Holiday Crafts for Cheapskates: Gift Card Glitter Globes

Kids can make creative use of their after-Christmas downtime to upcycle used gift cards. All images by Lisa Kay Tate.

This December, I’ve been sharing a few inexpensive and easy crafts kids can make to check off the always high number of teachers and friends on their gift-giving lists. To wrap up my series, here’s a way to upcycle some gifts and help find a way to channel that post-Christmas energy in a creative way, with Gift Card Glitter-Globes.

Gift cards and jars are the main ingredients for these simple snow globes.

• Used gift cards (make sure they’ve been spent)
• Small food jars  (screw-on lids work best)
• Glitter
• Glue gun

Gift cards can be refilled, recycled, and re-gifted. However, when the holidays roll around, they seem to come in waves. Plus, some of the cards’ designs are so cool, my daughters try to use them for everything from bookmarks to coasters.

Gift cards can be cut to fit the container or to make more interesting designs.

We came up with this next option as a fun new way to display them.

Some cards come in unusual shapes, while some can be cut to create little cityscapes and holiday scenes. If working with younger kids, make sure to cut the cards yourself, if needed.

Use a jar with a good seal or secure well with a glue gun to prevent leaking.

Use a glue gun to fill the lid and mix in some glitter to make it sparkle. Place the cards or cut-out card pieces upright in the glue while it is still warm (it dries fast). Then, let it dry. You may need to hold it in place for a bit.

Fill the jar to nearly the rim. Then, add some glitter. Carefully turn the lid over and close the jar tightly. If a little water overflows, that’s fine. It’s best not to have any air bubbles in the water. Seal off the edge of the lid with a glue gun, to prevent leaks.

These are also good little gifts for those unexpected “after Christmas” friends or neighbors we’ve forgotten who have shown up with a plate of goodies or “just a little something.” Make a few and keep them on hand throughout the season.

Lisa Kay Tate is a veteran feature writer with 20 years experience in newspaper, magazine and freelance writing. In addition to serving as Associate Editor for her local arts and entertainment guide, El Paso Scene, she has been a regular contributor to the site and maintains her own blogsite at She and her husband, writer/photographer Rick, live on the edge of "New Texico" where they keep busy raising their two geeklings and sharing space with their dog, Sirius Black, and cat, Loki.