The Great ‘Recycle and Reuse’ Christmas Things Hunt



  • gb57
    gb57 Posts: 83 Forumite
    Paper tends to get torn, but those pretty bags are way too expensive not to be saved and reused (time and again), ditto undamaged bows.

    Put tree lights and decorations away carefully and reuse year after year (always done when I was a kid - no money in our family).

    Most of my decorations are holly and conifer cut from the garden and decorated with some red bows (always reused). This is a cheap and cheerful way of decorating the house which I have done for the last 20 years. I have had the same artificial tree for 24 years - and it still looks good - packed away carefully each year.

    If you really want a real tree, would it work to buy one with roots and keep it in a pot outside all year?? Has anyone done this?
  • mary43
    mary43 Posts: 5,845 Forumite
    All cards either get re-used to make cards for the following year or get recycled back to Woodland Trust or other charities.
    Wrapping paper, if we're careful, can either be reused as wrapping or used for christmas cards.
    We;ve had an artificial tree for years, plus artificial greenery.......decked out with a few gold baubles it fits the bill for us and we dont have to worry about buying another tree or more decs the following year.
    Empty wine bottle (bound to have a few) get rinsed out........fill up with some cheap bubble bath, stick a label on and a ribbon and thats another pressie for someone.
    Unwanted or unsuitable pressies are either passed on to someone else (not the person who sent them) or given to the local charity shop.
    Chocolate/Biscuit tins...............paint with enamel paint and fill with home made mince pies the following Christmas.......decorate the lid with something festive cut from an old Christmas card - or cover the tin with paper, christmas or anysort and use for storing bits and pieces.

    Can't think of anything else at the minute

    I'm creative -you can't expect me to be neat too !
    (Good Enough Member No.48)
  • sams247
    sams247 Posts: 1,112 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary
    When my son was a baby he got a pine needle in his eye and we have had an artificial tree ever since. Now he's 22 we decided we'd go for a real tree this year, we bought a tiny little things (less than 2 feet tall) and decorated it carefully, as it has roots and is a living thing. We are now adjusting ti to the cold and it goes out into the garden next week. Hopefully it will stay with us for a few Christmases yet
      To those who are given much, much is expected
    1. Shoeboxes covered in torn up christmas wrapping paper bits - papier mache style look great with a coat of varnish.

      About three layers of torn up bits - as artistic as you like. Use PVA glue (Early Learning Centre does it in washing up bottle sizes I think) watered down a bit. Paste the box in small areas, stick the bits down and paste over them etc. You will need to do it a side or so at a time to allow it to dry without sticking to the table or whatever.

      When doing the lid don't add so many layers that it won't fit!!!

      It will look really wonky while drying but will straighten out as you do all the sides.

      I store my Christmas Decorations and unused Christmas cards in mine.

      If you don't have any shoe boxes you can use such as crisp boxes and make a new lid out of scrap cardboard and sellotape. BUT allow room for the paper layers or it won't fit.

      If you don't want the expense of varnish it will be OK without as long as it doesn't get damp.:cool:
    2. Apart from the craft bit you can use it for plant ties - go on brighten up your tomatoes next summer!

      I also had a gift plant which was wrapped in cellophane ( haven't worked out how to use that yet) and loads of lovely RAFFIA which is definitely being used for plant and other ties.

      and a set of seagrass boxes tied up in lovely wired tartan ribbon which I may use to cover a cheap photo frame. It has already been used for a thank you fruit hamper for the school office staff but I requested both the hamper and the ribbon back - how cheap is that!
    3. MissG wrote: »
      What would be the easiest way to melt down the old wax

      In a mettle bowl, over a pan of boiling water.

      DO NOT be tempted to mealt directly IN the pan - the wax will combust if it gets too hot.

      Breaking the wax into little bits before attempting to melt it will speed the process up (and therefore use less gas/electricity).

      If you were carfull not to spill any, you could melt the wax over your veggies while you boil them - make use of that waste heat!

    4. If you don't want the expense of varnish it will be OK without as long as it doesn't get damp.:cool:

      An extra cote of PVA will do the trick - although water soluble when wet, it tries waterproof (or at least very water resistent)
    5. gb57 wrote: »
      Put tree lights and decorations away carefully and reuse year after year (always done when I was a kid - no money in our family).

      Is that really a "no money" thinmg to do - It's never occured to me that X-mas Decs are disposable, I thought everyone used them year after yaer?
    6. salbie
      salbie Posts: 10 Forumite
      We have had the same Christmas tree in a pot for the last three years, and one before that for 7 years. (Had to leave that one behind when coming to the UK) Ours has grown considerably, and won't be getting a new pot this year. I do have to remember to water it loads all year.
    7. Keep any decent Christmas gift wrap for wrapping pass the parcel at kids' birthday parties during the year.

      Let the kids have the wrapping paper to play post office

      Keep gift bows and reattach with double sided sticky tape - large roll available from most £ shops

      Lots of charities take donations of used stamps to sell to raise funds. I send mine off to The Leprosy Mission and Guide Dogs for the Blind.

      Fancy cellophane wrap can be reused to put around wild or garden cut flowers later in the year - just add greenery or gypsophilia and a bow or ribbon to make the bouquet look glamorous

      Also resuse cellphane wrap to put around mugs filled with treats (sweets or other)- great gifts for grandas, youth leaders, teachers. You can pick up multipacks of bone china mugs now in the sales to gift fill and wrap individually later
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