Upcycle Your Holidays

If your home is already crammed to the gills with “stuff,” the prospect of adding even more items during the holiday season can make your skin crawl.

One way to alleviate this uncomfortable feeling and save money at the same time is to learn the fine art of upcycling.  Pinterest has made a fortune from the fad, so there’s no reason you can’t benefit as well.

Before heading to the mall to drain your wallet on expensive Christmas-themed paraphernalia, gather your kids and take a tour of your home.  Look for items that can transformed into amazing holiday presents and décor, and then spend the afternoon together making the following:

Christmas Cards:  Go through your boxes of old Christmas greeting cards and cut-out the most beautiful images.  Then, paste the old pictures on new cardstock to create an inexpensive holiday greeting.  Another cost-effective option is to adhere the images to colored cardstock to create gift tags.  If you are a scrapbooker, glue the greeting card images onto leftover patterned paper you kept from old layouts.  The end result:  pretty gift tags you can attach to holiday presents.

Garland:  Go through your junk mail bin and retrieve magazines and brochures that you can make into Christmas garland.  To make the festive decoration, simply cut strips of colorful paper from your junk mail.  Remember:  the bigger the strip, the larger your finished garland will be.  Next, tape or staple the strips together to form rings.  Finally, join the rings together to make a chain which you can hang from your Christmas tree or place on a mantle.

Ornaments:  You can make a slew of affordable tree ornaments with items found around your home.  For example, leftover egg cartons can be cut-up and painted to make bell-shaped ornaments.  You could also embellish them with glitter or sequins to make them even fancier.  Likewise, cookie cutters can be traced on leftover cardboard, and then cut-out to make cute ornaments.  Let your kids decorate them with discarded fabric or lace to further enhance their appearance.  Even unwanted CDs can be upcycled.  Simply, glue some glitter or gems onto the discs, thread ribbon through the center hole, and hang on the tree.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.