Action 349: Make your own Christmas tree ornaments

Christmas decorationDate: 15 December
Action: 349
Cost of taking action: NIL or LOW


By our guest author Halima Curran in Libya

Let’s reduce the demand for plastic, shop-bought decorations this year

The festive season has arrived once again and revelers the world over are decorating their houses with glittering gewgaws (baubles) that delight the eye.

Many people usually have a box which they bring out yearly and, if the decorations still retain their sparkle, reuse them. Great. But sometimes you may feel the need to liven up a dark, bare branch of your (hopefully replantable) tree with something exuding festive cheer.

Before you dig deep into your somewhat depleted pocket (hopefully your gifts are eco-friendly this year!) take a look at these DIY projects! Most of their components could otherwise end up in the bin!

I gathered a motley crew of helpers together, ranging in ages from 5 to 11, and set them to work on these ideas … read on …

Christmas scenery in a cheesebox

These can be hung on a large Christmas tree (idea gleaned from an old Ladybird book, ‘Things to Make.’).

You’ll need some old Christmas cards, round cheese boxes, poster paints, glitter, sequins and any bits and pieces that can give the pictures a 3D appearance.

  1. Cut a large circle out of the box lid but leave an edge for the frame
  2. Paint the cheesebox halves
  3. Decorate the frame.  (use your imagination!)
  4. Using the box as a template, cut out a picture from a Christmas card and paste it inside the bottom half of the box
  5. Glue the halves together
  6. Make the pictures 3-D with cotton wool snow, etc.
  7. Glue a piece of ribbon to the back and hang!

For smaller trees we used the plastic covers for cans (or even jam jar covers), glued small pictures on them, then glued sequin strands around them and hang them up.

Christmas decoration Christmas decoration

Snowman scene in a bottle (my Idea!)

You’ll need the top 1/3 of a 1 litre or 1.5 litre bottle, the bottom of a round cheese box (or improvise), small piece of silver foil and a small bottle (I used shampoo sample bottles but even pill containers would be OK), cotton wool, ribbon scraps, 2 short twigs.

  1. Start by cutting the top half of a clean plastic bottle (You can use the rest as a plant pot or gift holder)
  2. Cover the cheesebox base with silver foil
  3. Glue a layer of cotton wool on the bottle, shaping a body and head
  4. Cut out pieces of paper or fabric to make eyes, a nose and mouth and glue on the head of your snowman
  5. Make a hat out of thin cardboard and paint black
  6. Glue on sequins, beads or paper for buttons
  7. Make a scarf out of ribbon and tie round the snowman’s neck
  8. Glue the twigs on the sides for ‘arms’
  9. Glue bottle top to cheese box base and decorate tops with ribbons, small fir cones or anything handy.

You can vary the theme by creating an angel instead of a snowman, a Santa Claus, or whatever takes your fancy!

Christmas decoration Christmas decoration

Goody pots

Here’s where the used disposable coffee cups come into action, although yoghurt pots can be used as well.  We covered ours with used wrapping paper, used a piece of ribbon for hanging, decorated it with sequins, etc then partly filled it with crumpled paper.  Top it up with sweets or, even better, some healthy nuts and decorate your tree!

Take action

These are just a few, simple ideas but there are many more.

Just type “Home made Christmas decorations” into your browser search.

Or an example of ideas can be found at…decorations/

Our decorations are homely and artwork is of varying quality, but we all had great family fun making them. Isn’t Christmas all about family?

These activities encourages creativity and social skills too.

Well, the motley crew and I wish everyone a merry Christmas and a happy, healthy, prosperous and green New Year! We have to fight on, make efforts to be more eco-wise and, eventually producers will realise we don’t want their polluting plastic products any more.

This item is contributed by our guest writer Halima Curran in Libya; thank you Halima

You can read more from Halima or follow her on Twitter at @HRafferty1