This holiday season, try your hand at homemade decor by making recycled Christmas decorations. Recycled decorations are not just eco-friendly, but also wallet-friendly. They can be fun to make, a great family activity to share with your kids. Here are some great recycled decorations you can make at home:
1. Christmas card snowflakes
We've all made paper snowflakes at one point in time. These classic decorations look great in frosty windows or hanging from the ceiling, and you can make them with old Christmas cards as easily as you can plain white paper. Use the decorated front covers of last year's cards to cut nowflakes. You may need to use a stencil instead of folding and cutting. When you're finished, use butcher's string and a hole punch to hang them.
2. CD Tree Ornaments
CDs are becoming a thing of the past with the growth of iPods and MP3s, but chances are you still have some lying around unused. If they're not being used, why throw them away instead of using them? You can decorate old CDs with paint, glitter or even glue-on decorations and hang them on the tree. When the laser-etched backs catch the gleam of Christmas lights, the rainbow of colors are beautiful.
3. Recycled wrapping paper
Wrapping paper can be very expensive and it always ends up in the trash on Christmas afternoon. Instead of buying rolls of store-bought paper, use what you have around the house. Kids' artwork works well, or you can use cheap rolls of newspaper, brown kraft paper or paper grocery bags to draw on. You can even piece together magazine pictures or comic strips to make wonderfully eye-catching containers for your gifts.
4. Old clothes into ornaments
If you can thread a needle or even a bottle of fabric glue, you can turn old clothing into ornaments and other decorations. With a pencil or fabric marker, you can trace Christmas shapes onto the fabric using cookie cutters and similar items as stencils. You can use cardboard as backing or stuff them with small bits of polyfil. Add ribbon to hang them on the tree, in windows or even from shelves. If you've got enough ornaments, you can even use larger scraps of fabric to make Christmas stockings.
5. All natural wreaths
Don't buy an expensive wreath, make your own. If you live in an area with pine trees, cut a few boughs and wrap them with ribbon or rolled fabric. You can then decorate them with other recycled items such as snowflakes, decorated CDs, cellophane origami or paper bows.
6. Recycled paper bows
Just like you can use recycled paper to wrap gifts, you can use it to make bows for decorations. Paper can be cut into strips to make bows, and all you need to finish them off is a stapler and/or some glue. There are dozens of bow-making tutorials online to help you.
7. Scrap candles
If you have lots of candle stubs lying around, use them. You can chop up them up into small bits and pack into old glass bottles, champagne flutes, or other non-flammable containers with a wick, creating an instant holiday candle. For even more effects, use chunks of different colored candles in one container.
8. Wine cork and twig reindeer
Old wine corks and twigs, and possibly a bit of glue, can be used to make adorable reindeer decorations. You can use handheld wood cutters to cut bits of thicker twigs and poms poms, berries or beads to make eyes and noses.
9. Styrofoam snow
If you're making a nativity scene or Christmas tableau as part of your holiday decorations, styrofoam makes great snow and most of us have it lying around after buying electronics and ceramics. Simply crumple it up and drop it where you need it. If you want it to stay better, just use a little bit of glue.
10. Fused plastic gift bags
There's a lot you can do with old plastic bags. If you cut them apart, layer them under brown kraft paper, and iron on low heat, they'll fuse together to make a tough fabric you can cut and sew into gift bags, stockings and other items.