I love Christmas decorations. I love looking at shiny colourful designs and thinking about decking the halls. But I’ve been learning about how incredibly wasteful and toxic it can be. So this year, I decided to do some upcycled & recycled Christmas crafts with my daughter to green our Christmas tree a little more. These are some of my favourites – if you have one to share, please add your link in the comments!
1. 3D balls from old Christmas cards
I saw this idea using junk mail at Party Planning Center and loved the idea of doing it with old Christmas cards. I used just 4 circles for one of them because I cut the circle around a few family photo Christmas cards, and wanted them to be pretty visible. A few of my friends always send photo Christmas cards, so I thought it’d be a cool way to use them and think of them during the holidays! I used 6 circles for the other ones we made – the nice thing is you can use as many or as few as you like!
2. Paper ball ornament from old Christmas cards
This is another fantastic way to use old Christmas cards, and Maker Mama has a really well laid-out tutorial on how to do it. The only difference was that I glued the ribbon into the ornament for hanging, instead of using a hole punch to make a hole in one of the sides. I used a glue gun to make it quick with my impatient daughter.
3. Owl ornament from caps and buttons
You can buy a similar ornament on Etsy, but why not make your own? I used a large cap from a vitamins bottle as the base, small bottle caps with 2 sets of buttons for the eyes. I cut the wings, ears, and beak from scrap paper to glue on.
4. Snowman ornament from caps, buttons, and yarn
Another Pinterest-inspiration. I used a glue gun to connect the 3 caps, and to glue the ribbon to the inside of the top one for hanging. I cut the orange triangle for the nose out of scrap paper, and my daughter found small buttons for eyes and on the body of the snowman. A short piece of yarn tied around for a scarf, and voila!
5. Bottle Cap Wreaths
The one on Pinterest has beer bottle caps, but I decided to use the copious amounts of other beverage caps we have from milk containers. I used a glue gun to put 6 caps together, and to glue on whatever buttons my daughter chose. I like that this idea is really versatile – you can change up the colours of the caps, and really use anything to decorate them.
6. Balls from toilet paper roll & straw
This is one I came up with by myself and I think it turned out beautifully! I cut a toilet paper roll into 8 pieces so we had 8 circles to work with. My daughter and I painted them (inside & outside). I cut a paper straw (you could use plastic ones too, of course), into lengths about the diameter of the toilet paper roll. Then I used a needle and thread to connect the pieces together. Easy!
7. Ornament from bottle caps, ribbon & buttons
I wanted to have some smaller ornaments so I thought it’d be cute to glue gun 2 bottle caps together, then glue a ribbon around the edge. We added some buttons to complete the cute little ornament. You can use all kinds of things to embellish these too – glitter glue, sequins, you name it!