Monday, June 18, 2012

How to be productive with old birthday cards?

Are you a hoarder?
I'm definitely not a hoarder.
I just don't like throwing certain things away
In particular, sentimental things.
I especially don't like throwing away birthday cards. 

As a child, my mom kept all my birthday cards and glued them into a book for me.  I really enjoyed reading through those birthday cards for many years, until one day I decided to emigrate.  Moving countries, is a true hoarding/sentimental/prioritising test.  Before moving, I got rid of a lot of sentimental stuff that I really didn't need, I also kept a lot of sentimental stuff that I really didn't need.  Somewhere in the move I threw out my birthday card books.

The bonus in growing up and not having as many big birthday parties, is that I don't receive as many birthday cards, and I don't need to decide what to do with them.  My parents send me e-cards (which are GREAT ) there are personal messages, no carbon footprint, and I can just archive the link in my gmail.  That way, I never get rid of it, yet it doesn't take up any space. 

However, since having kids, the birthday card problem has returned.  Here are two of my solutions.

One:  Birthday-card decoupaged furniture.
Below is a pic of a wooden drawer set in my daughters' bedroom.

Here is a close up - you can see that I am in the ongoing process of using modge podge to decoupage their birthday cards (from their birth and first two years) onto the wood.  On the top, I also used pretty paper napkins over the birthday cards.  When I complete the decoupaging, I intend to paint over with varnish.

Two:  Framed Wedding Card Art

When given a wedding card, the meaning is not only in the words scribbled inside, but also the choice of the card design itself.  I cut out the designs from several of our wedding cards and placed them in divided frames to create a meaningful piece of art for our living room.

Something Different
The final project that I'm sharing, was actually designed by my mother-in-law and doesn't incorporate birthday cards.  However, it is in line with the theme of meaningful home decor.  My eldest daughter was named after my mother-in-law's parents and she collected several items from their home and had the items incorporated into a wall-hanging.

The general concepts in the design such as the blue birds, the cricket bat etc all have particular meaning.  Additionally, the flowers and trees were made with fabric from their curtains, pieces of clothing were used for the little girls' dress, and badges were incorporated into the balloons.  My daughter now has a piece of art that tells her a story about her great grand-parents for whom she was named.

Happy crafting everyone, and please share more ideas for meaningful home decor.


  1. Love the idea of the decoupaged furniture! Dumb question. If the dresser is painted do I need to strip it first before doing this project???

    1. Thanks Donna. The drawers that we have happen to be plain wood no finish, but I don't see why you'd have to strip it down. I'm not a decoupage expert though, so perhaps ask first in the craft store you buy your modge podge from...