northstory + co

Upcycled Christmas Cards (Decorate Your Cards, Not Your Coffee)

The first time I saw the NABOB commercial where they went to talk to coffee farmers about people putting pumpkins in their coffees, I literally laughed out loud. And not just social media LOL, but my kids looked up and said “What’s so funny Mommy?”

And I thought how do I explain to a 7 year old and a 4 year old the pumpkin spice latte insanity, which has made more yoga pant and white girl meme’s than anyone can imagine. And here is where I really scare you and it’s not the part about the fact that I do wear yoga pants each morning to school drop off like every other suburban housewife. The first time I tried one – ever – was this past October. And after the fact I’m still trying to figure out what the hell the hype is about? I tastes like milk with lots of flavoured syrup. People go to coffee shops to buy this but you can’t even taste the coffee. That’s one hell of an oxymoron.

Coffee to me is like a best friend and I brew my coffee strong. There are very few things that smell nicer than the aroma of coffee early in the morning. And when you taste good coffee, going back to mediocre coffee is well, let me put it this way. Have you ever had a bad cup of coffee at 6 am when you’re trying to wrangle yourself, never mind your kids, out of bed and then you sit back awaiting to take that first sip and it tastes like some sour water downed concoction? It will set a precedent for your day and it won’t be a good one. People should seriously fear your wrath after that. I mean I am the person that brings their own tumbler full of coffee to my husbands tea drinking Grandma’s house for Christmas morning breakfast. This is because one year they found me some instant coffee one buried in the cupboards and I learned my lesson really fast after that. Instant. What? Why people why?

So when NABOB reached out to me to challenge me to decorate something other than my coffee this season, I said challenge accepted. First of all I am not a coffee decorating person. I am not even a cookie decorating person. The less time I spend in the kitchen the better. Until it’s renovated that is. I can’t talk about hating cooking and the kitchen while simultaneously asking for a new kitchen just in case my husband reads this. Second NABOB’s Full City Dark is one of my favourite coffees. Don’t believe me, ask my best friend Christine who got addicted to it after I introduced her to it and my coffee snob parents who both asked what I had brewed when I made it for them. It’s that good.

Now, Christmas decorating is a little out of control around our home. I decorate our trees (all 4 of them), our porch, our living room, our banister and our windows. I make ornaments, garland and played out mason jar crafts. My husband even has a Clark Griswold jersey that is soon going to be pulled out of the bins in the basement. But what I love most of all is making cards. So that’s what I did instead.

I decorated my cards instead of my coffee. And I did it by upcycling NABOB coffee bags into Christmas trees.

And here’s how I did that.

First, I drank all of my NABOB coffee. Not all at once obviously, though 4 *cough* 6 cups a day is totally normal around here. I took the bags, cleaned them up properly, cut them vertically down all of the edges and saved the all the sides.

NABOB coffee

Upcycling coffee NABOB coffee bags - northstory

Upcycling NABOB coffee bags Step 2

Next up I used scissors and a paper trimmer to trim the bags into approximately 1 cm strips.

Upcycling NABOB coffee bags Step 3

Upcycling NABOB coffee bags Step 4

After that was done I got some kraft paper card stock and prepped my cards.

I drew a tree shape in a simple triangle and used my craft knife and a ruler to cut out the shapes on a cutting mat. Then I cut out some additional rectangular card stock shapes. That’s what my strips were glued on.

Cutting out a tree shape in kraft cardstock

Using permanent glue (I used Mod Podge as school or craft glue won’t cut as you need a stronger adhesive to attach the coffee strips to paper) I glued the strips to the rectangular card stock shapes.

Making Christmas cards using NABOB coffee bags - northstory

Making Christmas Cards using NABOB coffee bags - Step 5 - northstory

Then I placed my tree cut out kraft paper cards over the new NABOB strip collages, glued them together and trimmed off any excess edges.

And it resulted in a pretty cool upcycled Christmas card.

