Recycled Christmas

Already on my second blog post ever, I am veering from my main purpose. Let’s take a jaunt off our “home improvement” course onto the side street of one of my favorite things … crafts!

I believe I mentioned I am operating on a budget. I also somewhat abhor the wastefulness of Christmas … wrapping paper all over the place … cards … gifts upon gifts … stocking stuffers … stockings themselves. Not to mention the energy of all those Christmas lights! (Though I must admit I am a sucker for those lights). Don’t get me wrong. I love the holidays as much as the next person. But this last Christmas 2013, Daniel and I made a special effort to minimize, reuse, reduce, and recycle.

My first project were homemade, personalized Christmas cards! I searched for funky images in magazines (National Geographic, Vogue, Psychology Today…) and cut them out. Once I had my treasure trove of pictures, I pulled out a nice black pen (rather, stole borrowed from Daniel’s very classy pen collection), and my old set of pastels to create a holiday arrangement and message. Here are a few examples…



That’s right. Fashion models get excited.Image

A muddy inundation in National Geographic suddenly becomes hot chocolate with some imagination. 🙂ImageAlfred Hitchcock, you’ve never been so festive.

ImageThe only reason I could make this one is because I am lucky enough to have friends in cold places to remind me how happy I am to live in Texas!


Not afraid to be cheesy.

We also seem to have begun a tradition of handmade (recycled) Christmas trees. Here is our Christmas tree from 2012 when we actually spent the $20 on one of those miniatures from Whole Foods. There was a great piece in a National Geographic on the redwood forest with one of those great big fold outs with all of the creatures, tiny and not-so-tiny, that inhabit those great trees. We cut out some of our favorites, hot-glued short pipe-cleaners to the back, and twisted those around the branches so that we could have some of our redwood friends on our Christmas tree at home with us.


ImageAnd here is our most recent Christmas tree from 2013. This time we used book pages from an old Nancy Drew book to make paper snowflakes (which we also put in the window … shame on me for not taking pictures). This time we didn’t even spend the $20 at Whole Foods. Instead we collected branches from around the neighborhood.

ImageBesides the re-gifted gift bags, the two in front were using paper bags. (See Banana Republic? It had the help of some colored Sharpie art.)


Here’s some more on that recycled gift wrap. From all those times we forgot to take our reusable grocery bags into Wheatsville or Whole Foods with us, we had a collection of paper bags accumulating under the sink, growing to a worrisome height so that it was reaching its cupboard limits! So … get out the coloring supplies and reuse, recycle!

ImagePlease don’t miss the poetry by subtraction. I was in fact inspired by a link a wonderful friend had sent me, here.

Well, new friends. Despite the holidays being over, perhaps this was of some entertainment at the very least. Does anyone else have some creative holiday decor/gift wrap/gifting ideas you can share?


One thought on “Recycled Christmas

  1. Elise

    Proud to be a recipient of one these beautiful cards! Working on a response to be mailed soon…. Keep up the fun blogging, Anne!


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