Decorating our homes for Christmas is one of the most exciting parts of the festivities. The studded tree, the twinkly lights, the snowmen and reindeer; on a cold, dark winter evening, nothing makes us feel cosier than curling up on the sofa with a blanket and admiring our décor.
If you think your original decorations are looking a little tired or outdated, and you want to buy a new collection this year, wait! Christmas is a fantastic time to unleash your creative side and see what magical decorative accessories you can create using your love for arts and crafts.
Most of the time, what you need is what you already have. Recycling is an extremely important responsibility for our society, as waste is hugely damaging to the environment. If you get smarter with the materials and packaging you no longer need, you can enjoy pretty, bespoke Christmas décor that’s kind to the earth.
Here’s how you can breathe life into new Christmas accessories through the power of recycling.
This year, why not ditch the precision and colour schemes for your tree, and instead embrace a quirky, imaginative appearance that tells a story. Upcycling your Christmas ornaments and baubles is a fun way to do this; not only will you be injecting some personality and uniqueness into your tree, but you’ll also help the environment by cutting down on waste.
Toilet paper rolls – Who would have thought that Christmas cheer could be born from toilet paper rolls? It may feel like a strange thing not to throw away and instead to hoard, but hear us out! You could create gorgeous snowflake shapes with the cardboard tubes by flattening them and cutting eight equal strips (you’ll need 18 in total – six large and 12 small). From there, position your pieces until they resemble a desired snowflake shape, and then glue each section together to secure it in place.
Corks – If you’re prone to a glass of wine or two after a long day, it’d be a good idea to start keeping the corks you no longer need for the bottle. With those in your possession, you could create an adorable cork sled ornament in three easy steps.
First, glue three corks together (feel free to cover them in glitter first!) before sticking them to a short furry wire that has been curled up at the end to resemble a sleigh. Place them carefully within your tree or secure them in place with a string or ribbon.
Jar lids – Before you dispose of an empty jar without a second thought, pause and keep the lid to one side. From there, you can upcycle them into pretty Christmas ornaments with paint, stickers, or photographs.
Punch a hole in the top using a hammer/nail or drill, and thread some ribbon through to hang on the tree branch. Pro tip: This could also make a gorgeous, personalised Christmas gift for somebody special in your life. Inside the decorated lid, stick down a photograph of you both.
Pinecones – The next time you’re on a brisk winter walk and spot a pinecone on the floor, pick it up and keep it! From there, all you need to do is apply a lick of paint (liquid leaf metallic paint works fantastically here), stick a bow to the top, and then hang on the tree using a tied piece of string. Yes, it’s really that easy.
When Christmas comes to an end, and we settle into the New Year, keep these creative baubles safe so that they can be appreciated next year too. Wrap them in newspaper or bubble wrap before placing them carefully into a box or travel bag, and store them in your loft or basement with the rest of your decorations.
A glittery snow globe depicts the ultimate Christmas scene, meaning they make for a fantastic decoration in your home. But what if we told you that you could make one using an old jar and trinkets (small ornaments and charms) that no longer serve you a purpose?
First, ensure your jar is clean and dry before assembling your trinkets on the underside of your jar’s lid, gluing them when satisfied with their position.
Pour water and glycerine into the jar at a 1:1 ratio, and then stir in glitter to make the liquid sparkle! Once you’re happy with your level of shimmer, screw the lid back on the jar and ta-da! Shake to ignite your winter wonderland scene.
Christmas wreaths are believed to be a representation of eternal life; if you want to resist the urge to purchase a new one, and instead create one totally bespoke to your household and using recycled materials, here’s what you need to know.
First, bend a piece of wire frame until it makes a neat circle, and then secure the ends in place. From there, clip on any old or spare clothes pegs until the entire circumference is covered.
Paint the pegs a cheerful Christmassy colour, such as green, red, or gold, and then decorate as you like using glitter, sequins and pom poms. Don’t forget to add some ribbon and make a nice bow as a final touch.
Be mindful of what you throw away in future
Let this be a lesson! If you believe something is just a piece of rubbish, pause for a moment and think of the magical Christmas décor potential they may have. It’s so important that we, as a society, are strict with our recycling habits, as doing so helps the environment and slows down climate change.
Instead of throwing bits and bobs away, put on your creative hat and think about how you could use the material in your arts and crafts projects. Christmas time is an especially good time to be mindful of waste, and it’s also a fantastic time to explore our passion for arts and crafts. By combining the two, you should be able to enjoy stunning, bespoke Christmas decorations that will delight yourself and others. Happy crafting!