At Home | November 17, 2011 |
5 Ideas for Recycled, DIY Christmas Wreaths
by Sonia Tracy
The holiday season is approaching, with Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas all in quick succession. This is a busy time of the year, where many people find themselves looking for cheap and eco-friendly ways to decorate their home – especially when Christmas comes around and the majority of the money and time goes toward gifts for friends and family.
If you are looking for some fun DIY projects, why not try to create your own wreaths? There are a ton of great ideas floating around the Internet from people who have recycled items by turning them into interesting-looking decorations for their homes. These are five of the best recycled wreaths I could find.
1. Neck Tie Wreath
This wreath was created using old neck ties, which might not seem that eco-friendly at first glance. After all, how many old ties you never want to wear can be found sitting around the house? Even gathering them from friends and family can be a bit of an effort, considering how many appear to have been used here (18). But they don’t have to be your ties; they can be any ties. Many items can be acquired from secondhand or charity shops that would have otherwise sat on shelves or been thrown out.
Maybe someone would have bought it on a whim for 50 cents and then forgotten about it until the inevitable toss-out. By getting them yourself and reusing them for another purpose, you are ensuring that they stay out of the landfill. It is also a colorful and interesting addition to your home décor. While it is Christmas specific, being a wreath, it could really sit there all year long. Or, you could search out colors to make a different holiday theme, such as black and orange for Halloween or red and browns and greens for Thanksgiving.
I never know what to do with greeting cards. While I really do appreciate the thought, they just gather and collect so quickly that you never know where to put them. A couple of years ago I pulled out all of our Christmas stuff and found three boxes of greeting cards – really!
A great deal of them were from people I didn’t even really know, such as dentist’s offices or former co-workers, and that didn’t even cover the new ones arriving in the mail. So I sent them all to the recycling center. But I wish I had seen this idea before, because it is brilliant. The cards – which are nice and sturdy for this purpose – were cut up and put together into a wreath.
The shape of it, as well as the collection of colors and patterns, gives it a really complex look without a whole lot of work. The jagged ends are a nice touch, as they give it a bit more depth and attract the eye, despite the subdued tone from most of the cards. This could be done for other occasions as well – just think of all of those birthday cards you have laying around! Wouldn’t that be a cool idea for a party decoration?
3. Wine Cork Wreath
I don’t think a lot of families could handle getting together for Thanksgiving without at least a couple of bottles of wine. Then you have holiday parties, friends’ dinner parties, your own personal drinking during meals or after a hard day … bottles and corks can both really add up. If you aren’t a drinker, you can still find plenty of corks from people who are or even go to a local restaurant and ask them to save a few for you.
From there, you can make this really cool-looking cork wreath that uses strung and glued corks and beads. What I like most about this is the color scheme, which is very natural and Christmassy. You can see anyone who prefers more subdued or tasteful decorations enjoying it more than the others, which tend to be flamboyant. But if you wanted more color, they could be easily painted to fit your purpose. The material that makes up modern corks is spongy and versatile.
Everyone ends up with a whole lot of wrapping paper, tissue paper and ribbons by the end of the shopping season, don’t they? It is a huge source of frustration for me, as I end up stuffing unfinished rolls into storage to inevitably be damaged during the coming months, and I am forced to throw it out. Not only is this a waste of the trees that went into making it but a waste of money. So this year I plan on trying this project out. It is great to do with kids, as it is simple and fun.
All you need are paper plates, gift wrapping, ribbons or leftover tissue, scissors and glue or a glue stick. The site recommends tracing around a CD for the paper plate to get it in the right shape to cut in the center. All it takes is sticking the bits of wrapping onto the plate to decorate it, nice and thick. Then hang it up like any other. The wreath is very functional and actually has a pretty result.
This one is really cool but a little more difficult to make. It is made to allow you to change the fabric as you like in order to fix it for different holidays, occasions and styles. It is largely made of safety pins to put in the different decorations, but the main fabric piece making up the base is supposed to stay.
That is why it might be better to use a basic fabric color that can be adapted for any purpose, unless you have no problem with keeping different fabric bases to change along with the decorations. You have to find a wreath ring, which can be a little bit of a pain. But most craft stores have them for a couple of bucks. I like the idea of this wreath, because I enjoy keeping one up all year long. So being able to change the decorations as I please is great.
You can easily make your own wreaths with recycled materials, like fabric or paper. What are some of your own ideas? Share them in the comments below.Reprinted with permission from Sustainablog