Adorning your home with holiday themed decor is a fun way for many to celebrate the holiday season. Though there are plenty of beautiful decorations in stores all around us, consider recreating something old or worn into a personalized piece for your home.
Why should you make your own decor when you could buy it, you ask? At this time of year, so much new stuff rolls in the door. Making your own decor out of something you already have helps you harbor less clutter. Keeping clutter at bay can save you money and help you focus on the important things during the holidays - like making dinner for guests or spending quality time with loved ones! Upcycling is also important for environmental reasons, of course. When you give something a new purpose, you are reducing your waste, therefore keeping stuff out of the landfill, ultimately reducing your impact.
To get you started, we have compiled a list of fun upcycling projects below. Not super crafty? No fear. We have picked out projects of all kinds for you to peruse.
Santa Wine Bottle Vases
Wrap them, paint them, or fill them up! Wine bottles are aplenty at this time of year, so make sure to save a few so you can make some cool vases to place around your house. For a tutorial on how to make the santa vases pictured above, please visit this link. The article also offers several other ways you can decorate your old bottles.
Upcycled Jar Menorah
Wine bottles, jars, and vases can all be used to make a beautiful, homemade Menorah for Chanukah. You can paint or decorate yours first or leave them untouched for a simple look. Check out this tutorial to make the model pictured above! This, of course, can also be mimicked to make a Kwanzaa Kinara. For an example, check out the next project…
Upcycled Jar Kwanzaa Kinara
Just like you can swap out wine bottles for different types of jars or vases to make the Menorah, you can also do the same to make your own Kwanzaa Kinara. Find out how to make it here. The article says you need spray paint to complete the project, but I suggest using acrylic paint. Squirt a quarter-sized dollop in each jar, then hold each one on its side as the paint slowly moves across the inside of the jar. Keep spinning it in your hands to get all nooks and crannies. This does take some extra patience, but I feel it looks better. Plus, acrylic paint is usually nontoxic compared to many spray paints. It’s also water-based, so it is not flammable. You can get a tiny bottle at a local Michael’s store for anywhere between about $0.80 and $2.00.
While you’re at saving the wine bottles, make sure to also save the corks! You can make a beautiful, natural-looking ornament or hanging decoration out of them. Find out how to make it here.
Paper Roll Wreath
Most of us have toilet paper and paper towel rolls leftover when we use them all up. Rather than recycle them (please don’t throw this in the trash, as paperboard, which is what paper rolls of made of, are recyclable), save a bunch to make a customized wreath that pops! Get the tutorial here. Keep in mind that the original article is in Hungarian. If you have Google Translate set to automatically translate a page written in another language, you should be good to go!
Pill Bottle Snowman
Almost finished with a bottle of medication? Save it to make a little snowman! This is a great craft to do with kids (attention, elementary teachers!) and spices up any desktop. Click here for the simple tutorial.
Paper Roll Dreidel
Paper rolls can be used to make so many things (more paper roll projects below!) Use yours to make dreidel treat boxes. They can be painted and filled with goodies. Click here to find out how to make them.
Pringle Can Gift Box
This is one of my favorites - and it’s extremely easy. Simply paint an old Pringle can with some Modge Podge (or other kind of glue), and wrap it in some leftover wrapping paper. You can also cover the package branding by making a little collage of paper scraps on the outside. Once it dries, fill it up with some cookies, and give it to a friend as a present! These “gift boxes” can also be used as storage containers for other dry foods like spaghetti when the cookies are all eaten. Scroll down to the fourth picture on this page to see a picture and read a little description about the project.
Explore this page to discover multiple ways you can upcycle trash into happy penguin decorations! All projects are fun to do with kids and could even be done in a classroom. You’ll find you can make penguins out of anything if you’re creative enough! Start collecting egg cartons, wine bottles, paper rolls, pine cones, plastic bottles, bottle caps, light bulbs, and more!
Beautiful DIY Acorns
Still have some plastic eggs leftover from Easter? Paint them, and and glue on some pinecone leaves to make a bunch of shiny, beautiful acorns to warm up your space. Click here for the tutorial.
Simple cylindrical vases (or any glass vase you have sitting around the house, unused) can be made into cute snowmen to place on a chest or drawers or used as a centerpiece for your table. If you have cylindrical vases on hand, you can even put a candle in them to give your snowmen some added flare. Follow this link for directions.
Santa Paper Roll Ornaments
Here’s a craft that will keep you smiling all through the holiday season! Keep saving those paper rolls, as you’ll need one for each santa. Visit this site for step-by-step directions and helpful pictures.