Category Archives: holiday crafts: Christmas (recycled stuff)

Repurpose Foil Seal Tops into Quick Gift Tags and Ornaments

MYO Ornament from foil seal

These flashy round foil pull off seals are perfect for making into a quick gift tag or Christmas ornament. Do you recognize this otherwise discarded product? Some food items contain a foil seal like this under the screw on top. Children can easily make these into ornaments. They can even add their own message too by “carving” onto the soft aluminum material. A ball point pen works well. Or use anything with a firm but rounded tip. You could also write on them with a permanent marker.MYO Foil Gift Tag

I like that the silver of the foil gives it a bling look.

MYO Foil Gift Tag Carved Aluminum

The aluminum Chipotle bowl cover is perfect for this purpose too. It is thicker than regular aluminum foil but still soft enough to scratch/ carve into if desired.

These pictures should get you started. Be creative!

Cone Tree Craft With A Surprise

I wanted something to decorate the kids table for Christmas dinner this year and this is what I came up with. It is a festive forest of wrapping paper trees with a surprise inside. You can make them too. Hide the treat/ gift inside or place it in the trunk of the tree. If it is inside, kids will have the fun of “unwrapping” the gift. If you place the gift in the trunk, kids can take the tree home as a party favor. You decide.

This is also a great project to do on Christmas day! Use different pieces of wrapping paper after opening your Christmas presents. Let the kids make a lot and decorate the house with these festive trees.

You will need: scrape pieces of wrapping paper or brown packing paper, salvaged paper cups, toilet roll tubes, and some glue or paste. A treat or small toy is optional. If you use new paper cups you are missing the point of this project. I don’t like disposable paper cups but sometimes it is necessary when out. I save those cups for future craft projects like this.

Different cups will make different sized cones. Experiment to see what size paper is needed for the size cup you are using.

They look stylish without a stem too.

Decorative Swags Made With The Sweet Little Pinecones Of Hemlock Trees

Finding and gathering the pine cones is half the fun of this project.

This is what a Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga Canadensis) plant looks like. It is native to some parts of Maryland, as well as, much of New England.

I collected these during a visit to NH.

These are simple to make. Tie the pinecones to a string one at a time; working your way along the string.

I don’t think I captured just how cute these swags are but I think you get the idea.

Decorative Trees Made From Scrap Fabric

When I think winter, I think evergreen trees. Here are some easy to make stylized evergreen trees made out of fabric. They can easily be made by children and given as a charming Christmas gift.

Here are some of the trees done by one of my students from my winter sewing/crafting workshop 2010.

Make the tree stump(s)

Find a tree branch of the desired diameter. Cut tree stumps using a miter saw if you have one.

Keep in mind, if the stumps are too small in diameter, the trees will fall over.

Make the tree top

1. Cut Fabric

Use a plate to mark a circle on your fabric and cut out. Next, cut the circle in half. Each half can make a tree.

2. Sew

Fold the semicircle in half with the good side of the fabric facing in. Use a sewing machine or hand -sew a straight line up the side as shown in the photo. Make your cone wider or narrower by adjusting your sewing line.

3. Turn and Stuff

Cut off the extra fabric. Then, turn the cone right side out and add stuffing.

4. Stitch

Using large stitches sew all the way around the bottom of the cone.

5. Gather

Pull the thread from both ends until the fabric is gathered together and the hole is gone.

6. Tie A knot

Knot the thread.

7. Glue

Add glue to the stump and glue in place.

8. Let Dry

Use a glass or another object to weigh down the tree top until the glue is dry.

9. Done

10. Make More

Make a whole forest of trees!

Punched Tin Christmas Tree Ornaments: An Easy To Make Children’s Craft

These vintage inspired punched “tin” ornaments are so easy to make. I’ve been meaning to post this project for ages. I love history and learning about how people lived. Isn’t it inspiring how resourceful and creative people can be. The early Americans were no exception, because glass was so expensive and not very durable, tin was used to make lanterns. Because tin wasn’t transparent like glass, holes were punched in the sides to allow the candle to shine through producing a beautiful display of spotted light. Often times elaborate patterns were made. These lanterns were my inspiration for this project. Although not necessarily tin, these metal tops make perfect sized ornaments. Furthermore, the edges are already smooth.

I hope you spend some quality time with the kids making attractive Christmas tree ornaments using salvaged materials.

These ornaments and many more were done free hand. My girls sure liked making them.

You will need a small hammer, a selection of nails, and a board or other hard surface to work on.

You will also need “tin” tops and ribbon or thread.

To make:

1. Collect the tops and bottoms of cylindrical packaging from chips, crescent rolls, biscuits, dinner rolls, etc…

2. Get a pattern or draw your own on paper (or use no pattern at all). When I make some patterns, I’ll post them here.

3. Hold or tape in place the pattern you are using. The pattern should be centered on your “tin” top.

4. Use a hammer and nail to make holes. Make sure you have a board (or an old cutting board) underneath so as not to ruin your table. Use a workbench if you have one.

5. Add an extra hole in the top for stringing a ribbon or cord through to hang on tree.