Frugal Christmas Gift Tags

I think I've established that I'm a Frugalista.

I'm always looking for ways to save money and to keep from spending our hard-earned dollars on things we don't need....or can make/use from items we already have or own.

Last year, I noted that I was going to use up the last of my gift tag stickers and that I would need to purchase more. However, since it was my soon-to-be New Year's resolution to try to be more frugal and use things we already had around the house, I tried to think of ways to avoid spending money on new gift tags.

I thought about making them...much like the one in the photo above. I have friends who hand-make tags from their own card stock, pens and printer ink, but that's too much time, forethought and still requires money spent on supplies for me at this point in my life. Plus, I plain just like the items of reclaiming items that are pretty much destined for the trash/recycle bin.

So, last year as I gathered up the bundle of Christmas cards we had received in the mail or were handed from friends, I faced the same quandary that I do every year.

What should I do with them?

I mean, I really hate to throw away something that a friend or family members actually spent time and money on to send out. I especially hate to throw away photo cards....I feel a bit I'm throwing away a friendship. In years past, I will often cut out the photo part and keep it -- many times putting it on the refrigerator.

This year, I thought I would take a note from some good friends of ours and keep them in a Christmas-y box and then choose one card each night to pray over -- thereby blessing our loved ones in return.

However, that still doesn't address the issue of what to do with all those lovely images, greetings and wishes. So, last year, I had a brainstorm.

Why not make gift tags out of the cards we received and save them for next year?

So, that's what I did....

One night I sat in front of the t.v. and used my photo trimmer from Creative Memories to trim down all the cards into gift tag sized cards. (And btw, CM has a really cool tool called a Tag Maker, where you can just insert the paper and it makes a tag shape and a small hole in the top for ribbon...genius!) Some included holiday sentiments. Others were just pictures. Still others were just squares or rectangles of great design backgrounds.

As you can see, I also used my CM corner maker on many of them to give it a classier look. On some, the kids and I have used a single hold puncher tool to thread ribbon through to attach to gift bags.

And for the rest, we will use double-sided tape to affix them to packages.

All it took was about an hour of my time. No need to buy gift tags. Cost to me: $0.

I am also planning to use some of these for the goodies and treats we will be making and delivering in the days and weeks to come.

Anyone else have any other ideas of how to re-purpose cards for Christmas?

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