Do your bit for the environment—and your wallet—by making your own Christmas crafts from recycled materials instead of going out to buy something new. Sure, it is the season to be jolly, but it’s also the season to be frugal and mindful of all the trash we create!
These crafts can be made with items that you already have in your home, and they’ll leave you feeling proud of the incredible decorations you've created with stuff that may otherwise just be wasting space or be dumped in the garbage.
DIY Plastic Spoon Snowmen
If you’re looking for a fun Christmas craft that you can do with the kids then we’ve found the perfect one: cheerful little snowmen. Apart from the plastic spoons and small clay pots, you’re likely to have the rest of the materials among your box of crafts: craft paint, sealer, little scraps of felt, floral foam, tissue paper, ribbon, pom poms (you can make your own), and a hot glue gun (although regular craft glue should work just fine).
And if you don’t have clay pots or don’t want to buy them, take the kids out for a quick ice cream treat and save the spoons and polystyrene cups to use instead!
You can get as creative as you want with these, for example, make one for each member of the family to use a name tag around the table – you can use each person’s favorite color, or decoratively add their name to the pot. You could also just add them to any gifts that you’re giving to spread some additional holiday cheer.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – craftsbyamanda
Plastic Bottle Penguins
Cute little penguins have become a Christmas staple, so here’s an easy way to incorporate them into your festivities using empty plastic 2l bottles. Some glue and a bit of paint is all you need to add.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Viladoartesao
What’s cuter than a few owls sitting in your Christmas tree? These are so easy to make with a bit of leftover cardboard and little black beads for the eyes.
Available on – Cardboard Owl Duo / Nursery Decor
Tin Can Lanterns
When you’re done with that soup or dog food tin, don’t through it away! You can make beautiful lanterns to light up your home, dining table or garden. This tutorial shows how to make a star, heart and snowflake, but use your imagination to create whichever patterns you want – and feel free to paint the cans for added effect.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Nostalgiecat
Here’s a little something to drum up the nostalgia – paper snowflakes like you used to make in school! You can hang each one on the tree individually, or even connect a few to make a garland to hang up elsewhere. If you’re one for a bit of sparkle, add a bit of glitter or silver paint.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – MakeItDo
Plastic Bottle Tree
With a 2l green plastic bottle (like 7Up for example) you can make a really cool, modern Christmas tree for your home in no time. It’s pretty and a great way to keep your waste down. If you’re not a fan of anything that comes in a green bottle, simply spray paint a clear one.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Krokotak
Bottle Cap Snowmen
When hubby is done with beer, collect his bottle caps to make these adorable snowmen. I like the idea of customizing them slightly to suit each of your children and hanging them on their doors – you can even get them to help with the crafting. If you don’t have any metal bottle caps, use plastic caps instead.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – OneArtsyMama
Wine Cork Trees
For some reason I like to save up my wine corks as if I know one day I’ll have a great use them. Today is that day! You can make adorable tree ornaments to hang on your actual tree, and if you really have a lot saved up like I do, make one massive tree as a home decoration. I actually love the rustic look you get from the cork’s original color, but of course, you can paint them to suit your own style.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – PinkWhen
I hate wooden clothespins because they seem to break a lot quicker than their plastic counterparts. Thanks to my hoarding tendencies, though, I never actually throw them away. Here’s a quick and easy way to transform those unused pins into cute snowflakes to further Christmas-ify your home.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – LoeLaLoep
Christmas Card Garland
Have a ton of old Christmas cards that you’ve received over the years stacked in a drawer? Give them a new lease on life by making this beautiful multicolored garland that can drape around your tree or hang across the mantelpiece.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – PartyPlanningCenter
Christmas Card Star
If you’re not keen on the garland but still want to do something with all those cards, print out the easy template to make this stunning themed star. It’ll look incredible on top of your tree, or wherever else you decide to put it.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – JennyHarada
Have an old sweater that you’re never planning on wearing again? Instead of tossing it, turn it into a Christmas stocking with just a bit of snipping and sewing.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – ImperfectHomemaking
I just love the simplistic yet delicate look of this paper Christmas tree. You don’t have to hack up a beloved book – just use any paper that you may have lying around, such as junk mail or old newspapers.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – DumpADay
Puzzle Piece Ornaments
There is nothing more frustrating than an incomplete puzzle; rather than letting those missing pieces get under your skin, put them to good use by making a wreath or candy cane ornament for your tree. If you have a lot to use, make one massive wreath to adorn your front door.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – That’sWhatCheSaid
This project will take up quite a chunk of your time, but the end result is so stunning, and it’s just such a creative way to reuse old magazines! I love the cross, but you can actually use this method to create any shape you want, from Christmas trees to stars.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – FromLikeToLove
Paper Towel Roll Candelabra
I just love the look of big candles dripping wax, but eventually they just melt and burn out, leaving you with a puny piece of wax. This holiday candelabra made from paper towel rolls is ingenious: it gives you the same effect but with lasting “candles” and allows you to turn trash into something beautiful.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – CreativeMeInspiredYou
Toilet Paper Roll Lights
With just some toilet paper rolls, scrap colored paper, twine and glue, you can channel your inner MacGyver to make these awesome faux Christmas lights. They’re bold, require no electricity and are made from materials that would otherwise end up in the trash. What’s not to love about them?
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – CraftingAGreenWorld
I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember when last I actually listened to a CD, yet I have so many piled up somewhere simply collecting dust. This is such a clever way to repurpose them, and since you only need a small CD-sized circle of scrapbooking paper, you can probably just rummage through your things to find some leftover scraps.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – ARecoveringCraftHoarder
If you still have CDs left after making the previous decoration, you can use them to spruce up your old, weathered ball ornaments. I just love the sparkly, disco-ball effect! If you’re not so keen on this shiny effect though, simply give it a paint job.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – CrèmeDeLaCraft
Milk Jug Votives
I go through a lot of milk during the holiday season – a lot of coffee, tea and hot chocolate is consumed around the fireplace to keep warm. Rather than throwing away all the empty jugs, knuckle down to make these beautiful floral votives that will look beautiful just about anywhere in your home. Elegant simplicity at its finest!
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – BlissBloomBlog
You can use just about any scrap paper that you have lying around—from newspapers to magazines—to create this lovely handmade origami bow. Use it to decorate your walls, tree or gifts! At first glance the tutorial may seem rather complicated, but the images make it really easy to follow.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Let’sCreate