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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 September 18, 2020

            7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

            7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

            Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

            Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

            1. Exercise Daily

            It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

            If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

            Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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            If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

            2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

            Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

            One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

            This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

            3. Acknowledge Your Limits

            Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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            Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

            Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

            4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

            Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

            The basic nutritional advice includes:

            • Eat unprocessed foods
            • Eat more veggies
            • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
            • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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            Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

              5. Watch Out for Travel

              Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

              This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

              If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

              6. Start Slow

              Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

              If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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              7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

              Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

              My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

              If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

              I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

              Final Thoughts

              Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

              Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

              More Tips on Getting in Shape

              Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

              Reference

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