Find Christmas holiday inspiration and locally made decorations and gifts at fairs like the Country Living Magazine Christmas Fair. Photo credit: Country Living Magazine Christmas Fair.
Looking for ways to green your Christmas holidays at home or abroad? Get crafting! Akiho Schilz wrote this guest post about crafting and keeping it green at Christmas.
Crafting is a great way to get into the Christmas spirit, and it’s a fun activity to get the kids involved with in the run-up to the festivities.
And the best part is you don’t need glue guns and high tech wizardry to make some simple, effective, and eco-friendly Christmas decorations for your house. Here are a few top tips for some green Christmas crafting:
Eco-friendly Christmas tree
No house is complete without a Christmas tree to pile all those lovely presents under. Why not make your own this year? All you need is some spray paint, and a trip to the park with the kids. Pick up as many fallen leaves as you can (if they’re wet, you’ll need to dry them at home), and a few long, strong but relatively thin branches of different lengths. At home, lay down some newspaper, and spray the leaves with festive colors. When dry, pierce the leaves through and layer them along the branches. Leave about 30cm at the bottom of each branch, and tie the ends together with garden wire. Arrange the branches in a heavy-base pot or tall vase for your very own Christmas tree!
A recycled map Christmas tree decoration. Photo credit: Country Living Magazine Christmas Fair.
Personalized recycled wrapping paper
Reams of wrapping paper are wasted every year as presents are torn open by eager little fingers, only to be dumped in the rubbish bin. Why not try buying some plain recycled paper, and getting the kids to decorate it? You can make simple potato prints of festive things – a tree, a bell, a dove if you fancy a challenge. Then use some water-based paints in festive colors (red, green and gold, for instance), to dip them in, and print over the paper. Leave to dry, then wrap, and tie up with string. Add a ‘Please Recycle Me’ note, and voilà! Eco-friendly wrapping paper with a personal touch.
Recycled book sculptures
Got some old books you don’t need anymore? Here’s a great way to recycle them into festive Christmas ‘lanterns’. First, read this excellent tutorial which turns old books into pumpkins. Instead of a pumpkin shape, try a Christmas tree shape or a bell shape, and add a sprig of holly or ivy and a festive ribbon to the top. Easy peasy.
Take pinking shears to well-loved fabrics and make gift wrap for tricky shaped gifts. Use fabric you have at home like an old shirt or curtains, gather the fabric and tie with ribbon, recommends Fiskars. Photo credit: Fiskars.
Evergreens have been used for generations at Christmas time, not just for decorative purposes but also to ward off evil and illness. They’re also great to make garlands with, as they last for ages and won’t droop. Collect some evergreen branches – fir, holly, pine and ivy are great for this. Cut to size. Take a length of old rope (check the shed before you buy any!) just shorter than the length you want your garland to be, and using garden wire start to attach the branches, one by one. Don’t worry if there are gaps, you can fill these later with pine cones, berries and ribbon. When you’ve run the length of the rope, fill in the gaps. You can affix your garland to a branch and lay it along a mantelpiece, or you can wind it around a banister.