I love Holiday decorating. It gives me a great excuse to be crafty and creative. However, even if you are heavily into DIY, you will find you can still go overboard and end up spending a lot of money on materials, tools and supplies. This year I challenged myself to make things without braking the bank by using materials and tools I already had at home and by upcycling and reusing items. I am happy to say I was very successful. I satisfied my crafty side, and ended up with a few Christmas decorations to make my home look festive…while spending $0. Yeah, I didn’t spend a single penny in any of my projects.
My first project was the garland (on the photo above) made with left over felt from previous projects. It was super easy to put together. Basically it is just felt circles of various sizes and colors, sewn together. I made NOEL felt letter as well to go along with the garland. The letters are attached to the garland by using small clothespins, that way, I can reuse the garland to decorate for birthday parties and other occasions that require some cheerful decor.
I also ended up making a yarn wreath. A little time consuming, but totally worth it at the end. I used a swimming noodle (I had an unused one sitting in the garage collecting dust for over a year), lots of white yarn, a hot glue gun for the base. For the flowers I used felt and bits of old sweaters. If you want to make your own, basically take the swimming noodle and attach the ends with tape. Then cover it with the yarn, remembering to fix it in place with the glue gun every now and then. Keep wrapping the yarn around the noodle until it is completely covered. Then spice it up to your liking. To mine, I beautified it with flowers made of felt and old sweaters, and a twig from the garden. This was the final result:
Notice the two Christmas trees sitting on the shelf? Those are made of old books. Lots of paper folding but very easy to put together (can be done while watching a Christmas movie), . A great way to upcycle your old books or magazines.
I revamped the stocking as well and made them look more modern and playful by reshaping them into elf boots and adding felt dots. I was going to personalize them, but instead I opted for hanging each stocking below a framed photo of its owner wearing a Santa hat. Now that I think about it, this works out great since my kids (4 and 2) don’t read yet…the photos make it really easy for them to identify their own stocking. Here’s the final result:
One of my favorite Christmas touches is this tree branch with hanging ornaments:
I was going to spray paint the branch white but I decided against it, mainly out of laziness. Notice the vase the branch is in? This is an inexpensive glass vase from Ikea…I wrapped it in the turtle neck portion I cut off from an old knitted sweater, added a ribbon, and voila! instant festive decor.
I also used tree branches in my kitchen to display our Holiday cards. I simply inserted the tree branches in a metal bucket with a chalkboard label (which we usually use in the playroom for the kids’ toys), wrote Season’s Greetings on it and attached the Christmas cards with small wooden clothespins. Easy, peasy.
And finally (for today anyway) I made more reusable Christmas gift bags. Last year, appalled by all the wastefulness that goes into packaging and wrapping presents we decided to make our Holidays more eco-friendly by making reusable fabric gift bags in various sizes. So this year, I only had to add a couple of smaller bags to the ones I already made last year. Making the bags is really easy, especially if you use felt (check out my Reusable Christmas Gift Bag Tutorial). And I must say wrapping present was a breeze! Just insert into the bag, attach ribbon and tag (mine are reusable chalkboard labels) and done. Here is a photo of my fabric gift bags under my tree:
And here is a final peek of my home:
There will be a part 2 to this post in the next couple of days. In the mean time, I hope you are inspired to be creative and use what you already have in your home, reuse and upcycle the old into new to add Holiday cheer to your home. A lot of the projects in this post were inspired by my DIY Christmas Board over at Pinterest. Check it out, you will even be able to find detailed tutorials for some of them.