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12 Ways to Upcycle the Holidays

December 3, 2020

Did you know household waste increases 25% during the holiday season? We tend to think about waste in terms of the Thanksgiving food that goes uneaten or the extra baking during christmas but decorations, wrapping paper and more also add to our waste. Here are twelve awesome ways to DIY your upcycled holiday fixings that you can use to reduce your waste this holiday season. 

Upcycle Vintage Christmas Lights into Ornaments

Upcycled christmas ornament

Have some old christmas lights lying around? Don’t throw them away! With some twine glue and glitter or paint you can transform what would have been waste into a beautiful ornament for your christmas tree, holiday decor or even a unique gift idea.

Learn how to upcycle christmas lights at Home Talk.

Upcycle Plastic Bottles into Homemade Snow Globes

Upcycled plastic bottle holiday decorations

Another ornament or simple decoration you can make with the kids are these homemade snow globes made from upcycled plastic bottles. Using old decorations, cotton balls and plastic bottles you can create your own winter wonderland while reducing holiday waste.

Find instructions for upcycling plastic bottles into ornaments at Home Talk.

Upcycle Driftwood and Twigs into Christmas Tree Decorations

Upcycled holiday decorations

Love to DIY but you’ve already recycled bottles and old decorations? Look no further than the nature outside your window. With twigs or driftwood you can DIY your own upcycled Christmas Tree decoration. This can even be a fun activity to get the kids moving outside to collect the pieces. 

For how to make it yourself, check out the instructions at Instructables.

Upcycle Toilet Paper Roll into Gift Boxes

Upcycled toilet paper roll gift boxes

There’s no need to buy boxes for small gifts when you have... you read it right, toilet paper rolls! You can also use paper towel rolls for this DIY. Perfect for jewelry, cufflinks and other small gifts, you can give back to the planet while spreading smiles.

Find instructions for how to reduce your holiday gift wrapping waste at The Spruce Gifts.

Upcycle Plastic Bags and To-Go Cups into an Outdoor Holiday Light Decoration

Upcycled plastic bags holiday decorations

To make these pretty decorations all you’ll need are some lights, to-go cups, some plastic bags, double sided tape and scissors. They can spruce up your outdoor or indoor decorations while also helping you upcycle commonly single used items.

Glow up your outdoor holiday decor and find instructions at the Matsutake Blog.

Upcycle Toilet Paper Rolls into Snowflake Ornaments

Upcycled toilet paper roll snowflake ornaments

Who knew toilet paper rolls could be so versatile and cute? For this craft you’ll need toilet paper rolls, paint, scissors, glue, some beads and something to hang your snowflake ornament with. You can do multiple designs in different colors to make your Christmas tree decorations as unique as snowflakes.

Learn how to make these snowflake ornaments at the Veraviglie Blog.

Upcycled Aluminum Cans into Holiday Table Centerpieces

Upcycled aluminum can holiday centerpieces

Aluminum cans CAN be fabulous, and the tips from InstruPix can definitely prove it. For this DIY decoration, all you’ll need is an aluminum can, modge podge, your outer layer fabric of choice (burlap is pictured) and something to put inside it.

Spruce up your holiday tablescape with detailed instructions from InstruPix.

Upcycle a Gift Wrap Tube into Decorative Holiday Deer Decorations

Upcycled gift wrap tube holiday deer decorations

These reindeer are not only cute but upcycled! With twigs from around the yard, some twine and gift wrap tubes, your holiday decorations will be environmentally friendly and top tier this season. 

Learn how to make these upcycled holiday deer decorations at HGTV.

Upcycle Plastic Hangers into Snowflake Decor

Upcycled plastic hanger snowflake decoration

These plastic hanger snowflake decorations are great for displaying outdoors (since they’re mostly water resistant) or as wall decor. All you’ll need are old plastic hangers, zip ties and some scissors and voila you’ve got a great upcycled holiday decoration.

For a tutorial on constructing these upcycled snowflake decorations check out the Kris and Larry Blog.

Upcycle a Rusty Shovel into a Holiday Decoration

Upcycled shovel outdoor holiday decoration

Spruce up your porch with a little Shovel Decor! This idea comes from Crazy DIY Mom and all it entails is using acrylic paint to decorate your old shovel with a holiday scene. The possibilities are endless and you only need to use your creativity!

Upcycle Light Bulbs into Tabletop Decor

Upcycled light bulb snowman decorations

This idea from The WHOot is particularly useful when light bulbs are no longer useful or you buy the wrong one (we’ve been guilty of this one). All it takes is some acrylic paint, felt for the scarves, glitter, glue and your snowmen are ready to come to life! You can even do other designs like Santa with his big belly, or reindeer by adding antlers with wires. 

Upcycle Wine Corks into Mini Christmas Tree Ornaments

Upcycled wine cork christmas tree ornament

This DIY is not only easy but cute and could work as both an ornament or decoration. All you need to do is glue your wine corks together, paint them and you’re done, you might want to add a star made from recycled paper or cardboard as a finishing touch.

For more ways to upcycle wine corks check out Crafty Morning.

Let us know what you think about these Upcycled Decorations and tag @jalifruitco in your pictures on Facebook and Instagram. Happy Jalidays everybody!

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