Turn Household Junk into Have-To-Have-It Holiday Decor

The holiday season is full of joys … gathering with loved ones from near and far, renewing hopes for peace on earth and good will toward all … but it can feel like a mixed blessing at times. So often, we are bombarded with messages such as “More is better” — more spending, more buying, more household goods. You can do your bit to stem the tide, though, by exchanging simple gifts with a few close friends (or donating to a favorite charity), eating healthful holiday meals, and dressing up your home with seasonal ornaments crafted out of unwanted “junk.” Try these easy-to-make upcycled holiday decorations.

Holiday Goodie Basket – Have you recently installed new lighting? Here’s what to do with your no-longer-used lampshades. So simple but so ingenious: just flip them over, flatten out their bulb clips, and glue in heavy cardboard bottoms. Attaching rope handles is optional. Et voila! Your creations are now ready to hold a generous helping of wholesome homemade holiday treats.

Snowmen, Snowwomen, or Snow Animals – Snow creatures of every species are the iconic winter decoration. Make yours from upcycled plastic bottles, covered with old toweling or cotton wool (harvested from the tops of vitamin jars), and accented with features scrounged from the contents of your button box. Lemon juice bottles with that little waist-like dip in the middle are especially a propos.

Hanging Ornaments – Mid-century aluminum cookie cutters are a fairly common find at garage sales and thrift shops. Riff on their charming shapes — hearts, stars, animals, trees, and even old St. Nick himself — to create unique hanging decorations. Use the cutters as frames to hold cutouts made from vintage sheet music or present wrapping paper and glitz them up with glitter.

Votive Candleholders – Tis the season for hosting and toasting. But don’t toss those leftover wine bottles once your guests have gone home. You can easily cut them down to just the right size for votive holders (3-4 inches tall is recommended). Mark a line around the circumference of each clean empty bottle with a glass-scoring tool, and then soak it in a water bath till the bottom pops off. Fill your new glass holder with a non-toxic type of wax such as coconut, soy, or beeswax and add a wick. Embellish the outside with cutouts from old holiday cards, if you wish.

Napkin Rings – Tops on most people’s holiday to-do lists is enjoying a sumptuous meal in the company of beloved family and friends. While food and friendship are the starring elements, setting a pretty table helps to enhance the festive mood, as well. Napkin rings play a supporting role in a well-dressed tablescape and they are simple to make from paper towel or toilet paper rolls, cut to size and adorned with your loveliest scraps of fabric and trim.

Wall Art – A display of cheery seasonal wall art on your front door or in your entry way will get the holiday spirit going as soon as you step into the house. Make a bright and sparkly Christmas tree out of recycled tin cans. (These originally held cat food, but the idea would work just as well with any shallow type of can.) There is no need even to remove the labels because you’ll just be covering the cans with decorative paper — odds and ends of used gift wrap, magazine pages, or even colorful junk mail — before you glue them altogether into a tree shape and use them to (literally) deck the halls!

By Laura Firszt, Networx.

55 comments

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Sonia Minwer Barakat Requ

Good ideas thanks for sharing

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Nikki Davey
Nikki Davey3 years ago

Christmas has become a nightmare with all the overpriced trash in the shops. Much better to make your own, and much less stress than trekking round the shops.

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill3 years ago

thanks for the ideas

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven3 years ago

thanks for the article.

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Cela V.
Cela V3 years ago

tyfs

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Kathryn Irby
Past Member 3 years ago

Such novel ideas! Thanks for posting.

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Roberto MARINI
Roberto MARINI3 years ago

thank you for sharing this post

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Kathryn Irby
Past Member 3 years ago

Very imaginative ideas! Thanks for sharing them!

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Fi T.
Past Member 3 years ago

Nothing is really a waste

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