Posts tagged "twigs"

Recycled Christmas Decorations: our favourite ideas for 2011

Who wants generic shop-bought Christmas decorations when homemade ones are so much nicer, cheaper and better for the environment? ;)

Our 2010 round-up of our favourite ideas for making upcycled/recycled Christmas decorations has been very popular this year and I hope it’s provided lots of people with lots of inspiration – but if you’ve still got a little space to fill before the weekend, here are some more last minute ideas:

Paper wreaths have been very popular over the last couple of years but I love this one from EcoEmpire because, aside from staples, it’s entirely made from reusing household waste – newspaper, cereal boxes and a little scrap of ribbon (Kat suggests the loops from clothes – I’ve got a drawer full of those!)

Sticking with paper crafts, I also love these paper ball ornaments – either as individual baubles or strung together into a garland. I also love the idea of using foil packaging to make silver or otherwise shiny ones.

These letter ornaments, decorated with scraps from old sweaters, would also work well on their own or as part of a garland spelling out a holiday greeting/special word. “Merry Christmas” if you’ve got a lot of scraps, “joy” if you haven’t ;)

If you prefer your decorations a little more natural, these mini Christmas trees made from twigs are just fab – a simple idea but really nicely executed.

The Crafty Green Poet also reminded me that you don’t have to just use special Christmas ornaments on your tree – any ornaments or little items that don’t usually see the light of day can be hung up on there – even earrings on smaller trees for a little sparkle/bead-y delight.

Finally, Deb/Urbanwide sent me this fun Nativity scene idea: the whole Nativity crew painted on champagne corks. Perfect if little ones want to play with the scene – although if you want one for this year, you’ll have to get working on drinking all the champagne ASAP ;) (A slightly healthier alternative – but one that needs nearly as much forethought – is to use Actimel bottles for the bodies instead.)

Anyone else got any fun recycled Christmas decoration makes or discoveries to share?

(Photos © EcoEmpire & MicheleMadeMe respectively)

Fab recycled projects: bird feeders, storage bags, pot racks & more

It’s been a few weeks since I shared some links so here are some of my favourite sightings and emails from the last month:

  • First up, it has to be Scott’s coke can and chopsticks bird feeder – as always, a fab recycled item with very fun how-to instructions. Unfortunately (for us in the UK) the full instructions will be in Make magazine – but if you’re crafty, you can kinda get the idea from the pictures/preview ;)
  • And sticking with gorgeous things in the Make/Craft universe, I love these denim storage bags – easy to make from the legs of old jeans — a perfect companion project if you’re turning some jeans into cut-offs this summer :)
  • I also love these sweet packet purses/pouches. I wonder if clear plastic bags could be fused onto the packets rather than having to use iron on vinyl…
  • As a fan of both buttons and nature, I think these buttons from twigs are great too. As the how-to explains, it’s a little tedious to cut them all with a handsaw but if you just want a few and don’t have a table saw, then it’s still a viable project.
  • And speaking of the great outdoors, I’m planting out a lot of stuff at the moment. I’ve been using sliced up plastic bottles, drinks cans and other packaging for plant markers but these labels – made from skewers and wine corks – are very cute too.
  • Roo has turned an old nightstand/chest of drawers into a unique and fun doll house – just a little handy work is needed before the fun decorating starts!
  • Shopping lists save money & food waste but our lists and pens tend to wander from our kitchen noticeboard — they wouldn’t if we had one of these. The similar pretty wood backing/bulldog clip/elastic band idea would work well with reclaimed scrap paper as well as a new roll.
  • And finally, I had an email from Jackie: “I recycled this awning frame by making it a pot rack. A little bit of chain and I hooks and s hooks bring it all together” — looks great and super practical, great work.

How can I reuse or recycle … tree branches?

BranchesWe’ve had an email from Sam:

I’ve just cut down a tree in my backyard. I’ll compost the leafy bits but the branches would take far too long to rot. What can I do with them? I thought about getting one of those chipper things but they’re expensive so do you have any other suggestions?

You could maybe rent a wood shredder – and see if any friends or anyone else in the neighbourhood has stuff to chop up and would be willing to share the cost – but it might cost more than you’re willing to spend.

If there are some reasonably straight and not too thick branches, you could use them as plant supports in the garden or if they’re quite flexible, make them a trellis for plants to climb up.

Any other suggestions?

(Photo by Louchiere)