Christmas Crafts: Lots of DIY Ideas with Recycled Materials

Tutorials for all ages and all tastes: from garlands to candles, from greeting cards to tree decorations

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By Linda Ferraro

DIY Christmas Crafts Ideas

Getting into the holiday spirit, there’s no better joy than diving into Christmas crafts, all while being eco-friendly with recycled materials. From repurposing old toilet paper rolls to cardboard boxes, glass jars to CDs, virtually anything can undergo a transformation into a Christmas-themed creation. Let your creativity guide you in crafting beautiful and unique recycled objects for the holiday season.

We offer a diverse array of craft ideas suitable for children of all ages, ranging from preschool to primary school, as well as ideas tailored for adults who still relish the joy of do-it-yourself projects.

Crafting Christmas Magic for All

Explore the timeless classics and an abundance of do-it-yourself concepts to spark your imagination. Some are straightforward, perfect for even the youngest participants, while others are more intricate, catering to both older children and adults alike.

Effortless and Swift DIY Christmas Crafts

Let’s kick off with uncomplicated Christmas crafts using readily available recycled materials. Here are some ideas to ignite your inspiration.

Wreaths with Cardboard Houses

Crafting decorative Christmas wreaths is not only visually appealing but also simple to execute.

  • Obtain a beige or coarse cardboard box and sketch around ten house shapes.
  • Cut out the shapes using scissors or a cutter.
  • Embellish the houses with a white permanent marker or whiteout, creating the illusion of gingerbread houses.
  • Suspend the houses on a string using small clothespins, repeating the process with additional boxes.
  • Hang the completed wreath.
christmas craft
Explore the versatility of felt in these festive projects.

Pine Cones for the Christmas Tree

Wondering how to adorn your tree? Utilize natural elements like pine cones, which you can spray with color and affix to the branches using a small string, securing it around the top.

DIY Christmas Crafts for Grown-ups

Crafting is not confined to youngsters; adults too can fashion splendid decorations by repurposing diverse materials. Draw inspiration from our assortment of creative ideas and dive into your crafty endeavors!

Christmas Glass Jars

Transforming glass jars can result in exquisite candle holders.

  • Acquire a pine cone, a sprig of fir, and some berries.
  • Bundle them together with a piece of raw twine, affixing the decoration around the top of the jar.
  • Pour a layer of fine salt into the jar and place a white candle inside.

Alternatively, create a radiant bottle garland:

  • Gather ten mini fir trees, a garland of ten LED lights, and ten bottles with cork stoppers.
  • Insert one fir tree into each bottle.
  • Seal the bottles with their cork stoppers.
  • Wind a section of the LED garland around each cork, maintaining equal distances.
  • Mount the decoration vertically or horizontally on the wall.

Crafting a Christmas Centerpiece

Consider a charming Christmas centerpiece using various materials. We suggest an idea involving terracotta jars, long white candles, moss, flower sponge, rosemary sprigs, and red berries.

  • Gather at least 6 jars.
  • Insert a piece of flower sponge into each jar.
  • Place candles into the sponge.
  • Cover the interior with moss, and add red berries and rosemary sprigs on top.
  • Arrange the jars in a wooden container at the table’s center.
christmas craft
Discover a variety of Christmas gift ideas, from candles to garlands.

Advent Calendar

For a unique Advent calendar, create one with a personal touch.

  • Acquire 24 recycled paper or jute bags and label them with numbers from 1 to 24.
  • Fill each bag with a different surprise.
  • Seal the bags with colored washi tape.
  • Place the bags inside a small wicker basket.

CD Christmas Decorations

Repurpose CDs for Christmas by wrapping them in thick green or red wool thread and adding colorful pom-poms.

  • Completely cover CDs with wool thread.
  • To hang CDs on the tree, tie a piece of string around the top.
  • DIY Christmas Felt Decorations

Tree-shaped Felt Decorations

Let’s start with the tree-shaped decorations, perfect for hanging on a DIY Christmas tree.

