Upcycling at Christmas isn’t a new phenomenon. Who hasn’t made an angel out of a toilet roll tube, or used scrap paper to make a paper chain before when they were at school? Your choice of Christmas decorations might be more sophisticated these days, but there are more ways to upcycle at Christmas than finding uses for old toilet rolls!
With the rise of online shopping, the amount of packaging in general circulation has risen massively. Large online retailers use millions of cardboard boxes each year, and while it’s great to recycle them as they appear in your home, you could always use them to make your gift tags from before you recycle them. All you need to do is cut out your desired shape, punch a hole in it and attach a piece of string. Decorate it however you like.
Voila! Eco friendly gift tags from something that was going to be thrown away!
Upcycle your baubles
If your Christmas decorations are looking old and tired and not really filling you with the joy of the season anymore, it’s really tempting to go out and buy more. The UK discards 12,500 tonnes of Christmas decorations every year and most of it ends up in landfill. There are plenty of ways you can bling up your baubles. If you’ve got any tins of paint lying around, then thread a piece of string through the hole, dip them in the paint and then hang them to dry. That way they will even match your home! Or you could paint them with festive scenes using acrylic paints. If you have any pretty wrapping paper offcuts, use them to cover the baubles with a dab of glue. Or you can use fabric or ribbon - have a look online, there are hundreds of tutorials to help you get started.
Bonus points if you can challenge yourself to only use things you had lying around the house!
Home made gift wrapping
So you have found a use for all your cardboard boxes, but lots of packages these days are delivered with brown paper instead of plastic bubble wrap. Flatten out the paper and get the kids to draw/stamp or colour on it and use it as gift wrap for your nearest and dearest.
See what you can find lying around
Pine cones are the essential Christmas decorations and they are easy to find in Autumn! Wrap up warm and go out for a wintery walk and gather them up. You can use them as they are (you may want to give them a clean - I would soak them in a mixture of water and white vinegar for 30 minutes and then allow them to dry) or you could paint them, tie a piece of ribbon around them or make a bow out of any old fabric you’ve got lying around - again there are plenty of ideas online.
Buy secondhand or upcycled gifts
Of course I would say that! But there are loads of small businesses creating all sorts from upcycled stuff that would make amazing gifts. Or, don’t be afraid to buy secondhand. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!
If you like the idea of giving an upcycled gift but don't know what to get your friends and family, why not get one of my gift vouchers so they can shop at leisure after Christmas? Find them here!
What do you think? Do you/have you upcycled at Christmas? Let me know in the comments!