Fashion & Beauty

Published on December 27th, 2011 | by Vivian Nelson Melle


Reuse Old Gift Cards

Gift cards have become a popular option for gift giving because of their ability to adapt to the needs of the receiver. You may not know that your neighbor needs a new set of sheets but the gift card you just gave may help her purchase the more luxurious set which was just a tad out of her price range. You daughter’s teacher hasn’t told you how her morning chai tea keeps her going all day but the gift card for the local coffee shop will help her buy a few morning’s worth. While the simplicity in gift giving makes them popular, there is a downside being an abundance of plastic finding its way into landfills after they’ve been used.

Here are a few ways to break the cycle by reusing gift cards.

plastic card jewelry

Plastic card jewelry

Make Jewelry

Used gift cards can be cut into various shapes and made into necklaces,earrings and bracelets. Simply draw the desired shapes with a pen and cut out with utility shears. Use a drill to make holes for inserting the rings for connecting multiples segments. You may choose to use the pictures and patterns on the gift cards or you can paint or decoupage other graphics or paper. You may want to add a coat of clear acrylic to make sure the paper and paint does not scratch.

{cc photo courtesy of Courtney Dirks on Flickr}

Make guitar picks from gift and credit cards

Make Guitar Picks

If you’re not a guitar player, perhaps you know one who would love this simple way to reuse old plastic cards. You can either trace a guitar pick on your card and cut it out or purchase a special punch which makes the process even easier. While guitar picks are not know as an expensive item, it’s still a great way to reuse one item into a useful item that’s always needed.

{cc photo courtesy of docpop on  Flickr}

bread crumbs

Bread crumbs

Cleaning Up Bread Crumbs

In some classy establishments the servers may scrape the table clean of bread crumbs with a crumb scraper. At home, clean off the table cloth after dinner with a used gift card. Swiping with your hand can miss smaller pieces of crumbs and pieces lint left behind during a day of crafting, but a brushing a gift card across the table brings tiny pieces into a pile that is easily swept away into the trash.

{cc photo courtesy of vapour trail on Flickr}



Donate to Classrooms or Chairities

Maybe you have more coffee shop cards than you know what to do with? Maybe you have a few bucks left but want to refill it and pass on the love. You’ll likely have a hard time finding a classroom teacher, non-profit organization or charity that will turn down a gift card. Take your used cards, refill them with as much money as you choose and donate the card to your favorite cause. Any teacher would likely be thrilled with department store cards which would allow them to by needed classroom supplies and non-profits would benefit from office supply stores and grocery stores. Women’s shelters are always in need of most any gift card which could help them purchase much needed toiletries, clothes, electronics, office supplies and even food items. Don’t think big is a necessity, a five dollar donation goes far and is likely to be very well received and appreciated.

{cc photo courtesy of Editor B on Flickr}

Did you get gift cards as a holiday gift? What do you do with your old gift cards? 

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About the Author

Vivian Nelson Melle is a writer and life coach helping individuals, families, and businesses thrive. She supports small businesses especially in the areas of Green Living, Health, and Wellness. She can be found at and

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