Monday, November 28, 2011

RE-cycling:Projects for a Greener Christmas

Great recycling idea. Turn old Christmas cards into gift tags. Use a can or cup for a good circular shape, trace the form on the back, cut out and punch a hole in the card for a ribbon.

Idea and Image Source:

The Christmas season has begun and like many people, holiday parties and shopping will consume a lot of my free time for the next month.  A year ago, to make the season easier, I took advice from my friend, Martha, and I stocked up on Christmas bags and cards early at The Dollar Store.  I had never been to A Dollar Store before and considering how much gift wrap can cost, I was very pleased to find such a good source for inexpensive Christmas wrap supplies.  Actually, I might have gone a little crazy because of the deals.  I made my husband get a second shopping cart and end result?  I am probably set for Christmas bags for the next 5, um, *cough* 10 years.   Anyway, this year, I've already printed up some personalized stickers so after shopping, I can now quickly stuff my purchases into bags, stick a label on them and they will be ready for delivery.

While my gift wrap assembly line set up is convenient, it is not very creative or special.  It feels very impersonal.  I know extra time is hard to come by so it isn't always possible to do something special, but when it is possible, it can be really nice. So while searching for Thanksgiving ideas on, I looked around for some cool gift wrap ideas and found plenty involving recycling as an added bonus.

From Family Fun magazine, cut off top cereal box tabs, wrap the box with gift wrap using a big extra to go inside the box, punch holes for ribbon and fill with tissue paper.  Easy.

 Inspiration & Image: Family Fun Magazine
Cereal & snack boxes can be easily converted into regular gift boxes.

3-D star made from old cereal box.

 Image & Idea from

A different version of the same craft idea, also made from an old cereal box.

Got some extra CDs lying around? How about making them into tree ornaments or gift wrap adornment.  Glue on a cutout from an old Christmas card, trim with fake snow and done.
Idea and Image from

These recycled cd ornaments are for sale from a European vendor. Once you have a template, I don't think they'd be too hard to cut.
Ribbon & gift label. Viola.
This toilet paper roll was covered in scrapbook paper, one end was glued shut and the other tied with ribbon.

 Image & Idea from
Favor Boxes by Martha Stewart.

Homemade Christmas crackers done with recycled toilet paper rolls, craft paper, ribbon & trinkets.

TP roll turned into a gift wrap wreath. Could add glitter & a ribbon to make the same idea an ornament.

A large Christmas wreath made of TP roll segments.

Both images and ideas from

A different cute recycled TP roll wreath.
Old newspaper, paperback, magazine pages & sheet music can be recycled as gift wrap. Here, the plain black & white newspaper print is livened up with red & white twine and a large initial gift tag.
Image from

Newspaper or old maps can make great gift wrap design material.

Newspaper and felt scraps can be cut and wound into rosettes to decorate gifts.
Image & Instructions from
These light bulbs have been recycled as hanging flower vases, but they could also be used as Christmas tree ornaments.  I saw someone used twine to wrap a bulb and then topped it with a small stick to make it look like a pear which could made an interesting rustic ornament.

White buttons and a scrap of ribbon can be used to make a snowman design gift tag.
Buttons, doilies, newspaper, twine and pretty bright ribbon combine for a simple sweet design.

These vinyl record cupcake stands are for sale on  Pretty cute idea I think.
etsy store selling vinyl stands
Here someone used old vinyl records as chargers for an 80s theme party.  If you have old vinyl that will not play anymore, before throwing them into the trash, how about spray painting them gold or silver and turning them into holiday chargers?
Different centerpiece.   Recycled wine corks placed in old glass flower container surrounding a candle in another smaller glass container.
I'm not sold on the kitschy plastic grapes, but the wreath itself is really cute imo.  I think this would be fun year round actually.
Recycling from nature.  Here they use dried orange slices, raffia and brown paper for a rustic, simple and very pretty gift wrap.  I've seen people use twigs, leaves and pine cones in a similar way.

Hope you enjoyed the ideas and found some inspiration for making your holiday season a little greener this year.

Written by Eldarose

You may also be interested in the Sunburst Tree Topper I made from recycled items which you can see HERE

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