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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 August 20, 2018

            35 Anniversary Ideas to Bring You Closer Together

            35 Anniversary Ideas to Bring You Closer Together

            Every mature relationship has had a less-than-memorable anniversary. Maybe one of you forgot, or both of you got busy with work, kids, family issues, or something else. Whatever happened, the day came and went without fanfare. And neither of you seemed to notice or much care.

            But for the health of any relationship, it’s important to make important days feel special. Anniversaries offer the wonderful opportunity to relive beautiful memories, practice gratefulness for your partner, and to show your love and strengthen your bond. Make this year’s anniversary with your significant other something special  — one that will bring you closer together.

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            The best way to create a memorable anniversary is to do something new and different together as a couple. Stretch yourselves a bit.

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            While boredom can silently kill a relationship, new experiences reinforce the shared bond you already have and create strong new memories. Just think back to the most significant memories you have right now with your spouse and imagine what new ones you can create!

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            While you enjoy your chosen anniversary activity, be sure to keep a positive attitude and make your partner happy too on that day. Leave all arguments and day to day detail behind. Just celebrate your relationship. Whether you’re going to spend the day together at home, getting away, or having a wild and crazy new experience together, you can have your best anniversary yet!

            If You’re Staying In

            1. Spend an evening with no technology, just the two of you and maybe a board game. It’s hard to keep ourselves away from our computers and smartphones long enough to have a meaningful conversation. Make a rule not to use your tech and you’ll rekindle your relationship!
            2. Make wine or beer together. If you enjoy drinking together, this is a fun activity to try together. Just remember to buy the necessary equipment ahead of time.
            3. Learn something new about each other. With an open mind, try asking some of the New York Times’ 36 questions that lead to love. They’ll help spark intimacy and will lead to some really honest moments.
            4. Have a lazy day. Breakfasts in bed, spend all day in bed talking and napping. Follow breakfast with champagne and dessert! If you feel like getting more active, cook together or play some games. Here’re some simple breakfast ideas for you.
              • Learn to dance at home. This is best for those active couples who work out together and also enjoy learning something new together. Just go on Youtube to find any music with dance tutorials and learn together.
              • Visit model homes or open houses and plan your dream home.
              • Have a special dessert – champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. Having an unusual treat makes a day feel extra special. If you want to make the dessert really special, try these tasty dessert recipes.
              • Create a playlist of your favorite songs as a couple. Choose songs that tell your story, and songs that you bonded over throughout your relationships. Here’re some love songs ideas for your inspirations.
                • Write your love story. Write it together or ave each of you write your own and then bring them together in an interesting, both sides of the story format.
                • Get a fondue pot. Fondue is a fun way to enjoy melted cheeses (for savory items) and melted chocolate (for sweeter treats).
                • Decorate! Turn your home into a dressed-up french cottage, a sophisticated restaurant, or simply with flowers. The different ambience will immediately change the feel of your home and make it feel like a staycation.
                  • Talk about the future together. It might sound simple and everyday, but imagining how you want to spend your retirement together, or planning future trips can be exciting and romantic.

                  If You Want to Get Away

                  1. Take a day trip together to your favorite spot. If you live in a city, it can be incredibly refreshing to get away for an afternoon and drink in the outdoors.
                  2. Go on a scenic drive and stop at a wine and cheese bar. Or, if you’re lucky enough to have lots of options where you live, try a brewpub. There are tons of small craft breweries with fantastic food options too.
                  3. Go camping. Relatively affordable and, if the weather’s right, beautiful and romantic.
                    • Take an overnight backpacking trip. For the more adventurous couples, backpacking is an even more intense way to challenge yourself physically while becoming one with nature.
                    • Take a wine tasting tour. If you live on the West Coast or in the Northeast, take a drive to the nearest winery. Many offer relatively inexpensive tastings and deals if you purchase a certain amount.
                    • Take a scenic train trip. Taking the train means less stress traveling: nobody has to drive, you don’t have to stop for breaks every few hours, and you can sleep if you need to!
                    • Save up for a destination vacation. What better time than your anniversary to enjoy the beach at a beautiful resort?
                    • Explore a new city. Whether you’re on a budget or have a lot saved up, you can have a great time just exploring an unfamiliar town.
                    • Rent a cabin for a weekend away, in the woods or next to a lake or ocean. If you like the outdoors but can only take so much nature, try glamping.
                      • Go on a retreat. Yoga retreats, meditation retreats, beautiful natural surroundings … they’re all the rage. Search for centeredness and calm with your partner.
                      • Spend a day at a food festival. Many cities have fun and affordable food festivals, occasionally based on a theme. Check out your town’s (or a nearby city) calendar for inspiration!

                      New & Exciting Experiences

                      1. Go spelunking. Dark, damp, and utterly exciting!
                      2. Go on a hot air balloon ride. Because the basket is relatively small, this can be a romantic and deeply personal – and yet thrilling –
                        experience.
                        • Try sky diving. If you and you S.O. are real thrill-seekers, sky diving can really push you to the edge!
                        • Explore the underwater world by snorkeling or scuba diving. This may take you far away from where you normally live and work, which is an added bonus.
                        • Experience white water rafting.
                        • Drive or hike to the highest spot nearby for a new view of the world. America has tons of beautiful mountains where challenging hikes (or drives) can deliver breathtaking views.
                        • Take a craft or cooking class. Up your craft skills or food  making skills, and enjoy something new!
                          • Take a wine and painting class today. These classes are easily found these days and even a beginning painter can create a nice painting. Challenging but relaxing, fun, and you get to go home with some artwork!
                          • Learn to salsa dance. Dancing is a fantastic way to actively get closer and coordinate physically with one another.
                            • Visit a nearby festival you’ve always wanted to go to. Have fun and let go with fellow audience-members!
                            • Spend the day at an amusement park together. Laugh and carry on like teenagers.
                            • Meet new people! At a restaurant, concert, or class, make it a point to meet new friends. Striking up conversation with someone you don’t know – but with whom you have shared interests – can be an adventurous and rewarding experience.

                            Whether your budget is big or small, and whether you have a little or a ton of time together, focus on each other. There are tons of options, in terms of location, level of physical activity, and cost. You can make the day special in a way that’s right for you!

                            Featured photo credit: Photo by Taylor L. Spurgeon on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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