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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 March 13, 2019

            How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

            How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

            Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

            You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

            Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

            1. Work on the small tasks.

            When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

            Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

            2. Take a break from your work desk.

            Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

            Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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            3. Upgrade yourself

            Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

            The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

            4. Talk to a friend.

            Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

            Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

            5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

            If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

            Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

            Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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            6. Paint a vision to work towards.

            If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

            Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

            Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

            7. Read a book (or blog).

            The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

            Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

            Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

            8. Have a quick nap.

            If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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            9. Remember why you are doing this.

            Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

            What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

            10. Find some competition.

            Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

            Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

            11. Go exercise.

            Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

            Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

            As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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            Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

            12. Take a good break.

            Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

            Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

            Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

            Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

            More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

            Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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