DIY Christmas Cards made from upcycled NABOB coffee bags - northstory

Christmas cards made from upcycled NABOB coffee bags - northstory

Christmas cards featuring trees made from NABOB coffee bags - northstory

That’s some fun Holiday decorating and would make a great addition to oh maybe a coffee gift basket present for the coffee lover on your list.

Nabob Holiday - Respect the Bean - northstory

Nabob Respect the Bean Mug - northstory

Now NABOB and myself want to see what what you would decorate instead of your coffee this season.

Share it with us on social media by using the caption “I decorated my ______ (insert your item of choice) not my coffee” using the hashtags #RespectTheBean #NABOBHoliday and we’ll be sure to share your decorations with our social networks. Perhaps you’ll get a surprise from NABOB for the best decoration. Hmm….

And by all means have some fun with it! Maybe decorate your bed? Your sweater? What about your car? Whatever you decorate, let us know and celebrate the Holidays with NABOB!


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  • Reply
    Kristen S
    November 25, 2014 at 9:24 am

    Everything is flavored nowadays. Coffee, whiskey, beer. I don’t want apple whiskey and pumpkin coffee! Can we not go back to whole flavors, real ingredients? I agree with you, coffee should taste like coffee. Nothing beats it. Oh and that aroma. Its the best way to wake up.

    • Reply
      November 25, 2014 at 10:10 am

      I was at the LCBO this month and saw Pumpkin Whiskey and thought Oh no no. You don’t mess with a good thing. I mean there is a time and a place for a latte and dessert drink, but when I want coffee or like you said whiskey/beer, I want it to taste like the flavours I love.

  • Reply
    Treasures By Brenda
    November 25, 2014 at 10:00 am

    I don’t drink coffee, I drink tea. Recently I had my first Chai Tea Latte and was surprised that I loved it. I even found a copycat recipe to use at home where my friends have also loved it. I more than anyone enjoy my plain old Red Rose Orange Pekoe tea but I also apparently enjoy having the latte as a fall treat…so I have to say that I am all for decorating your beverage however you like it.

    I love the idea of upcycling an everyday product to make a beautiful card like you have. You will have to make sure to get that card into the hands of those who don’t respect the bean as well as those who do, LOL.

    By the way, I’m off to share your post on my Facebook page and Pinterest Board I Love Coffee Mugs. I’m sure there are people there who would love to buy that RESPECT THE BEAN mug. Do you know if it is for sale anywhere? I checked eBay and Amazon and could not find it there.

    • Reply
      November 25, 2014 at 10:08 am

      Thanks Brenda! I don’t know if it is for sale (I’ll check with Nabob and be sure to get back to you), but I do know that Nabob does want to send people who show what they can decorate this Holiday season a mug as a treat. So one of the ways is to participate in the campaign by sharing what you decorated on social media using the hashtags.

      If you love tea, then you’re going to love one of my future posts as I am making a gift for all my tea loving friends. I am the coffee drinker but have lots like yourself who are tea drinkers.

  • Reply
    November 25, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Love the cards AND the video. As always I’m blown away by your talent, lady!!

    • Reply
      November 26, 2014 at 9:11 am

      Thank you Danielle! Love that you’re back at your blog. XO

  • Reply
    Lynne from Design The Life You Want To Live
    November 25, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    shhhhhh you gorgeous thang! I loved your video! Do more! Do more!! xoxoxoxoxo

    Sipping my nabob right now. I use a tassimo and the nabob tassimo is d’bomb dot com.

    Big love!

  • Reply
    December 6, 2014 at 2:05 am

    Ahahahaha i swear i just lost fove pounds laughing in relation to every word you said! LOL! I cant get over the buying a coffee that doesnt even taste like coffee AND, I have neve tried one and never will–know why? I am also a stronggg coffeed, waking to the smell of it brewing, soo strong i make separate for guests. Anywho: I STILL LAUGH at the thought even of that commercial. I think its Juans straight fave through the entire thing. His mass confusion. Anyway thanks too much for the laughter. Happy holidays & Great project! I love reusing!! TY

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