Posted on

What to do with Old Greeting Cards

art therapy

Greeting cards are glorious, but they end up presenting a dilemma. Once you’ve enjoyed their sentiments and displayed them long enough to gather dust, what the heck do you do with them?

  • Throwing them in the recycle bin feels rude.
  • Throwing them in a little box in the closet works for a while, until the little box becomes a big box and the closet becomes the garage.
  • Keeping them up for display too long transforms the dust they gathered into corrosion. It also confuses house guests when they see a birthday card sent to you in May that’s still on display come October.

There must be another option. There is.

Make a Greeting Card Collage

The greeting card collage idea came to me when our art therapy group was assigned the topic of
SPIRIT – and mom had just so happened to have sent me a box of my baby and childhood greeting cards she found while cleaning out her basement.

The two worlds merged beautifully.

Childhood cards worked for the SPIRIT topic for several reasons (as you have to explain to the doc who heads the art group):

  • They were given in the SPIRIT of love.
  • They portray the SPIRIT of family.
  • Baby cards are especially a propos, as babies are new SPIRITS fresh out of heaven.
  • Most of the folks who had given the cards were now dead, and thus SPIRITS themselves.

Pretty good, eh?

greeting card collage

Tips for Making a Greeting Card Collage

Gather your supplies:

  • Canvas or some type of foundation
  • Mod Podge or other quality collage glue
  • Paint brush to apply the glue
  • Scissors to cut out portions of cards that catch your eye (like the freakish 1970s illustrations of baby faces)
  • Gaggle of greeting cards

Set the Theme

You can certainly make a hodgepodge Mod Podge collage with snippets of cards pasted randomly all over the canvas. Or you can pick a theme, as I did.

My overall theme was an angel (more SPIRIT). I cut the card snippets to look like feathers in the wings and picked particularly striking sentiments to serve as the angel’s face and body.

The face contains childhood writing from my brother in a smeary green marker. I cut it into a skull shape to add an edgy feel to the angel. The body features a funny card sentiment, again from my bro. It’s a pithy phrase about how having a sister is fabulous, especially if you can’t have a hamster.

Start Cutting and Pasting

The rest of the process is pretty straightforward. Set aside time to go through each card, snipping out sentiments that are near and dear, make you laugh, contain freakish 1970s illustrations or otherwise catch your eye.

WARNING: Do NOT attempt to go through old childhood memories on a weekday before work in case you’re overcome with emotions as I was.

Paste your greeting card snippets on the canvas, give the final product a finishing coat of Mod Podge, and then prop the whole thing on your séance table or couch back so it can sit around for months and gather dust.

Yep. My project backfired for a spell. Instead of having greeting cards on display gathering dust, I now had a whole greeting card collage on display gathering dust. Don’t fret. I found a permanent home where it’s now nestled nicely. A place where I aim to dust frequently.

Enjoy!

Like the collage idea? Get inspired by other rynski art.

greeting card collage
Greeting card collage detail from right wing.
greeting card collage
Greeting card collage detail from left wing.
greeting card collage
Greeting card collage freaky 1970s face.

 

Share

What do you think?