  • Obtain green and red felt, scissors, hot glue, red wool thread, a pencil, and an ice cream stick.
  • Draw three hearts on the green felt, varying in size, and cut them out.
  • Glue the medium-sized heart onto the larger one and the small one onto the latter to form a tree.
  • Cut stars from the red felt and glue them onto the tree.
  • Attach a small heart to the tree’s tip using red thread for hanging.
  • Glue the tree onto the ice cream stick, serving as the trunk.

FOCUS: How to make a candle wick in a few steps

Christmas Cards

Craft delightful Christmas cards, such as a cardboard gingerbread house.

  • Cut a rectangle from raw kraft cardboard.
  • Fold it in half like a greeting card.
  • Make two oblique cuts near the fold for the roof.
  • Decorate the house with a white permanent marker to resemble gingerbread.
  • Outline windows, doors, and decorations.
  • Write your wishes inside. It’s so easy!

Christmas craft

Christmas Crafts for Gifting

Do you want some Christmas gift ideas to give yourself this year? The ideas are countless, from Christmas candles to garlands.

DIY Christmas Candles

Create scented candles for the home with a festive touch.

  • Gather soy wax pads, a container for the candle (e.g., glass jar), a pre-waxed cotton wick, a toothpick to hold the wick, essential oils, and candle dyes (optional).
  • Attach one end of the wick to the container’s bottom.
  • Roll the wick onto a toothpick and place it horizontally over the container’s opening.
  • Melt the wax in a bain-marie, adding essential oils and coloring.
  • Pour the wax into the container, leaving space at the top.
  • Allow it to cool overnight.
  • Trim the wick about 1cm from the top of the wax.

FOCUS: How to make homemade biodegradable candles

Christmas Wreaths for the Door

Want to adorn your house with a beautiful wreath for Christmas? Craft one by interweaving flexible young sprigs of plants like willow or eucalyptus, or utilize materials such as raffia, straw, or gardening wire for a multi-layered circular base.

Enhance it by adding evergreen sprigs, real or artificial berries, leaves, and ribbons. Use hairspray to set the color and prevent yellowing of the leaves.

Finish it off with a sturdy string at the top, and it’s ready to grace your door.

Christmas Crafts for Selling

Why not? For the creatively inclined, consider selling your handmade creations at Christmas markets or online platforms like Etsy.

Check the selling conditions beforehand; for Etsy, a VAT number is required. In markets, occasional work might not necessitate it.

What to Offer?

  • Christmas candles
  • Hand-painted greeting cards
  • Christmas baubles from recycled materials
  • Christmas wreaths
  • Themed clothes and accessories
  • Red or purple velvet bags
  • Christmas-themed jewelry
  • Christmas decorations using toilet paper rolls
  • Toilet Paper Roll Christmas Trees

Transform old toilet paper rolls into charming Christmas trees

Do you want to try your hand at creating a truly one-of-a-kind DIY tree? Then:

  • Collect 31 rolls, paint 27 green and 4 brown.
  • Use hot glue to join the first 7 rolls to create the base.
  • Add 5 rolls on top, gluing them to the base and to each other.
  • Continue with layers of 4, 3, 2, and 1 roll.
  • Create the trunk by gluing the 4 brown rolls in pairs and then together.
  • Attach the tree to the trunk and add small balls inside each roll with hot glue.

Toilet Paper Roll Christmas Angels

Craft delightful Christmas angels with old toilet paper rolls:

  • Paint a toilet paper roll, making 2/3 white and 1/3 pink.
  • Fold a perforated paper doily for sweets to form wings, gluing them to the back.
  • Trace mouth, nose, and eyes on the pink part.
  • Make hair with a paper straw and glue it on top.
  • Create a halo with gold paper.

DIY Christmas craft

Toilet Paper Roll Santa Claus

Even Santa Claus can be crafted from a simple toilet paper roll. How to do it?

  • Paint the roll red (except the top, painted pink).
  • Cut dress details from white, black, and gold cardstock.
  • Create a white central stripe and a black belt with a golden buckle.
  • Draw face details on the pink part and glue a cotton beard.
  • Craft a red hat and add a white pom-pom to the tip, then glue it over the face.

