Christmas cards were never thrown away at my house when I was growing up. As soon as the Christmas tree was taken down — always on January 2nd — you’d find my mom sitting at the dining table (which served as her craft table during the day) with pinking shears in hand, cutting up the cards to make gift tags for the following Christmas. She would simply find two that coordinated and staple them together.

My mom was raised by parents who lived through the Great Depression, so reusing and recycling came naturally. When you have to make do with what you have, you must be resourceful. This way of thinking must have been what led to the popularity of reuse in crafts during the 60s and 70s.

With the holidays just around the corner, I got to thinking about using old cards and turned to my collection of vintage craft books for inspiration. I found ideas for tote bags, desk organizers, fantasy slippers, and tissue box holders, all made using greeting cards. I decided to try my hand at a project called the Holiday Card Ball. Here’s my adaptation of the instructions so you can make one too.