Easy Christmas Card Mini Album

It is the age old question. What do you do with the Christmas cards you get every year? Put them in a box to never look at again? Recycle them? Cut them up for craft projects? For years I have struggled with the "I don't want to throw these away but what the heck do I do with them?" question - and then I came up with this.  I demo'd this on HSN earlier this year and got LOTS of requests for directions - so I'm happy to share!

So...what do you do with them? YOU TURN THEM IN TO MINI ALBUMS!

All you need is a few supplies and about 15 minutes and you can turn your piles of Christmas cards in to mini albums that you will treasure throughout the years. Every Christmas we put all of the mini albums in a basket by our tree - what a great way to reminisce during the holiday season!

SUPPLIES:
Pile of Christmas cards and letters
We R Memory Keepers (WRMK) Cinch
WRMK Binding Wire (I used 1" silver, but you can use any size and color)
WRMK Wire Clippers
Assorted scraps of ribbon
Number stickers or die cuts (not pictured)

Make sure all of your Christmas cards have the fold on the left and make sure all of your letters are completely unfolded with the top of the paper also on the left (lined up with the folds of the cards).

Cut your binding wire to 6" with your wire clippers.  Hook your binding wire along the side of The Cinch.  TIP - WRMK binding wire comes in two-packs.  Once you open and use one of the wires, keep the other wire in the package so you know what size it is (which is important when you are cinching the finished product).

Take small piles of cards/letters (5-6 depending on thickness) and center each card in the pile. Pull the ruler/guide all the way out to 12" then insert the pile in to The Cinch, centering the entire pile with the pegs (see how the silver/white Santa card is centered along the yellow pegs below), and pull down on the handle. Never used The Cinch before? Here is a quick video from WRMK to walk you through the steps. **TIP** If you do your first batch of cards and find you have an extra hole punched - just pull out the #12 knob on the Cinch.

Place the pile of cards on the binding wire.

Repeat with small piles until you have punched all of your cards/letters and they have been added to the binding wire. TIP - we always like to keep a copy of our own Christmas card and make it the "cover" of each year's album. If you do that it should be the last card you put on the pile.

Press and turn the guide/knob on top of the Cinch to the size of your wire.  Place the binding (with all the cards/letters attached) underneath the guide and press down on the handle - this will cinch your binding shut.

Fold the letters in to thirds so they fit nicely inside the mini album.

Tie small pieces of ribbon to the binding wires, then add the year to the "cover" of the mini album with stickers or die cuts.

This should only take you about 15 minutes or so - and is a quick and easy way to cherish holiday memories year after year! And before you ask...I have no idea where 2013 is. That will remain a mystery for the ages!