Friday, February 22, 2013

What to do with Old Business Cards ?

 Things change; we move, change jobs, change our cable provider, email address etc.  So what do we do with old, outdated business cards ? This is a dilemma I am now faced with.

You see, not long ago I ordered a box of 500 business cards for my etsy shop, AlmostPrecious. (The box of cards in the left of photo below)

Then I opened a second shop, DellaMessina handcrafted jewelry, and had to order another box of 500 cards for that endeavor. 

Since I also place my jewelry into local boutiques and galleries I have a box of cards for those establishments that make no reference to my online shops, the owners of shops and galleries prefer it that way  (wouldn't want to have their customers contact me privately about purchasing a piece and skipping over the middleman's 40% commission).

As I said; things change.  Not long after I received all these cards we had a change in our cable provider which resulted in a change of email addresses and now I have hundreds of outdated business cards.  Sure I could paste a sticker over the old information but that looks tacky and  unprofessional, therefore I went online to see what ingenious ideas others had come up with to utilize these tiny bits of card-stock and ink.  Truthfully there weren't many novel ideas. 

One could use them to jot down an address or phone number.
Keep them to list what pantry supplies or craft supplies you're running low on. 
Use them to shim up a wobbly restaurant table (we've all experienced one of those teeter-totter tables and had to resort to using paper table napkins, packets of sugar or sugar substitutes to even out the imbalance). 
Some suggested using them to make your own set of playing cards.
Donate them to a local school's art teacher.
Use them for bookmarks.
Wallpaper a room with them. ( Uh - don't think so !)
Clip them to one's bicycle so the card would hit the spokes of the wheel, making a noise. (We're all pretty familiar with that one.)

Okay so there's a lot of . . . well , a lot of suggestions . . . but was there something truly useful that one could do with old business cards? 
If one made handcrafted paper, maybe the cards could be shredded, soaked and transformed into some type of paper . . . can that be done with glossy cards ? 
Someone suggested shredding them to use as packing filler in packaging. 
Also one could make teeny, tiny little paper airplanes.  Not sure that they would fly very far and I doubt that I need a fleet of close to a 1,000 of them !

However I did run across an interesting idea . . .  constructing little boxes with them.

Though it is a bit novel, I have no inkling at all as to what I would do with a hundred or so of these little boxes.  I'd love to hear your suggestions on how to use old business cards . . . or even what one could do with these little business card cubes. 
To learn how to make your own little business card cubes (if you're so inclined) you may visit : Ned Batchelder


  1. I made the mistake of ordering 500 biz cards when I lived in San Francisco and never used them. The next time I needed any, I just bought the biz cardstock at Office Depot and did my own on the computer.

  2. How fun! The little boxes are cute, but I'm afraid I'm at a loss as to what to do with them.

    As for the sticker over the old information, I've seen it done well and then I don't think it looks tacky as long as the typestyle matches etc...

    What a shame you have so many, but I guess that's just how it goes sometimes. :-)

  3. Ah, yes, the business card, necessary evil of modern commerce. Wouldn't it be fun to mail them back to those suppliers who so glibly offered "quantity discounts"? I think the only green solution is that shredded packaging suggestion. (But contain it in a sealed pouch, or the likelihood of a repeat customer... not so much LOL.)

  4. The boxes are kind of cool, but I have no idea what to do with them. I don't know what to do with the cards either. I have about 100 of them that I can't use because I closed the Etsy shop. I'll be interested to see if anyone has ideas.

  5. You could paint over them and use them as tags for gifts at the holidays/birthday/etc. Just punch a hole & tie a piece of string in the hole and voila, instant tag!

    I'm in the same boat with a lot of my old cards too. Usually I just shred them but those boxes look kind of cute, maybe I could paint that too & use them as decorative accents around the house or something. Hmm...

  6. Now that's creative :)

    I use them for bookmarks lol.

