Forget going to a big-box store and piling a cart high with cheap, mass-produced holiday decorations made in China. Warm up your home with handmade ornaments, wreaths and more that you (and the kids!) can easily make out of reclaimed and natural materials like toilet paper rolls, pine cones, wine corks, scrap fabric and cranberries.
Toilet Paper Roll Owl Ornaments
(images vía: con m de mujer)
Are these owl ornaments cute or what? They’re actually just cardboard toilet paper rolls, painted in bright colors and decorated with black permanent markers. One end of the roll is simply pinched to create the owl’s ‘ears’ – a fun and easy project for both kids and adults.
Pine Cone Decorations
(image via: good housekeeping)
Simply gather pinecones in your yard or at the park, use a vegetable brush or a nail brush to gently clean them, and attach a looped ribbon to the end with a dab of hot glue. These natural holiday decorations can be hung on doorknobs and cabinet knobs, or used as ornaments on the tree.
(images via: design sponge)
Create your own little nature scene in a terrarium that never requires watering. Dried sheet moss is placed inside a clear glass ornament globe along with any little decorations you like including feathers and paper butterflies. Get the tutorial at Design Sponge.
Wine Cork Wreath
(image via: good housekeeping)
Gather wine corks from parties, special events or your favorite restaurant and use them to add a little cheer to your front door or your kitchen. Good Housekeeping explains how to string the corks together with jingly red bells using floral wire.
Hand Print Ornaments
(images via: stephanie lynn)
Flour and salt are all you need to create the dough for hand-molded ornaments, perfect for capturing the handprints of your little ones or even the paw prints of your pets. This is a great project for kids to participate in, and the results will be lifelong keepsakes. Get the tutorial at By Stephanie Lynn.
(images via: country living)
Make this DIY paper village even more eco-friendly by saving cardboard boxes from cereal and other food products and painting it, either a solid color for simplicity or to include more architectural details. Country Home has a series of .PDF patterns that you can download and print.
Pretty Paper Ornaments
(images via: lilybeedesign)
The scrap paper odds and ends that you’ve been saving have just found a perfect use. You can use a shaped puncher or hand-cut circles from the paper, and then tape the paper to a beaded string as indicated at Lilybee Design.
Coffee Bean Trees
(images via: factorydirectcraft.com)
Here’s yet another unusual use for coffee beans that you might not have thought of. While most ‘coffee bean tree’ tutorials advise that you purchase styrofoam cones as a base, we all know that styrofoam is not eco-friendly in the least. Instead, try carving a cone shape out of styrofoam packaging you already have on hand, using paper birthday hats or cutting and glueing a cone shape out of a piece of thin cardboard.
(images via: voyages of the creative variety)
This cute project can revive even the ugliest, most dated ornaments or give purpose to random round objects like balls. Tori at Voyages of the Creative Variety applied bits of printed paper to round wooden ornaments with glue, and then painted and drew adorable animal faces on them. Get creative and go for your own subjects and color schemes.
Scrap Fabric Scented Sachets
(image via: studiobotanica)
If you’re handy with a sewing machine, this holiday DIY couldn’t be easier. Little bits of scrap fabric are simply sewn into the shapes of your choice and filled with a scented material like fir branches or cloves.
Cranberry and Popcorn Garland
(image via: budget wise home)
This is a great craft to undertake while watching your favorite Christmas movie. You’ll need to pop up a big pot of popcorn (no butter – yuck!) and purchase bags of fresh cranberries. Use a heavyweight sewing needle and waxed dental floss to make your garlands, according to the instructions at Simply Christmas.
Mini Trees Made of Branches
(image via: espritcabane)
Choose your favorite fallen branches in your yard and use them to make miniature trees that will lend a rustic charm to your holiday decor. Using a disc of wood, a screw and some wire, the branches are cut into size and stacked into shape. Get the tutorial at Esprit Cabane.
Carpet Remnant Stockings
(image via: martha stewart)
Small, unusable carpet remnants evoke the aesthetics of the Victorian era when crafted into stockings a la Martha Stewart. Look for scraps at your local rug warehouse or shop at thrift stores and flea markets; you could also use old blankets or shawls.