Thirteen Things You Can Still Do With Borders Gift Cards

giftcardimage021610[1]Last week U.S. District Judge Andrew Carter ruled that all unused Borders gift cards were worthless, wiping out some $210 million owed to some 17.7 million people.

Seventeen plus million cards at 5g each comes to about 273 thousand pounds of plastic. That’s a lot of material, and it should be more than enough to any number of conceivable DIY projects.

Do you still have any gift cards left over from Borders? If you do then I want to help you find something to do with them.

Here are a few ways you could use those cards:

  1. Handy bookmarks in what we used to call “books.”
  2. Cut them into Ninja stars for annoying but non-lethal combat fun. (Take that, Jeff Bezos!)
  3. Build a DIY stand for an ereader or smartphone (example).
  4. Jimmy a lock (the old credit card trick).
  5. Give them away to in-laws.
  6. Recycle them into colorful Kindle covers.
  7. Wind chimes for those with sensitive hearing.
  8. Perfect-sized coasters for shot glasses. (Handy if you were a bookseller.)
  9. Carefully arrange them into a house of cards. (A nice metaphor of the publishing industry).
  10. Make a guitar pick (example).
  11. Save them to prove your faith in the ultimate resurrection of major bookstore chains.
  12. Make a slingshot (example) and use it to shoot BBs at head shots of Borders management.
  13. Turn it into a musical instrument (examples, plural).

Do you know of any good uses for the otherwise worthless cards? If so, leave a comment.

P.S. Some of the ideas on this list are my own, while others are from here.

P.P.S. When I googled that last suggestion I found a video that was so impressive that I had to post it here:

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. fjtorres26 May, 2013

    Wallet-sized ice scrapper.
    So that first frost of fall (due in two-three weeks) doesn’t catch your car unprepared.

  2. Lizzie27 May, 2013

    We use this for useless plastic…
    DIY Pick Punch

  3. Michelle Louring28 May, 2013

    Now I’m sad that I don’t have any Borders Gift Cards… It’s perfect weather to run around and throw Ninja stars at passer-bys!

  4. […] Unused Borders gift cards now worthless […]

  5. Hey
    Through July, BookNuts will give a 10% discount on all used books purchased if you give us your card. That’s the difference between a chain store and an independent–we can do the right thing. It’s not much, but it’s something–and it’s more than the bankruptcy process will get you!

    1. Bobbi6 September, 2014

      Unfortunately, I have had a stroke and have been home-bound; and nowhere did I see that my Borders gift cards would become unuseable. Is there truly absolutely nowhere I can use these gifts given to me by my children?
      Hume will not help me at this time in my life.


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