  7. I think the little boxes are so cute! I have no suggestions as to what you could do with them, but they are cute. I use my old cards to mix epoxy for my gluing projects, they are nice and small for the small batches I mix.
    Everyday Inspired

  8. Hi Anna just a quickie on the roti front!!! so thrilled for you, I know the feeling it is the same here in London, a slice of home witht he accent to boot! Enjoy your trips, I am sure the manager can do you a batch to take away and freeze at home to save you the trip each time.!!

    In regards to the cards, we can create our verson of recycled artist trading cards. and do a world wide swap, we all have cards we want to rid, including myself. I used them in my art to create texture, also as tags/price tags and such, so many uses....hugs Chelsea

  9. I love what you did! Your house came out really nice as well. Hope all is going well for you you in the jewelry world. I'm kinda taking a break . XMas burned me out totally, except the bead exchange contest. I'm in the 3rd reveal this go round. I was wondering if you are in it this year?

  10. I agree with Chelsea as I do the same thing. The old business cards can be recycled into tags for your products, greeting cards (you'd have to shred them to make recycle paper), they can also be made into coasters for glasses. All you need is some mod podge, cork textile (home depot/lowes) and some time. Instant way to advertise your business.

  11. I LOVE the little boxes :)

    I think Jenn's idea of painting them over is awesome, I already use mine as tags :)

    I never order more that 250 at a time because over the years I have realised these unforeseen changes happen too often.

    But I always keep a few of the old ones as memories :)

    Have a lovely day, cheers, T. :)

  12. I guess you did not receive my 1st comment. Can't remember quite what I said but, here it goes any way. You can use them as price tags, tags for gifts, or make coasters for glassware. To make coaster all is needed is cork tiles (can get these from Home Depot or Lowes) Mod Podge, a sponge brush & time. It's lots of fun. Good luck with whatever you decide.

  13. To those who posted comments on the 6th of March; I'm sorry that I didn't get around to posting your wonderful comments promptly - the culpa is totally mine and I sincerely apologize.
    Hi Sonya - Thank you for taking the time to post a second comment as you have offered me and my readers a number of wonderful suggestions on how to use those left over outdated business cards. I really like the idea of making coasters out of them and what a lovely little free gift those would make to give out to customers. :)

  14. Those were all great ideas...I wish now I'd kept my old ones!

  15. Sometimes, ya just gotta go with the flow. In cases like this I tell myself "Well, if this is the LAST bit of money I 'lose' in my lifetime, I'm darn lucky" :)

  16. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  17. All ideas are very impressive to use a huge amount of out dated or old business cards. I would like to make some handmade crafts to utilize my old business cards. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Business Card Design Vancouver

  18. I started making the boxes and then I thought I have a million jewelry that I have just in a drawer and i made little cubes in clusters of 4 and now I have placed lipsticks and earrings and paper clips inside!

  19. I started to make the boxes and I realize that I could glue them together in cluster of 4 and placed my earrings inside and lipsticks and paper clips and left. Well I just made tiny cubes the top is optional I chose to remove it.

    1. Very clever idea. I never thought to remove the top of the cube and use them for storage of small items. Thank you for this useful suggestion. :)

  20. Very clever idea.I never thought to remove the top of the cube and use them for storage of small items.Thanks for this useful suggestion......

    Presentation Folder Printing

  21. I'm making mine into a set of Uno cards.... which takes up 108 cards per set. I could make 4 sets, but that's overkill. I think I'll make a set of Uno, then a set of normal playing cards, and then.... Any suggestions for other decks?
    Oh! You could use them to make a Conversation Jar! You write down questions on the back of the cards and stuff them into a jar. The next time you are at a party or at a dinner and the conversation lulls, you pull out the jar. The jar is as fun as you make it. You can talk about politics or work... Or you can talk about your team for the zombie apocalypse, or what kind of animal you would create if you were God, or what movie you would most love to act in.


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