What do you do with your ‘ugly’ postcards?

I’m curious about what everyone does with their ‘ugly’ postcards?

I am not talking about received postcards (:grimacing: that’s a whole other topic! :laughing:) - I mean postcards in your ‘ready to send out’ collection that you just really don’t want to send to anyone because you consider them to be ugly?

I live in a tourist area, but buying postcards locally is challenging now (they used to be in loads of shops!) so I bought a job lot online. 99% of them are great and I am really pleased with them. Some of them are ‘odd’ which I am saving for people who go out of their way to request odd cards! But a few of them are just plain ugly and I don’t want to send them out. And I don’t want to just dump them - they must be useful for something?!?

Do you gesso over them and use them as a basis for mail art?

Do you give them away? To schools or something like that?

Do you just bin them? (As ugly as some of mine are - can’t do that! Not judging anyone who would/does, just I can’t! :laughing:)

Thank you! :smile::pray:




Ways I have gotten rid of my “uglies.”

  1. “Trash to Treasure” offering at a postcrossing meet-up. At the meet-ups I host and have attended, there’s a table where members bring their “trash” postcards and possible come home with “treasure” postcards. This ties into the saying “One man’s trash is another person’s treasure.”

  2. “Take and Mail” display on World Postcard Day. At my World Postcard Day celebrations at my local library (also my employer), I have a display that promotes World Postcard Day and encourages library patrons to take a postcard and mail it. The individual is responsible for postage.

This picture is my 2022 display where 83 of the 100 postcards offered were taken.

  1. Decorations – I have used postcards to decorate the room for my Postcrossing Meet-Ups
    A collage of postcards on trifold display is being used as a decoration for an upcoming “Bon Voyage” travel themed tea party for adult library patrons.

  2. Giveaway – If I am mailing a postcard in an envelope, I have included an extra bonus card.

Of these, the “Trash to Treasure” is my most successful way of moving my “ugly” cards along.

Hope these ideas help.


If u want to make someone happy then give them to me :stuck_out_tongue: I will use it up in journaling :sweat_smile: #ShamelessPromotion #JustKidding

Jokes aside, though I haven’t faced any ugly postcard but sometimes a postcard or two gets damaged in transit so I tend to use them in journaling. Works fine! Sometimes repurpose them (if and only if they are thick cardstock paper) if the back side is ruined then I spray a little water on the edge and pull out the back side and send them as postcards to my friends who like my doodles. :grin:


That’s a good idea. I’m going to do that. It doesn’t cost any extra in postage.


Sometimes profiles ask for “most ugly card from your stash” or similar. Then I’ll send them out. Or when I see, they like similar cards… My best option is offering them for trade or host a lottery. There is always someone liking the card :stuck_out_tongue:


What you consider to be ugly, might be nice or pretty to somebody else.
As they say “Beauty in the eye of the beholder” :wink:


If they’re just not in my opinion good enough to send out but still ok I use them to write notes on to go in envelopes when sending out other cards, the ones I’m really not keen on, I’m saving up & intend to donate them to the charity shop, someone else might really like them x


I join the German RR named “Fehlkauf” (translation: bad purchase) and we always make fun of the ugly cards and it is good for ugly decoration, too. I often use old stickers of my children. They are almost grown up and don’t want them any more…


At the “risk” of repeating some of the thoughts, opinions and tendencies already stated in this thread, let me put in words how I view the subject matter:

The MORE profiles I read & view the MORE certain I am in that there really are NO (objectivly) ugly cards!

:wink: :+1: :upside_down_face:


I especially ask for postcards that don’t seem quite fitting to be sent out on my profile. It’s nice to guess which one might be one of those sent my way.




I use the taking out the trash tags or the german Fehlkauf RR :grin: there’s also a Group for ugly cards in the Weird RR


My answer may be a variation of other member comments, but here goes:

  • send them in an envelope as an “extra” to other members with my official card, when members request envelopes (not the truly hideous cards though)

  • take them to a PC meet-up and put them on the table for the free card exchange

  • send as an official to those who request ugly or weird cards

  • decorate and cover the image with stickers, collage, and/or art (I don’t even gesso them first, lol)

  • donate them to a thrift store

  • use it to write a grocery list :sweat_smile: :joy_cat: (maybe equivalent to binning it, except it get used once first before being recycled)

  • use it to write out a holiday card list of names


Thanks so much for this topic, I was wondering about this myself. I can’t seem to throw out the cards and it can be expensive to mail it out to someone who might want them. I’ve decided to take the uglies to the charity nearby me that accepts items.


In 2023 I wrote in my profile that I wanted to receive “the ugliest card in your stash” or any card the sender wanted to get rid of. For the entire year, people sent me their “uglies,” and guess what? Most of them were beautiful, or interesting, or at worst non-descript. There were only 2 truly ugly cards in the whole bunch (the subject matter of the photo was cruel). It was an interesting experiment and not what I expected. So my advice: unless the card actively depicts harm, go ahead and send it because someone will like it!


I hold onto them for the people who say “send me your ugliest card” “Send me a card that you don’t know what to do with” or something similar. I also bring some along for the trash to treasure piles at Postcrossing meetups!


First of all, it must be admitted that whether it is “ugly” or not is based on our basic aesthetic judgment, but everyone’s aesthetic standards are different, so others may think that postcards with “ugly” are quite good.
Secondly, if it were me, I would participate in a “tag” activity or send a photo of this postcard to my friends and ask if they like it. I usually make a diary, and I may tear off the pattern of “ugly” postcards as material, after all, this is also a unique experience.


Sometimes I buy postcards in boxes and more than a few become non-favorites. While they may not be ugly, they are not my first choices to mail out. I have used them at family get togethers for games and activities. Blessedly, I have a very creative family and they are great in inventing new uses for my old and “less-desirable” postcards. The first time used them was at a New Year’s Gathering where we wrote down one-word ‘gifts’ to others in the family. After some time for children and adults to write in the tiny space, we then stirred them in a larger basket and redistributed them among the family. Everybody took turns reading aloud the ‘gift’ they had been given! That simple activity was an amazing hit with everyone!


:smiley: Thank you so much for all the responses! :blush::pray:

It felt like I should post of a photo of what I mean, since, yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and some of you intimated that you weren’t sure what I called ‘ugly’, which is a fair point!

But also, think most of my issue is the ‘why’ of the postcards, as in, I am really cannot be sure who could possibly want these?…

(Note: all these postcards are circa 1980’s/1990’s)

  1. I know this area and the bright orange colour of the beach is completely unreal. :flushed: I think this is the effect of the technology of the time, not deliberate doctoring.

  2. Ugly, town centre photo - why??

  3. Looks okay - people sitting in a garden - but the scenes are from an old people’s home specialising in arthritis care. Again - why?

  4. Scenes from a camping and caravan park…

  5. Ugly, town centre photo again (same town as 2).

  6. Another town, another ugly, town centre scene…

  7. Poole quay - too ‘industrial’ looking ….??

  8. I think these are scenes from a modern-at-the-time church. (Dated 1995).

You be the judge! :laughing: