Because the landfills out there are frightful, but crafting is so delightful
December 10, 2008 10:59 AM   Subscribe

Christmas is coming, but while the goose may be getting fat, your wallet is not. And you’re dreaming of a green Christmas. How, you ask, can one decorate a home economically and with consideration for the environment? This depends on what you’ve got sitting around the house already. Do you have lots of old Christmas cards that always seemed too pretty to throw away? Use them to make a star or two, tree ornaments, angels, gift boxes, a basket, a wreath or a small tree.

If you’ve been making merry with the aid of copious amounts of alcohol, you can use the empty bottles or cans to make a tree. Aluminum cans could be used to make angels; a wine bottle can make a small tree; an old pop bottle can become a star. A plastic tub from the kitchen and a Christmas-themed paper napkin can become a flower pot. Your old CDs can be used to make tree ornaments or a wreath. If you’ve been going broke buying baby food, use the jars to make a centrepiece. If you’re a starving student and have spent your all on textbooks, use them to make a tree. Old light bulbs can be used to create new ornaments, like these snowmen, this reindeer or this Grinch, and old tin cans make cute snowmen or Santa jars. Scratched Christmas ornaments can be made useable again with crocheted covers. You can also recycle old clothing to make ornaments for the tree, or Christmas stockings for everyone in your household. And now you can only hope that Santa will consider that being a good crafter is tantamount to having been good.;-)
posted by orange swan (15 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
If you do even a fraction of the crafty things you post about, I don't see how you have any time to fiddle around on the web! I hate to throw away old christmas cards, so these ideas are great. Thanks for another top-notch post!
posted by TedW at 11:04 AM on December 10, 2008

I'm dreaming of a green christmas, though possibly of a different variety.
posted by mannequito at 11:12 AM on December 10, 2008 [2 favorites]

Thanks! But how do I make a doll ?
posted by swift at 11:12 AM on December 10, 2008

I like the idea of this -- not necessarily for the creativity, but for whatever it takes to disconnect cheap Chinese trinkets with Christmas. I think it's a cultural thing as I enjoy having things like authentic German advent calendars. China? Well, all I think about is sweatshops, smokestacks, and spam.
posted by crapmatic at 11:17 AM on December 10, 2008

orange swan, I thank you. My daughter will be on holiday break soon and your crafting posts have given us sooooooo much to do. And it's useful too!
posted by shmurley at 11:38 AM on December 10, 2008

I'm dreaming of a green christmas, though possibly of a different variety.

Joy to the world starts with me.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:44 AM on December 10, 2008

If we're talking about that kind of green, I would prefer a brown, or at least a red, Christmas.
posted by orange swan at 11:54 AM on December 10, 2008

orange swan - cheers!

swift - may this face haunt you like it now haunts me.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:24 PM on December 10, 2008

Orange Swan, Do you have any electric money?

(What kind of question was that?)

uhm! I was troll flirting.
posted by doctorschlock at 1:23 PM on December 10, 2008

We're talking about different green holidays.
posted by mannequito at 3:21 PM on December 10, 2008

Upcycling rules.
posted by medea42 at 5:12 PM on December 10, 2008

I knew I should've read that article in the free weekly about green christmas, although knowing their usual contents, it probably would've told me how to invite aliens into my home using wrapping paper.

I should start wrapping stuff in newspaper, but I have this weird kleptomania when it comes to shiny wrapping paper.

anyways, I knew I was saving all those christmas cards for something.
posted by rubah at 9:58 PM on December 10, 2008

Humbug. The greenest Christmas is the one for which you decorate not at all. What a waste of time, effort and resources. I really don't comprehend the custom, even though I grew up with it. And I'm not trashing the holiday, just the home decorating. Outside decorating, well, that I appreciate, assuming the northern hemisphere. Pretty lights make sense at the darkest time of year.
posted by Goofyy at 11:45 PM on December 10, 2008

Goofyy, I was having the same conversation with my Spousal Equivalent and his parents recently. They are getting on up there in years; both of them have hit the magic 80 year old mark, and don't have any kids or grandkids who visit during the holidays. It's just the two of them, and any stray friends who drop by... hardly worth the effort of dragging all the Christmas crap down from the attic.

Well, my 52 year-old S.E. said that our situation is much the same as his elderly parents - it's just the two of us, except his 17 year old daughter will be with us for at least part of the holiday itself. He wouldn't care in the least if we didn't decorate the house like we have done in years past. He has a little tabletop fiber optic tree that he loves, and that's all he ever did - before he hooked up with me, and my fifty boxes of holiday decorations.

I decided that most of us who grew up with the decorating tradition agonize about continuing it once we reach a "certain age." But, it's yet another one of those things that if we don't do it, somewhere in the back of our brains we think that we've wasted one whole year of Christmas spirit that we won't ever get back. I don't know how many Christmases I have left, and I don't want to let a single one slip past me without a celebration.

Yet, this year, I'm in a bah-humbug mood, and haven't put the tree up, or done much of anything for Christmas except put up some festive outdoor lights and garland. I have to admit that it cheers me to see my pretty multi-colored lights around my front door and on my windowsills.

These crafty ideas... well, I just might have to get in the mood afterall! Thanks, orange swan!
posted by Corky at 6:52 AM on December 11, 2008

I decided that most of us who grew up with the decorating tradition agonize about continuing it once we reach a "certain age."

Or have mothers who pressure us.

I have never gotten into Christmas decorating. I always helped do it as a child, and it was nice, and I'd do it if I had a family of my own. But I live by myself and go to my parents' for Christmas Day, so it just doesn't make sense to me. I've never had a tree. But my mother won't give me any peace about not doing it. And she gives me a Christmas ornament every year for Christmas so I have things she can nag me about putting up. I call home to talk to my parents once a week, and starting with the first call in December, my mother asks me if I've got my Christmas decorations up yet. The query is repeated weekly until I do it.

I moved into my current home just over two years ago, on December 6, 2006. My mother came down to Toronto to help me — and indeed she was a wonderful help. I had thought this would be the ONE year she wouldn't give me a hard time about decorating for Christmas. But there I was, on moving day, surrounded by boxes, and my mother said to me, "You'll have to get your Christmas decorations up by the end of the week." It was a Wednesday. Sigh.
posted by orange swan at 8:31 AM on December 11, 2008

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