Blog

Recycling Cardboard Boxes for Christmas

Posted on December 2, 2017 at 10:10 AM Comments comments (0)


Want to save money on packaging up your gifts this year? Here are a few ideas:


If you need boxes for your Christmas holiday gifts, don't go and buy them. You can pick up clean, empty boxes from your local shops so don't be shy. Get out there and ask!!


No gift wrap left over from last year's Christmas? You can pick up plain brown kraft paper at your local post office for under $3.00! Best part, you can use it year round for any occasion.



Why not create your own gift tags to match your packaging. You can pretty them up with any leftover ribbon. By the way, I used images culled from my collection of Dover Publications and also from the Graphics Fairy. In both cases, the images are copyright free. 

Plastic Bag Christmas Wreath

Posted on November 23, 2017 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (0)


When I was little, we used to make these plastic wreaths out of green plastic trash bags that we sold at Christmas to family and friends to raise money for school outings. They are still fun(and oh so easy) to make if you have plastic bags you would like to recycle. The complete wreath will last forever (unless someone pinches as happened to me a couple of time when I decorated the garage doors with them!!).




Of course I wouldn't dream of going and buying plastic bags for this project (I recycle, remember?). Instead I used four clear plastic dry cleaning bags that I scrounged from the neighbours and friends and a wire coat hanger stretched into a circle form.


As I said, these wreaths are really simple to make and you can even get your own kids to help out. The following are instructions for making the wreath out of clear dry cleaning bags, but you can use whatever plastic bags (e.g., bread or produce bags??) you have on had. You'll just have to adjust how many bags you will need.


What you need: 3 to 4 plastic dry cleaning bags (if you have to use plastic bread bags, you will need about 20 to 30 bags), one wire coat hanger and scissors


How to do it: NOTE: You may get a lot of static when cutting the plastic strips so work somewhere you don't want to find bits of plastic when you're done.


  1. First, bend the wire coat hanger into a circle (doesn't have to be perfect) and set aside.
  2. Next, cut the plastic bags into strips 1/2″ wide and about 5-6″ long. Don't worry about getting the strips perfect - the wreath actually looks better when the strips aren't perfectly cut.
  3. When you've cut out all the strips, take a one and tie it around the wire circle.
  4. Keep doing this with all the strips until the wreath is fully covered.
  5. Fluff the finished wreath up a bit to add volume.


For added sparkle, I pulled a copper wire scouring pad apart and decorated my wreath with it. I made the star garland using empty cereal boxes and glued these to more of the copper wire.



That's it.

Christmas Workshop - Used Book Ornaments

Posted on October 16, 2016 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (0)



This November I will be holding a Christmas Workshop at the Dovercourt Recreation Centre. Using old paperbacks and hardcover books, we will be making cute little snowmen, tiny Christma trees, star tree toppers as well one or two ornaments. These can be embellished with a little paint or even some glitter (bad, bad, bad, I know!! but it's Christmas).


For info and to register, click here


Christmas in July

Posted on July 6, 2016 at 6:25 PM Comments comments (0)

These past few days I've been dreaming of a white and COLD Christmas because the heat here in Ottawa is melting my brain! To keep cool, I'm using my mind and what better way than watching out for inspiring holiday projects to make. Besides I need the time to gather up material and stuff to recycle to make things for that wonderful festive time.


Well, this year it seems that the colour theme for Christmas 2016 pastel or white, which is okay with me. So I searched out some projects using this colour theme and I found a few you might enjoy - and I might even make.


Gift Wrap



This gift wrapping idea is from Sostrene Grene, an online shop specializing in mostly paper goods. Danish sisters Anna and Clare have a nice little catalogue that displays their products. This pastel theme idea would be easy copy using giftwrap and/or ribbons leftover from previous events and celebrations. Nice - and, for me, no trip to the mall will be required. Lots of great ideas for Christmas decorating at this site, too.


For ways to wrap your gifts like a professional, the folks at Hallmark have got you covered. Click here.


Christmas Stars



Aren't these stars gorgeous? Anu over at her website, Nalle's House, has a nice tutorial for these stars and even provides a template so you can make your own. I definitely will rummage through my paper horde and see what I have that I can use to make these twinklies. It's a very nice site so enjoy your visit. 


Garlands, Rosettes, and Snowflakes



An all-in-one idea - again the pastel theme is strong here and, bonus, all the projects are simple and economical to make using what you have in the way of paper. The polka dot garlands are simply circles of paper and would be easy enough for any child to create. For instructions to make these garlands, click here


Snowflakes are always fun to make. For an easy tutorial for you (or your kids) to make snowflakes, visit our lady Martha here.  


Large or small, colourful paper rosettes are another festive idea that can be used for any holiday or celebrations. For how-tos, click here


Again - check out what you've got in the paper department before heading for the shops. You can save a bundle. The above photo comes from here.


Paper Tree Ornament



This is definitely on my to-do list just because I love some easy that looks so elegant! You can find instructions for this cute little tree ornament here.


Linen and Gauze Wrapped Christmas Ornaments



Apparently these are actually covered in burlap and linen strips but they look like linen and gauze to me and that is what I would use if I had the fabric. Since I don't, I will need to find another way to recreate these. Hmmm - gauze - I may have some in my medicine cabinet. I found these at Fresh Designpedia but originally the holiday ornaments were sold on Etsy. I couldn't find the actually seller - and I suspect these are gone by now! 


You can make your own following this tutorial.