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Go Green! 5 DIY Christmas Decorations Using Recycling Materials!

Go Green! 5 DIY Christmas Decorations Using Recycling Materials!

Let’s face it, Christmas can get expensive. Even the “best time of the year” can be a little discouraging on the wallet. Not only that, but most of us are guilty of being a little wasteful from time to time. Instead of throwing away materials like wine corks, wrapping paper, newspaper, and toilet paper rolls, these items can be saved throughout the year to make some adorable Christmas crafts that will have your friends wondering where you bought them. This Christmas, let’s do some eco-crafts that will keep the waste down and our bank accounts happy.

These are the basic materials you will need for this everything in this guide:

  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Glitter
  • Mod Podge (or equivalent liquid glue)
  • Newspaper
  • Toilet Paper Rolls
  • Green Paint
  • Red Beads
  • Wine Corks
  • Twigs
  • String or Twine
  • Cardboard
  • Permanent Marker
  • Scissors or a Hole Punch
  • Tissue Paper or Old Wrapping Paper
  • Bells & Small Red Puff Balls (optional)

1. Christmas Banner

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christmassign

    photo credit Maria Parsons

    1. Grab your permanent marker and draw out any kind of letters you want on a piece of cardboard. Feel free to find some patterns online to make sure your letters come out clean. If you are really concerned about the letters being sloppy, craft stores sell really cheap pre-cut letters that could be used instead.
    2. After the letters are cut, use a hole punch at the top of each letter to make a small hole or just poke a hole with some scissors.
    3. Put some Mod Podge or glue on top of each letter—make sure you get every inch (you can always poke through the hole again if needed) of one side of the letter. Let the letter sit for a couple of seconds then cover with a generous amount of glitter. After the glue is set, shake off the excess glitter.
    4. String up the letters and hang wherever you would like.

    2. Candle Holder

    xmasdiydecor

      photo credit Elin B.

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      1. Grab a used can and remove the label. Make sure one side has not been opened and the can is clean.
      2. Smear Mod Podge or glue all over the can evenly.
      3. Carefully put tissue paper, newspaper, or wrapping paper over the entire can and set to dry.
      4. Cut off any excess paper that is hanging over the edge. Glue can also be applied on the edges for a cleaner look.
      5. Paint some designs and add glitter if you want to make it fancy.
      6. You can cover other things like a box of matches to go with your candle as well.

      3. Newspaper Ornament

      xmasdiy1

        photo credit Sonny Abesamis

        1. Cut out even strips of news paper (any desired length) and roll them individually into tight rolls.
        2. Glue the last flap of the roll down onto the roll itself so it won’t unravel.
        3. Put hot glue on one end of the roll and glue it to the end of another roll
        4. Repeat this step until the ball is complete.
        5. Use twine or string to glue or tie a loop on top.
        6. Place your ornament on the tree!

        4. Toilet Paper Wreath

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        xmaswreath

          photo credit Lavender Girl

          1. Gather as many rolls of toilet paper and paper towels as possible.
          2. Begin to cut about 2 inch sections from the rolls.
          3. Paint the outside and inside of each section that has been cut.
          4. Once the paint is dry, pinch both ends of the rolls with your fingers so it looks like a leaf.
          5. Gather 5 roll pieces together and hot glue them in the middle, like a flower.
          6. Make as many flowers as you would like so your wreath is as large as you would like it.
          7. Create one circle of flowers and glue each of them together.
          8. Form a slightly smaller circle of flowers and glue that circle together.
          9. Glue both of the circles together.
          10. Add red beads to the center of the flowers (if desired) and glue them down.
          11. Hang and enjoy.

          5. Cork Reindeer

          corkreindeer

            photo credit Jen Kim

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            1. Grab two wine corks and several twigs.
            2. Each reindeer will need 8 small pieces of twig. So, cut your twig into equal parts. (Save the biggest piece for the neck)
            3. Turn your cork horizontally and glue 4 twigs to the base, tilting them slightly outwards so they will stand.
            4. On the opposite side to where the legs were, glue a neck and a tail to the cork.
            5. Glue the end of the second cork to the neck and make sure the rest of the cork is facing away from the reindeer “body”.
            6. Glue two twigs on top as antlers facing outwards.
            7. Tie or glue a bell to the neck and glue a red puff for the nose (optional).

            Have fun with your crafts and remember there is no “wrong” way to do them! Other easy green Christmas crafts include cinnamon applesauce ornaments, paper bag garland, and homemade canvas art. Use anything you have lying around the house to make something special this season.

            Featured photo credit: Joe Buckingham via flickr.com

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            Last Updated on July 10, 2020

            How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

            How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

            We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

            We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

            So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

            Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

            What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

            Boundaries are limits

            —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

            Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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            Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

            Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

            Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

            How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

            Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

            1. Self-Awareness Comes First

            Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

            You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

            To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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            You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

            • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
            • When do you feel disrespected?
            • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
            • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
            • When do you want to be alone?
            • How much space do you need?

            You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

            2. Clear Communication Is Essential

            Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

            Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

            3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

            Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

            That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

            Sample language:

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            • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
            • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
            • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
            • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
            • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
            • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
            • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

            Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

            4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

            Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

            Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

            Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

            We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

            It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

            It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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            Final Thoughts

            Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

            Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

            Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

            The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

            Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

            Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

            They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

            Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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