How to Organize Your Keepsake Cards…

A Reader’s Request

My sweet grandpa had the best handwriting.  His cards to me were always written out in perfect all-cap-block-letters.  You could see in the carefully shaped letters all the thought that went into each and every word.  He is gone now.  He passed away at the amazing age of 93, a mere two months after Annabelle was born.  When I think too hard about him not getting to see my little one grow up, I feel like my heart might break into a million pieces and never recover.  So I don’t let myself do it often.

Now that he’s gone, the cards he gave me over the years are even more precious to me.  I am so grateful that I saved them, for I can hear his voice as I read them, and I know that he will always be around, looking over my baby and me.

I was reminded of his cards when a friend of mine requested that I write a post about how to keep all the special cards that you just can’t throw away.  While most of the time I try my best to purge, some things you just can’t let go of…

The truth was, I kept them in boxes.  Labeled boxes that I kept in the closet in one of our guest bedrooms.  Which kept them orderly, sure, but you couldn’t really appreciate them…unless you went into the closet, took down the box and started going through the piles of cards. So once this post topic was requested, I thought it was time to revisit my system.

I’ve always tried to follow the rule that if something is worth keeping, it should be kept in a way that allows you to enjoy it, a way that is respectful of the memory…not shoved in some box hidden in your basement.

So I am proud to say that I have found a new system for saving AND organizing AND enjoying keepsake cards.  I found the idea on a blog called Close 2 My Art.  She wrote a post about what to do with all the picture Christmas cards you get every year.  Her idea was simple.  Use book rings to make little books of cards you could take out every year during the holidays.

I thought the idea of making little books out of the cards was amazing!  Not only would they be organized, but I could also put them on a bookshelf making it easy to go through and enjoy them.

I decided to start with all the cards I’ve been saving for Annabelle.  (I should probably quickly clarify that I am not suggesting keeping EVERY card you receive…please don’t!… just the ones that are really special to you.)  First I took all the cards I had saved for her and punched two holes in each.  (I used a hole puncher, but only used the bottom two holes).  Then using book rings I picked up at Staples, I assembled my little book, putting the cards in date order.

With any card I save I always put a date on it if the writer hasn’t already put one on for me.  A bonus of the book rings is that if I find a card lying around somewhere (read: shoved in some random drawer, which is more than possible), I can just put it wherever in the book it fits chronologically.

Once my little book of cards was assembled, I wanted to make a back and front cover for the book.  So I cut out pieces of cardstock and decorated one for the cover.  I put a start date (July 2010) but left the end date open.  I’ll fill that in when the book is full.

Once the cover was complete, I decided to punch a hole in the front and back cover so I could thread a piece of ribbon through, and tie the whole little book up neatly.

I’m so excited about this new system. The fact that this project allowed me to be crafty while organizing something made me happier than I should probably admit.  My next project is to organize all of my own keepsake cards.  This way all the special cards, like the ones from my grandpa, will always be there waiting for me whenever I want to read them…

So, do you have a lot of keepsake cards that you can’t let go of?  How do you keep them?

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  1. Mary Roberts says:

    I love this idea! One of my cousins saves special photo Christmas cards in a photo album which is always a fun way to see how friends and family members lives have changed over the years (new kids, new homes, new pets,etc). It is always fun to pull out and look how we have all grown and changed over the years.

  2. This is genius! Can’t wait to use it!

  3. Illanna says:

    Yes! I love this! I wish I had saved more from my grandmother, I miss her so much and I always wish there was more for Desi to see of hers. I’m definitely going to do this project for our cards. I have them stashed away all over the place. Thank you, friend :)

    • I know, I wish there was even more for Annabelle to see of my grandpa too. I always think about how I am going to describe him to her, because I want her to truly understand how amazing he was. I’m glad you liked the idea for making card books…let me know when you do the project!

  4. diana rossi says:

    Great Idea! I save a lot of cards but i have them all downstairs in a box. I might have to start this project one day when i have nothing to do :)

  5. Kelly – that was beautiful – remembering grandpa and all the thought that went into the cards he sent us. I really love your idea and hope that I can do that with all the cards that I have stuffed into the drawers in PA.

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