10 Clever Uses For Expired Credit Cards

Photo of cute baby and credit card by _Dinkel_/Flickr.I recently upgraded to a “grown-up” wallet, and as I was cleaning out the old one, I was struck by the amount of plastic I’d acquired. Old credit cards, an expired driver’s license, my sister's expired driver’s license that she gave me as a “fakie” before I turned 21 (um, I am approaching 32 now), empty gift cards, and store cards for places that no longer exist (hello, Blockbuster!). So obviously, this purging was many years overdue and I can’t believe I’m admitting all this on the Internet.

But! It got me thinking about all those cards. I didn’t want to just throw them away, and they’re not recyclable. What was a green-minded gal to do?

Get crafty! Apparently there are all sorts of fun things you can create out of old cards. Here are my top ten picks:

1. Mosaic. If you have a lot like I did, cut them into pieces which you then use to make a mosaic. OK, so it's not the same as having a San Diego tile contractor retile my bathroom, but it is an opportunity to make something pretty. Glue them to a piece of canvas, using the different colors to create an abstract image or pretty pattern. Or stick the pieces around a picture frame, mirror, etc. 

2. Remote Battery Cover. I found a super funny tutorial on how to use a credit card to replace the missing battery cover on your remote. Why do those pieces always go missing?!

3. Collar Stays. You can cut up cards and use the pieces to replace the lost collar stays in you or your partner’s dress shirts (the collar stay is the small piece of plastic that slips inside the collar tips to keep them from bending).

4. Guitar Picks. Make guitar picks! Maybe my favorite idea on the list. You can buy a pick punch or just use scissors.

5. Name Label. Your credit cards all say your name, so cut that part out and use it to label your belongings. Glue your name to your iPod, your Moleskine, or use it to make a name necklace. Are you a remodeling contractor who carries a cooler to work? Glue one on your cooler to keep your lunch untouched.

6. Cord Corral. Keep cords from tangling at the back of your desk. Just notch the card, once for each cord, and then cut out a circle at the end of each notch. Now slip the cords in and they’ll stay, side by side, without flipping and flopping all over the place. Each card will hold 3-4 cords.

7. Ear Bud Holders. Here is an ingenious tutorial which shows you how to turn old credit cards into ear bud holders. Brilliant!

8. Bookmark. Make a bookmark out of an old card. Just cut a large “v” into the face of the card, so that it can slip over pages (“v” on top, the rest of the card underneath). Or, you know, just use the card itself (though it might fall out).

9. Bracelet. This “credit crunch bracelet” is cute and clever. It’s also adorable, and easy to make.

10. Seedling Marker. The stiff plastic of cards is perfectly suited for marking your seedlings in the garden. Cut the card into strips, paint white (optional), and write on them with a sharpie. Use one label in each starter pot, or at the end of each garden row.

Sayward Rebhal writes for Networx.com.

Updated May 2, 2018.

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