Re-Use Christmas Cards Party

We all have that stack of beautiful cards and photos at the end of the year that either have be recycled, tossed or stored away for years and years, gathering dust. But what if there were a way to re use or display those cards in a meaningful way? Well, Virginia, there is!

Throw a Leftovers Party!

Invite your friends over for a smorgasbord of leftover holiday goods, have them bring their own and then while they’re at it, have them bring those cards and photos over. From these cards and photos, you’ll create ornaments to hang on your tree or attach several to a wide ribbon on yard thread to create a garland to hang up next year!
Recycled Christmas Cards

All you’ll need are scissors, regular and the fancy edged kind, cardstock, felt, glue gun, ribbon for hangers or garland and little embellishments like rhinestones, ribbon flowers, feathers and sequins!

  1. Heat up glue gun
  2. If you don’t have a large circle punch, use a drinking glass, place it over the spot of the Christmas card you want and trace around the spot and cut out.
  3. Recycled Card Makings

  4. Use a piece of felt or cardstock as the backing, but larger than the piece you just cut out to create a border around the edges.
  5. Mix it up and create sturdier ornaments or pieces with more than one color of felt, cut the same shape of felt, but slightly larger than the original shape and glue those pieces together.
  6. Apply glue with glue gun to the back of the Christmas card piece. Apply small amount of glue the center and the corners and press down. Be careful not to use too much or it’ll ooze out the sides!
  7. About 6 inches of ribbon, folded in half is enough for a hanger. Glue down both ends to the back of the ornament.
  8. Cut a small piece of felt about an inch wide and the same length as the ornament and glue over the spot where the ribbon joins the ornament. This gives not only a finished look, but helps hold the hanger to the ornament.
  9. Add embellishments! Flowers, jewels, bows or ribbon around the edges.
  10. Recycled Christmas Card Photos

  11. If creating garland, follow all of the above steps, but attach the ornaments to the wide ribbon directly, hang on with hangers or use a 4 inch piece of ribbon, attach one end to the back of the ornament and the other end around the yarn or ribbon, tightly, to hold in place.

Since everything being served is leftovers, preparation has never been easier! Reheat, place on plates (keep it simple!) but do add twists. A new dipping sauce, extra spices and creativity are a must!

For example, I had leftover chicken pieces, baked and coated in pecans and panko. There were served with a cranberry Dijon sauce. Instead, I reheated the chicken, but served alongside it a Thai peanut sauce as an alternative. It made the dish brand new again!

Dyed Pasta Party

We’ve all glued macaroni to construction paper at some point in our lives or at least seen one of these masterpieces. Elmer’s Glue, elbow macaroni and glitter is a staple in American elementary school education. But if you didn’t get the chance or it’s been awhile, consider throwing a pasta party of your own. Or have this craft as an activity for your younger holiday party guests. You know, to keep them busy.

All you need is assorted sizes and shapes of dried pasta, glitter, pom poms, buttons or jewels (whatever embellishments you can spare) and something for them to glue to. It could be the traditional construction paper or something sturdier like cardstock or even something Styrofoam based. Get those items and some glue and the kids are off an running.

But what if you really want to make it an interesting craft? Try coloring the pasta pieces ahead of time. All you’ll need is the pasta, food coloring, rubbing alcohol and a plastic baggie or container.  Add the rubbing alcohol (about a teaspoon full to each 1 1/2 cups of pasta) and 4 drops of food coloring. Seal the baggie or container and give it a good shake to distribute the alcohol and color!

Now you’ll have to let the noodles air dry, just open the bag or take the lid off the container.

Recycle CDs into Crafts

Eventually every home begins to accumulate a stack of CDs that they have no use for anymore. It could be that free trial for America Online mailed to you 5 years ago, a game you no longer play, a bunch of emails you don’t need anymore…the list goes on. But what should you do with all those discs collecting dust around your house?

Recycle them into crafts of course!

Check out Crafting Parties’ directory of crafts you and kids can make at home to recycle or reuse this flashy discs of information!

Glue Gun Crafts made Bird Flashers with CDs and craft foam!

Family Crafts at About.com created a bunch of animals with old CDs! Check out the pig, panda, lady bug, frog, dog, cardinal, spider, bunny or turtle!

Kaboose Crafts says make a clock from your old CD!

How about getting into the holiday season with Making Friends CD Christmas ornament?

Or how about a CD snowman from All Free Crafts?

And last, but not least, Family Corner’s Disco Ball from old CDs!

So you know what CDs make me think of? Pancakes! Why can’t you have a breakfast for dinner type party that involves a pancake feed?  There are so many variations and so much creativity you can take that a pancake is the perfect medium for any crafty food chef.

Ideas:

Have the basic pancakes made up, but provide a large and expansive toppings bar! Chocolate syrup, maple syrup, fruit, shredded coconut, chocolate chips, whipped cream, jar and honey butter are some great ideas just to start with!

Have a theme for all the pancakes. A fruit theme would mean that some are made with the fruit in them like blueberry and bannana and then you could also just theme that around the toppings like jams and thawed frozen fruit.

Have a sweet tooth fest! Chocolate, mint, coconut and candies could be either incorporated into the batter or made into a toppings bar.

You get the idea! Now get flap jacking!

The Nutty Squirrels Game

Family Fun posted a really cute and fun craft for kids: the Nutty Squirrels Game. All you need is an egg carton, brown felt and pipe cleaners, googley eyes and some paint and you are on your way! Ok, plus a single acorn (just wander outside and grab one) to place underneath the squirrels.

Really it’s 3 card monty for kids with squirrels, but as long as the betting is kept in check, this should be a fun game for everyone!

Nutty Squirrels Game

While your little squirrels are playing, how about creating some cookies with nuts? (Provided no one’s allergic of course.)

Kellog’s Rice Krispy Pecan Clusters. Combine the treat, nuts and chocolate!

Rice Krispy Pecan Clusters

About.com’s Brown Sugar with Walnuts cookies.

Betty Crocker’s Classic Peanut Butter cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies

Cooks.com Almond Macaroon cookies

Almond Macaroon Cookies

Very Best Baking’s Pumpkin Walnut cookies

Pumpkin Walnut Cookies