Christmas Crafts Ideas for Nursery

Engage young children in crafts, from balls with tracing paper to reindeer with toilet paper rolls:

Balls with Tracing Paper

Making them is very simple! Just prepare some white paper balls without the central part, as if they were rings. Then:

  • Have children glue them onto tracing sheets.
  • Fill the inside with colored tissue paper using a glue stick.
  • Assist in cutting out the balls and hang them on windows.

Reindeer with Toilet Paper Rolls

For this craft all you need is an old roll, a red pom pom, black cardboard and a black marker, and vinyl glue.

  • Glue the red pom-pom as a nose.
  • Children draw eyes above it.
  • Cut out ears from black cardstock and glue them to the back.
  • Optionally paint the inside of the roll red.

Crafting Snowflakes with Ice Cream Sticks

For nursery school children, propose ideas that are not too demanding but offer a small creative challenge to stimulate their imagination. This is a very cool idea: utilize ice cream sticks to fashion delightful snowflakes for your Christmas tree.

  • Obtain 4 sticks for each snowflake and paint them with your chosen tempera color.
  • Embellish them by attaching glitter, rhinestones, or other preferred details using glue.
  • Create a bow shape by gluing the sticks together with hot glue.
  • Craft a loop with a string and attach it to the back of one stick for hanging the decoration.

Christmas Crafts with Air-dry Clay

Find a clay-like paste that’s easy to mold and doesn’t require baking for hardening. Employ it during Christmas to craft charming tree decorations or garlands.

  • Trace shapes like hearts, stars, or moons on the modeling clay using cake molds.
  • Cut out the shapes with a plastic knife.
  • Make a small hole at the top of each shape using a wooden skewer, and insert a piece of string for hanging.
  • Allow it to harden.
  • Optionally color with tempera.

Christmas Crafts for Primary School

As primary school children are a bit older, you can introduce slightly more intricate crafts using recycled materials.

Wool Trees with Polystyrene Cones

Offer primary school children the creative challenge of making wool trees with polystyrene cones, resulting in adorable creations.

  • Cover the cones with coarse green wool thread, securing it with strong glue or double-sided tape.
  • Embellish the tree by adding colored pom-poms and a cardboard star at the top.

Santa Faces with Paper Plates

Utilize leftover paper plates to craft charming Santa faces that can be hung on windows or strung together for a festive garland.

  • Cut the plate in half and draw facial details such as eyes, pink cheeks, red nose, and mouth.
  • Craft a hat from red paper or cardboard and glue it to the top of the plate.
  • String the faces on a long piece of string using small wooden clothespins to create a garland.

Santa Claus, Fir Trees, Snowmen, and Reindeer with Toilet Paper Rolls

Repurpose leftover toilet paper rolls to create adorable Santa Clauses, fir trees, snowmen, and reindeer, perfect for forming a small landscape or nativity scene.

  • Obtain thin white, red, and green cardboard.
  • Cut the cardboard into strips matching the height of the toilet paper rolls.
  • Wrap the strips around the rolls and glue them.
  • Draw Santa’s face details with a marker, including eyes, red nose, and mouth.
  • Draw snowman face details with a marker.
  • Make two vertical cuts in half of the green rolls.
  • Cut a hat from red cardboard and glue it to Santa Claus.
  • Last, cut a triangle from the green card and insert it into the green fir tree roll.

DIY Christmas Crafts

Repurposing Plastic Bottles

Consider this creative recycling idea for plastic: transform a small bottle into charming snowflakes, perfect for hanging on fir branches.

  • Cut out the bottom of the bottle.
  • Decorate it with a white permanent marker.
  • Create two small holes on one side and thread a piece of ribbon or string through, securing it with a knot.
  • Hang the plastic snowflakes on the tree or in the windows.

Additional Activities for Children

Explore these do-it-yourself games and crafts suitable for all ages: