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How to Make a Christmas Card Basket: Template and Steps

All my life, I have sewed, quilted, knitted, and crocheted, and I have continued those crafts into retirement.

This is a side view of a basket I made out of recycled greeting cards and coordinating yellow yarn.

This is a side view of a basket I made out of recycled greeting cards and coordinating yellow yarn.

Recycle Christmas Cards and Greeting Cards Into Pretty Baskets

Our family and friends send us cards for holidays, birthdays, weddings, in sickness, in sympathy, and so on, reminding us of their love in times of joy and in times of need. If you are like me, throwing those cards in the trash seems thoughtless, but what else can you do?

Several years ago, my husband had surgery and was in the hospital for two weeks, which is a long time. He received many cards over that time, and I finally decided to make a basket from some of them. This basket is a great memory of the thoughtfulness of our family and friends. Since then, I've made other baskets out of greeting cards. I've kept many of them, but you could also give these baskets away as gifts; they're both useful and decorative.

What You Need to Craft the Baskets

There is no special skill needed for this project. All you need are the following materials (plus some free time):

  • 14 greeting cards
  • Templates (see below)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Yarn
  • Regular sewing thread
  • A needle
  • Cardboard

This project can easily be completed in one day. The sewing is simple, and it can even be finished while you're watching TV.

How to Use the Template Pattern

Look at the sample image of the templates below. Here are the important measurements:

  • The template for the bottom of the basket is a hexagon, measuring 5½" from point to point.
  • The template for the six sides of the basket measure 2¾" across the bottom and 3½" across the two points at the top.
  • Draw a curve from the two top points. The center of the curve is 5/8" from a line drawn between the two top points.

These templates can be made from cardboard. You can even cut them out of the back portion of one of the greeting cards.

This is the template for bottom and sides of  the basket.

This is the template for bottom and sides of the basket.

Step 1: Choose Your Cards

Look through your greeting card stash and choose 14 cards that will coordinate. If you don't have enough, choose seven cards that coordinate for the outside of the basket and seven cards that coordinate for the inside of the basket.

Step 2: Trace the Template Onto the Cards

Center the template for the bottom of the basket on the front of a card that contains a picture large enough to fill the space. Trace around the bottom template. You will need two bottoms, so do this twice.

Next, trace the side template onto 12 other cards, centering the design.

Step 3: Clip the Pieces Together and Poke the Holes

Take two side pieces and paperclip them with the right sides together. (The reason for putting two sides together is to make certain that the holes are in the same position on each side when you sew them together.) Draw a line around the edges ¼" from the edge.

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With a sharp needle, poke holes along this line approximately ¼" apart. This is the difficult part of the project. To make it easier to poke the needle through, I placed the pieces over the center of a Scotch Tape holder (see the photo above). You might be able to come up with some other helpful idea. You could also use the tip of a very sharp scissors or a small awl.

Do the same process for the bottom pieces.

Here are the bottom pieces stitched together with a blanket stitch.

Here are the bottom pieces stitched together with a blanket stitch.

Step 4: Stitch Around the Edges of the Pieces

Once you have the holes punched into all of the side pieces and bottom pieces, use the yarn to sew a blanket stitch around the edges of the sides and bottoms. To do this, place two pieces together back to back, with the pictures on the outside.

How Do I Sew a Blanket Stitch?

If you are not familiar with making a blanket stitch, you can look at the diagram above or follow this sewing tutorial. It really isn't difficult once you catch on.

Now the side pieces and bottom piece are sewn together.

Now the side pieces and bottom piece are sewn together.

Step 5: Sew the Bottom and Side Pieces Together

Now that you have all of the pieces stitched around the edges, you need to sew them together. Use regular sewing thread in a color to match your yarn. Place the side pieces around the bottom in the order you want, and sew the side pieces to the bottom. Then sew the side pieces together. That completes your basket!

Enjoy Crafting Card Baskets for All Occasions!

Memory baskets from recycled cards make lovely gifts for friends or useful holders for objects in your own home. Try using holiday cards to make a Christmas basket, birthday cards to make a birthday basket, or get well cards, wedding cards, and anniversary cards to make memory baskets. Let your imagination run wild, and have fun making these!

More Ideas for Crafting With Greeting Cards

Comments

joaniebaby (author) on October 15, 2013:

Thank you so much Jaya. Just another fun way to occupy your time and do something good at the same time.

Sanghita Chatterjee from Kolkata on October 15, 2013:

This is just wonderful!! Thanks for sharing!

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on November 27, 2012:

I have so many greeting cards in boxes for the same reason: I can't bring myself to throw them away. This is a great idea! I love the little baskets you've created, and they'd be useful for all kinds of stray objects around the house. I hope to try my hand at this--thank you!

Stephanie Henkel from USA on September 19, 2012:

This looks like a great way to recycle those beautiful greeting cards that are too pretty to throw away! I'm thinking that it one of these baskets filled with some homemade goodies would make a great little gift basket. Voted up and pinned!

joaniebaby (author) on September 15, 2012:

Thanks au fait. They are fun to make and give you a feeling of contributing to society by recycling.

C E Clark from North Texas on September 14, 2012:

A great idea to make something useful and beautiful from all those greeting cards! Voted up, useful, and beautiful! Will share.

joaniebaby (author) on July 03, 2012:

Thanks ComfortB. I love to publish Hubs on activities that are useful and fun to do.

joaniebaby (author) on July 03, 2012:

Thanks for the comment sen.sush23. They are fun to make and can teach children how to recycle and make something useful.

Sushmita from Kolkata, India on July 03, 2012:

Joanie, this is a very easy and yet nice crafts for young children and adults. Like Comfort here, I too think it could do well to have the children make such a basket and organize their favorite cards, or stationary into one place. Voted up and useful.

Comfort Babatola from Bonaire, GA, USA on July 02, 2012:

Wow, I absolutely love this idea of recycling greeting cards! If it's made big enough to hold other greeting cards for keep.

Thanks for sharing. Voted Up and Useful.