How to Make Recycled Christmas Decorations and Ornaments

By Fawn Farley , last updated November 21, 2011

Making Christmas ornaments and decorations from recycled material is a great, green way to spread Christmas cheer. Not only is it a fun activity you can do with the kids, but you also are sure to have unique decorations at little to no cost. Plus, by using recycled material, you are reducing clutter and waste. Last year's Christmas cards, tin cans, twigs from the backyard, and used wine corks are all materials you can save from the garbage and use to decorate your home and tree for the holidays.

Twiggy Stars

Scan your backyard for fallen twigs. You will need five twigs of the same length, and each twig will become a side of the star. Tie them together by crisscrossing the sticks just below the point of each star using red yarn or rope. Alternatively, you can use the collection of popsicle sticks or "disposable" chopsticks you have lying around that would otherwise be destined for the trash. The greatest thing about recycled crafts is that you can be resourceful and use whatever it is you have on hand. These stars look natural and festive hanging from the tree. For a bit of shine, cut out used tin foil as a backing for the star.

Old Christmas Card Ornaments

Last year's Christmas cards are a pot of gold for crafty folk. To make a globe ornament, you will need one pretty card front, two paper fasteners, a pair of scissors, a hole punch, and some decorative thread. Cut the card into thin strips and punch a hole at the ends of each strip. Gather your strips and place a fastener through all the holes at one end. You may need to coax the strips into a curved C shape. Fasten the other side together in the same fashion, and fan the strips out, making a globe shape. Wind the thread around the fastener to create a hanger.

Tin can Lanterns

This is a super cute way to reuse tin cans and to create festive Christmas lighting. Gather some tin cans, peel their labels, and make sure they are clean. You will need a hammer, nail, and marker. Use the marker to dot out the pattern of your choice. Choose a reindeer, Christmas tree, candy canes, or snowman. Each dot will be where light shines through. To make the task easier, fill the can with water and freeze overnight. Now with the can full of ice, hammer the nail, penetrating each dot. Remove the ice, dry, and add a tea light candle. You now have a beautiful lantern!

Wine Cork Deer

For this adorable ornament, you will need two large corks, a small cork, two tiny branches, some googly eyes, and a red pompom. Cut one large cork in half to make the reindeer legs. The other large cork will be the body and the small cork the head. Use a glue gun to arrange the pieces of the deer together. Glue the branches as antlers and the red pompom as the Rudolph nose. Other material such as bells and tassels can be used to elaborate. Hot glue a ribbon loop to the back of the reindeer's head to hang it on the tree.

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