Holiday decorations can change a room, lift your spirits, and inspire you for a season. Our social media manager’s mother’s house might have six Christmas trees. There is a range of decorations, and everyone has their favorites. I love lights; twinkly string lights, warm hanging orbs above an evergreen display, and a traditional Moravian star that represents the history of my hometown, founded by Moravians.
The act of decorating is almost better than the decorations themselves. Recycling materials and upcycling things from around the house is a great way to both decorate your home and create a fun activity!
I don’t know about you but pinecones were always the go-to elementary school decoration during craft time. Paint glue on the pointed edges of the pine cone and then roll it in a pile of glitter. Use a red ribbon to tie a loop at the top of the cone. Now it can be hung on your tree, above the fireplace mantle, or from a light fixture above your dining table.
The pinecone has been a part of rituals for thousands of years. Ancient carvings show pinecones used in purification rites. It is something that we don’t think about during most of the year, but once November rolls around this vehicle of seed distribution (and a source of food for animals) becomes important to many celebrations.
- Toilet paper roll stars
What to do with the empty toilet paper roll? I always recycle (usually they are recycled along with other cardboard items), or use them to fire up a wood stove. But I’ve learned that you can also upcycle a roll and make hanging stars for ornaments or a household decoration.
First cut the roll into five or six rings, then glue the rings together in a circle so they are oriented around one point. Then decorate to your particular taste! Paint each ring a different color by hand, or use spray paint. Once the color is dry, paint the edges with glue and stamp each star into a bowl of glitter--or shake glitter onto the entire star before the paint is dry. There are lots of possibilities for an afternoon of craft-centered fun.
- Paper chains with intentions
As a kid my sister and I always made paper chains as soon as the calendar turned to December. We celebrated Christmas and so our chains contained the amount of days until December 25th. We cut sheets of red, green and white construction paper into strips. One of us would glue or tape the strips into rings and then loop the rings together into a long chain. Before going to bed each night I excitedly tore a ring off. One day closer.
A paper chain can count down to any holiday or celebration. Today if I made a chain I would use it to decorate a tree; it looks festive even if you aren’t tearing it to pieces in anticipation of a particular day. Glue and glitter can easily make an appearance on this upcycled decoration too. I’d suggest painting and glittering the strips of paper before making them into a chain.
A spin on this decoration is to write an intention on each ring. What do you want to remember this season? What are you thankful for? What are your reflections bringing you as you consider the past year? Perhaps these intentions are written on a ring and hung up over the mantle like Tibetan prayer flags—their existence is enough. Or, maybe the hcildhood tradition of tearing off a ring gets repurposed for this upcycled decoration: each day tear off a ring and re-read the intention you wrote.
No need to shop for decorations this year, but if you do, shop small :)