In this article, you’ll learn 3 creative ways to make Christmas decorations from recycled materials. Save money on home decor with these winter art projects and snowflake crafts!
As a creative person, the holidays are such a fun excuse to make even more hands-on projects and home decor. (If you’re new to Creative Fashion Blog, be sure to check out my free printable stocking pattern here and see my other holiday tutorials here.)
But today I wanted to get extra creative and make some beautiful home decor from pieces we already have lying around the house. From gorgeous snowflake crafts made of toilet paper rolls to modern centerpieces from takeout containers, these Christmas decorations from recycled materials are definitely out of the box.
After all, creating magical environments doesn’t have to be expensive. I remember when I was a young mom in 2009, I had only $50 for the entirety of Christmas…. including buying a tree. I found one for less than $20, made my own garland from tree clippings around my apartment complex, and ripped a red cotton shirt into strips to tie into bows for ornaments. My tree had no lights that year and it wasn’t very glamourous… but it was handmade and full of love. I was also able to spend a full $30 on gifts for my baby that year with my saved money.
Today a lot has changed but I still love the creativity and thoughtfulness that comes from making Christmas decorations from recycled materials. I hope these creative ideas inspire a few new projects for you this year.
Easy Toilet Paper Snowflake Crafts
There are few things as nostalgic as making paper snowflakes by the fire and drinking hot chocolate while it snows outside. It’s such a classic, Christmas craft that never gets old. That’s why this year since we’re all spending even more time indoors than usual, I thought it would be fun to get a little bit creative and try a new version of paper snowflakes…. from recycled toilet paper rolls.
What better way to send 2020 off right?
For this little holiday craft, you really don’t need many supplies. You’ll be surprised to see just how far a single toilet paper roll can go towards making one of these intricate-looking snowflake crafts.
My five year old absolutely loved this craft and I was impressed at how beautiful her little snowflake turned out.
It feels rare to find kid-made, holiday crafts that also look chic. These toilet paper roll snowflakes certainly make the list!
- Toilet Paper Rolls (After the insane toilet paper shortage to kick off this year, I have loved having Toilet Paper Rolls automatically delivered each month through my Amazon subscription. That way, I save money, never run out, and don’t have to think about finding toilet paper for sale ever again.)
- Hot Glue Gun
- Gold Spray Paint
You really can use any color spray paint you like, but the metallic hue on these textured snowflakes reflects light in the most beautiful way. Plus, craft supply companies make so many variations and colors of metallic spray paint now that you can customize the color to match your existing decor. In the handy resource below, you can shop textured spray paints (that give a more rustic, hammered effect once they are dried) and even marbelized spray paints that will give your snowflakes a more glam finish. I’ve also included several of my favorite options that create a clean, smooth, metallic finish.
When it comes to hot glue, I recommend you buy glue sticks in bulk if you can. It will save you the hassle and frustration of ever running out mid-project and you can get them for less online. They even make black hot glue now that looks clean and modern after it’s hardened. Here are a few options:
DIY Toilet Paper Roll Snowflake Crafts
- Take a toilet paper roll and press it in half so it’s easier to cut.
- Slice your cardboard into 1/2″ circles.
- Glue two edges of your cardboard together at the bottom (where they are creased.)
- Continue adding 1/2″ circles of cardboard around the base of your crease-lines until they come together and touch.
- From here, you can fold your cardboard tubes in half to create more detailed, intricate designs or continue adding full circles of cardboard out until you’ve made larger snowflakes.
- Once your design is complete, spray paint your toilet paper rolls to finish.
- If you’d like to hang your snowflakes, string a piece of thread or yarn through the top edge of your snowflake and tie the ends together.
Toilet Paper Roll Snowflake CraftsVideo Tutorial:
Re-Usable Gift Wrapping From Old Clothes
Did you know that during December each year, over 4 million pounds of gift wrapping is used in America alone? Also, the average American has been estimated to throw away around 37kg of clothes every year. I don’t know about you, but that’s a lot of waste.
This simple, no-sew craft is a great counter.
By recycling your old shirts, pants, sweaters, and jackets into re-usable gift bags, you can counter all that excess waste in a productive way. Plus, it’s a fun, no-sew project that comes together quickly. Talk about a win-win!
The video tutorial will walk you through how to turn a cheap jacket into festive gift wrapping but you can use the same technique to turn pants, a work shirt, or even a jacket into gift bags as well. Cut the legs of pants into 12″ tubes, cut a jacket torso into quarters, etc. You can really get creative and since we’re working with recycled materials, there’s no way to mess it up.
While you could sew this project together, often we just want to make something quickly and don’t want to take our sewing machine out. That’s why I recommend using Fabric glue. The right glue has a permanent bond that is washable, durable, and will last for years.
When it comes to scissors, I love my Gingher Shears and have used them regularly ever since fashion design school. However, if they are out of your price range, there are several less expensive options as well:
How To Make Re-Usable Gift Wrapping From Old Clothes
- Lay your clothing item out flat
- Cut any long sleeves or pant legs into 12″ pieces
- Cut torso pieces into rectangles and squares
- Use fabric glue to close up all edges except for one opening. You do not have to be precise with your glue lines or your cut-lines for this project
- Cut a 1 1/2″ strip of fabric from a leftover sleeve or piece of torso fabric.
- Glue the end of either side to the inside opening of your new bag.
- Allow the glue to dry before turning right side out.
Re-Usable Gift Wrapping From Old Clothes Video Tutorial:
DIY Eco Friendly Christmas Decorations From Takeout Containers
Yup…. takeout containers can be modern too when you take a second to look at them creatively. Who knew Christmas decorations from recycled materials could be so cute? These simple trees have a Scandinavian feel to them and I love the extra texture they provide to a spread. You could add them to an existing Christmas Village or let them stand on their own. Either way, it’s a fun, quirky display that adds festivity to your home decor without the expense.
- A lightweight cardboard box, bright junk mail, or family Christmas Card
- Clean chopsticks
- Floral Foam (This can be recycled as well… we’ll be covering it once the project is done)
- Paper Hole Punch
How To Make Eco Friendly Christmas Decorations From Takeout Containers
- Take a box or piece of junk mail and cut a large rectangle from a side. It can be as large as the box allows.
- Fold the triangle into an accordion shape
- Use a Paper Hole Punch to cut holes down the center of your triangle.
- Thread your chop-sticks through the punched holes
- Slide the other end of your chopstick into a piece of Floral Foam
- To display, place your “trees” on a platter or down the center of a table and cover the floral foam with fresh sprigs of fir or other foliage from your area.