Instructions for How to Make Baskets out of Greeting Cards

Recycle greeting cards into a lovely paper basket you can display or give away. Most greeting cards are tossed into a drawer or the trash shortly after the celebration is over; making a woven basket is a good way to reuse them. Choose greeting cards that are printed on heavy card stock, without embellishments, for the best results.

Things You'll Need

  • Two or three colorful greeting cards, anywhere from 8 to 12 inches wide when opened and at least 5 inches tall
  • Paper cutter
  • Ruler
  • Clear tape
  • Pencil


  1. Preparing the Greeting Cards

    • 1

      Lay one greeting card on a flat, clean surface. For this example, the card measures 7 by 11 inches when opened. Measure and cut the greeting card so you have a 5-by-11-inch piece. If there is a part of the greeting card that you like best, such as an illustration, inside signature or other feature, cut the 5-by-11-inch piece from that area.

    • 2

      Place the ruler along the short edge of the paper piece. With your pencil, lightly draw tick marks on the paper every 1/4 inch, using the ruler as a guide.

    • 3

      Cut strips of paper using the craft paper cutter. You should have approximately 20 thin strips of card stock paper.

    • 4

      Repeat Steps 1 through 3 with one or two other greeting cards until you get a colorful mix of paper strips that suits your taste. To complete the basket, you'll need about 24 strips.

    Weaving the Paper Basket

    • 5

      Place five of the strips on a flat, clean surface, colored side down. The strips should be parallel to each other and lined up so the 1/4-inch ends are facing you. Align the bottoms of the paper strips, then gently tape them to the surface so they keep still while you weave other paper strips around them. The total width of the five paper strips should be no greater than 3 inches; this leaves just a little white space between each strip.

    • 6

      Mark a dot in the center of the middle, or third, strip with a pencil. This will help you keep the weaving centered and prevent the basket from becoming lopsided.

    • 7

      Weave in five paper strips perpendicular to the first five strips, color side down. To weave paper strips, maneuver a paper strip so that it alternates between going over and under a perpendicular paper strip. Do not tape down the ends of these five strips. When you finish, the crossing strips should form a 3-by-3 inch square, with the pencil dot in the center.

    • 8

      Remove the tape from any paper strips. Bend the ends of the paper strips on all sides so that the 3-by-3-inch section remains on the flat surface, and all the paper strip ends stick straight up, like prongs on a crown.

    • 9

      Tape a new strip of paper on the inside of one of the paper prongs. Make sure the new paper strip shows the color side out. Carefully weave the new paper strip in and out of each prong along the base, above the flat surface.

    • 10

      Use a new piece of tape to secure the end of the first paper strip behind another paper prong. Tape a new paper strip to the same prong. Continue weaving the second paper strip until it ends, then repeat taping the old and new paper strips as you progress. It should only take two or three paper strips to complete the bottom layer of the basket. Trim any excess paper to make it look neat and tidy.

    • 11

      Add another paper strip layer to the basket, taping and weaving as instructed in Step 6. Start each new layer on the opposite side of the layer you just finished so there won't be a visible seam running up the inside of the basket when it is finished.

    • 12

      Weave the basket with paper strips until it is as tall as you want. Trim the paper prongs so there is 1 inch remaining above the last basket layer. Fold the prong tips toward the inside of the basket and tuck them inside either the second or third woven layer from the top so the tips are hidden and the basket features a nice folded edge.

Tips & Warnings

  • As you weave, ensure that the most colorful side of the greeting card paper strips face out.
  • Include a handle on the basket by affixing a thicker paper strip in an arch above the basket. Tape the ends on the inside of the basket securely.
  • Make smaller baskets using cards that measure anywhere from 8 to 9 inches wide. Keep the paper strips at 1/4 inches wide, but adjust the center square to 2 inches instead of 3 inches.
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  • Photo Credit Andrew Olney/Digital Vision/Getty Images

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