We’re getting into the holiday spirit here on Sustainablog. Jeff recently shared with you how members of his community created outdoor Christmas decorations from items found in the trash. And today I’ll share with you 10 ideas to make ornaments with materials you probably already have in your recycling bin and/or craft box. There’s no need for additional shopping trips to buy things you’ll only use for a short time.
Furthermore, it’s been estimated that household waste increases about 25% from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. In the United States alone, we create about 4 million tons of trash with excessive amounts of wrapping paper, bows, ribbons and shopping bags each year. It’s time we reuse items we have on hand to decorate our homes. Not mention, upcycled ornaments can save you money and time. And that’s two things we could all use more of right now!
Turn Waste into Special Custom Ornaments
From empty paper rolls made into reindeers and spare puzzle pieces formed into candy canes, here’s a list of my favorite ornament tutorials to help you get started crafting:
- Sparkling Light Bulbs: After you’ve carefully hollowed out an old light bulb, fill it with shimmery, colored sand and top it off with a leftover bottle cap. Your tree’s lights are sure to reflect a beautiful rainbow-like glow next to these glittering bulbs.
- Scrabble Piece Ornaments: Spell out your holiday cheer to loved ones with an ornament made from word game letters, fabric and hot glue.
- Puzzle Candy Canes: Thankfully, there’s now a use for our kids’ puzzles that are missing several pieces. This tutorial over on Family Crafts shows you how to paint and assemble the shapes together to make a festive candy cane ornament. Get creative and assort your pieces to also make snowflakes and reindeer.
- Wine Cork Christmas Trees: Stack up your unwanted wine corks to make a tiny tree as the perfect ornament for the wine lover in your life. If you don’t have any corks, consider supporting an online shop to create one for you.
- From Empty Spool to Keepsake: Find out how to document your child’s Christmas wish list with Craft Snob’s easy-to-follow tutorial. You’ll only need an empty spool, like the ones used for threads, and a few other supplies. I promise your kids will appreciate this one as they get older.
- Photo Juice Top Ornaments: Reuse disregarded metal juice tops to make a photo ornament to capture your family’s smiles. Besides photos, you’ll also need ribbon, glue and labels to make this adorable trinket for the special people in your life.
- Paper Roll Reindeer: Little ones would love helping you gather empty paper rolls around the house to make these googly-eyed reindeers. Although the tutorial uses toilet paper rolls, you can also use wrapping paper and paper towels rolls for this project.
- Fabric Scraps Pom-Poms: As most crafters do, I’m sure you have a pile of fabric scraps you can compile together to make these fun pom-poms. After you’re all done wrapping the material around the circles, no one will ever know these ornaments were made from pieces of clothing and towels, blankets and such.
- Paper Chain Garland: Cut magazine pages or last year’s holiday cards into strips and glue them into circles. Then intertwine the strips together to make a chain. Add glitter or fun cutouts to your garland for a more festive touch.
- Magazine Mini Trees: I know this one isn’t exactly an ornament, but it was too easy to pass up. The entire family, especially kids, will enjoy getting in on the fun of folding magazine pages into mini trees with this step-by-step tutorial. Once you’re done folding, paint your trees and add glitter for beautiful holiday decorations.
Once you’ve made some of these ornaments you’ll agree they shouldn’t be limited to just decorating the tree. They can double as gift tags or handmade presents to last for many years to come.
What are some of your favorite, homemade ornaments? Leave me a note in the comment section. Happy Holidays!