recycled craft ideas | christmas 2010

Since this weekend will find many of us with paints, glitter and glue littering our tables, I figured I would post a few additional craft ideas, even if they are recycled ones. These are craft projects the kids have worked on in past years. As usual, everything is quick, easy & fun!


Top row, L-R:

SILVER BELLS
YOU NEED: miniature terracotta pots, silver paint, silver glitter, silver pipe cleaner, two small jingle bells, red ribbon. This is the Christmas present our kids make for us at their pre-school when they are 3. You can see Emily’s dated 2006 (wow time sure has flown). The one on the left? An impostor jingle bell! I don’t know exactly what happened but I think when we took down our mirrored wall and re-painted the dining room two Springs ago, Andrew’s bell got misplaced (for some reason I never pack them up with the decorations and leave them on display year-round). I was pretty upset over it until I realized that we could make a new one and in 30 years from now, hopefully we’ll forget we lost the original. =P You want to paint the inside and outside of your pot and let it dry. Thread your jingle bells onto your pipe cleaner, stick them in the inside of the pot and feed the pipe cleaner up through the pot’s hole in the center. Twist a bit to get everything secure. You make a loop at the top for hanging. Glitter parts of your bell: either the whole pot (right) or just the rim (left) and add a pretty red bow.

“VINTAGE” YARN TREE
YOU NEED: a Styrofoam cone, a decent weight yarn, some glue, buttons and decorative pins. Now I realize this isn’t “vintage” if you are making it in the year 2010 but something about it reminded me of a decoration you would have seen in the 60’s. Lets just go with it. I kinda-sorta invented this tree two years ago and loved the way it turned out. I have made them in assorted shades of green, pink for a breast-cancer-surviving Aunt and white. You want to run glue around the top part of your cone. Start by gluing down a yarn end on the top-side of the cone, bring it up a bit and gently wrap a spiral around the top of the cone and then make your way back down (in short, you are gluing over your original end to secure it in place). Carefully wrap and glue your yarn allllllllll the way down your cone. You could add a circle of felt on the bottom after to make it look more finished. Decorate with colorful buttons pinned in with decorative straight pins.

LIGHTBULB REINDEER ORNAMENT
YOU NEED: a small lightbulb (I have seen colored versions used but I think white looks best), brown pipe cleaners, a red pompom for the nose, googly eyes and ribbon. My niece made me one of these in 2001; the year I started dating her Uncle Vinny. I still hang it on my tree. :)  You want to bend the pipe cleaner into antler-shaped loops and hot glue them onto the metal part of the bulb (in back) to secure. Loop a ribbon and hot glue that right over the back-center of the antlers. Glue on googly eyes and a red Rudolph-esque nose.

Bottom row, L-R:

HANDPRINT SNOWMAN ORNAMENT
YOU NEED: plain, colored ornaments, white paint, fairly thin Sharpies or other assorted paint colors and a very thin brush for the details. These are one of our favorite ornaments to create! In fact, we have a hot pink (Emily), bright aqua blue (Andrew) and orange (Grace) hanging over our dining room light fixture and Grace’s is the very first craft she ever made (2009). You dip each child’s hand in white paint and have them carefully grasp the ball from underneath. Their handprint will make “snow” (palm area) and 5 snowmen (each finger), if all goes as planned. Let those dry and then decorate each snowman with eyes, noses, coal mouths, hats and scarves.

CARDBOARD SNOWFLAKE
YOU NEED: one paper towel tube, paint (white, baby blue, etc), silver, gold or white pipe cleaners, hole punch. For this craft, we painted paper towel tubes white. Once dry, you cut them into rings. I don’t remember the exact thickness or how many rings we got from each tube but if you take a look at my picture, it looks to be about 10 rings (you really can’t mess this up though. Even more, thinner rings would look nice). You punch a hole in each ring (sort of squish them down and flatten a bit before punching) about 1/4″ from both the top and bottom. When you open your ring back up you will have 4 holes in it. Do this to all of the rings needed to make your snowflake. Thread a pipe cleaner through all of the inner most bottom holes first. Twist to secure. Thread a second pipe cleaner (you may need to twist two together for more length) through the outer most holes. Twist to secure. Since our flake was sort of a weathered white color with the original cardboard peeking through from the inside, I chose to tie this up with a neutral-colored bakery string instead of a fancy ribbon. It makes a pretty big flake decoration when finished.

TEALIGHT HOLDERS
YOU NEED: clean baby food jar (Stage 2 works nicely), glue, colored tissue paper, glitter dust, tealight for gift-giving. These cute candle holders are the gift that the kids make for us during their 4 year old year at pre-school. We actually re-created about a dozen last year to give as gifts using rainbow-colored tissue paper. They were colorful and pretty but I like these Christmas ones better. You cut your tissue paper down into small squares. Maybe 1″ or so each. You apply a thin layer of glue to the outside of your clean baby food jar. Start laying down the tissue paper squares, overlapping as desired. After the whole jar is covered, go back and give everything another nice, even coat of glue. Sprinkle with glitter dust if desired and allow to dry. As you can see, the kids’ school gives them some greenery to decorate the rim with. We added ribbon to the rim of ours last year. For the love, please keep all decorations OUTSIDE of the jar so your candle doesn’t set anything glued inside on fire. =P  You can light one tealight candle in each holder and they sort of illuminate and glow a bit. I like to burn my Cranberry Chutney tealights in my Christmas ones. :)

And there you have it! Another batch of crafty treats for you to whip-up this weekend!

Have a great time!

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