birthday cards!!

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  30. Great idea...if you keep cards. Personally I think it's clutter. I keep the picture cards until the next year. We pull them out of the decor box when we decorate, look at them, and then toss them in prep for the cards to be received.

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  31. I just did this with all of our photo cards or really special cards that I've saved for the last 5 years. It's such a great way to organize and actually look through everything in the future.

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  32. I only keep the picture cards and then put them in my "they don't need an album" photo boxes :)

    I like this idea though especially to use as decorations for the following years!

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  33. I ran across this idea last year after christmas was over, I have everything ready I just need to put my books together. The difference is that the cover for each year will be our own christmas card for that year. Love that we can pull these out and use them as "coffee table" books for December and they will get more love and use.

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  34. Thank you so much! I already used rings to bind my cards together, but I'm oh-so-excited to have covers now, too! :)

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  35. For the sore hands, get one of these: http://www.staples.com/Staples-2-Hole-Punch/product_799825?cid=PS:GooglePLAs:799825&KPID=799825.

    You can punch a few at a time and not have the sore-hand syndrome! And for $10, it's worth it!

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  36. Another cute idea for Christmas cards. I'm so glad to know that some people do still send cards via the US postal service!

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  37. I have a photo album with the sticky pages that I add all of the photo Christmas cards to from each year. It's fun to look back and see how people have changed and how kids have grown:)

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  38. I did this with all our wedding cards! I tucked them away in a decorative box along with all our wedding trinkets like the garter, our vows, a program etc. I love being able to pull that box out every now and then and easily flip through all the sweet words.

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  39. Great idea! Now, can you tell me where you got those awesome aqua curtains in the background of your photo of the cards in the basket? :) Thanks!!!

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    1. Hey Kristen! I sure can. I made them! Read all about them here: http://www.twotwentyone.net/2012/08/how-to-make-curtains-diy.html

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  40. Where did you find your binder clips? I have been wanting to do this for a while but don't know where to find those.

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    1. Hi! So sorry I didn't see your comment until now. I bought my binder clips from the office supply section at Walmart.

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  41. Love this idea! I think I will try it, but add a mailing list printed on cardstock (folded like a card)as the back of my list. That way, I'm ready for the next year...

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  42. This is genius! I can't wait to do this with all the cards I've kept, wedding, baby, birthdays etc.

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  43. Christmas cards, birthday cards, wedding & birth announcements . . . Love this idea! Some of my cards won't fit but I could take a picture of them and re-size them ;-)

    Thank you so much for the great idea

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