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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 December 2, 2018

            How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

            How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

            Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

            The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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            The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

            Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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            Review Your Past Flow

            Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

            Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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            Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

            Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

            Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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            Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

            Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

            We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

            Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

              Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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