See the smiling faces of friends and family on your Christmas tree, mantel, or front door wreath.

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holiday card display board craft
Credit: Kirsten Francis

The invasion happens every December: First the entry console is overtaken, then the mantel, by a display of holiday cards. And this year, the sentiment is especially important. With travel restrictions put in place, its likely that you and your family will forgo celebrating your long-held traditions in person and opt for mailed gifts and greeting cards instead. But why not give the loveliest tidings their due with a dedicated space that can last through the season and all year long? To that idea, we've come up with a few suggestions to display your holiday cards in creative ways.

Ribbon Board

As pictured here, prevent a paper blizzard—and let every card you receive shine—by displaying them on a crisply updated ribbon board, with grippy elastic trim that secures even slippery photos. Cover a square of foam core ($19.94, amazon.com) with fabric, and pin it tightly in back. Cut 10 pieces of trim long enough to wrap around it. Secure five horizontal bands first, pulling them snug and pinning in back, then repeat with the verticals, weaving them over and under. You can also use a foldable wire grid panel ($17.99, amazon.com) to the same effect.

Christmas "Tree" and Ornaments

If you decided to forgo a live Fir this year, display one of your own making: On a bulletin board ($11.39, target.com), string them up to resemble a Christmas tree. Start by tying a length of colored yarn to a pushpin at the bottom of the board, then zigzag the string upward, wrapping it around a pin at the end of each "bough." Knot the yarn to a pin at the top to finish, and hang your cards over the yarn. This is also a great idea for decorating a small-space dwelling, and you can do something similar with garlands on the wall.

Wreath and Garland

Instead of the traditional greenery, opt for a wreath of cards: Affix mini wooden clothespins to a 14-inch embroidery hoop ($3.49, michaels.com) with wood glue. Alternate pins to point outward and inward, and space them 1 1/2 inches apart. Suspend the wreath from a ribbon, and clip on the cards.

Similarly, you can spruce up a garland: Using a glue stick, coat one side of a clothespin ($8.39 for 48, michaels.com); press firmly onto gift wrap. Cut around the clothespin with a craft knife to trim excess paper; repeat on other side. To hang a series of clothespins, clip them to a length of ribbon, and hang it along a banister or above a mantel or entryway. Pin cards along the ribbon as they arrive in the mail.

Candy Boxes

Even if no one's wearing a reindeer-adorned sweater, a photograph can still be used for a holiday greeting. Start with a favorite photo card, and trim it to fit in a clear plastic box ($20.99 for 3, amazon.com) or favor box ($19.95, amazon.com). Embellish away—draw antlers and glue on a red pom-pom nose, add a felt Santa hat, or simply let the photo speak for itself. Slide the picture into the box, then partially fill it with candy.

Advent Calendar

For the 12 days of Christmas—or a calendar that'll last you all year long—use your holiday cards as the artwork. In a handmade advent calendar, you can craft a traditional advent chain of cards, a printed collage, or paper house in which you open a numbered window to reveal the card's surprise image inside. In an annual calendar, have the cards compiled into a wall-art booklet ($39, artifactuprising.com) that can be enjoyed every month in the New Year.

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