Saturday, December 24, 2011

Repurpose Christmas

If you're anything like me, by the time Christmas is over, you're ready to pack all of those space-sucking decorations away. And if one happens to be broken, or if you're sick of looking at it year after year, getting rid of it sounds wonderful!

Well, stop it. Heh. This year we're going to repurpose. We're going to save money, save the landfill, and be all sorts of crunchy. :)

Even your non-working string of lights can be repurposed! Think about the style of cute, junk jewelry that fills the store at the holidays. Christmas bulb earrings. Christmas bulb necklaces, broaches, bracelets, barrettes.

Old, tired ornaments can be prettied up with some satin and lace. Or jazzed up with sequins and glitter, if that's your style. Grab a hot glue gun and some scraps and design your new ornament with your old ornament as a base. Consider gluing broken ornaments into a beautiful mosaic piece.

Long before I buy new Christmas decorations and pay full price at the store, I walk the holiday aisle at the thrift stores and see what's there. Broken things that just need a spot of glue or a swipe of paint, old wreaths needing some sprucing up, or a whole box full of items that can be taken apart and made into a whole new thing.

Not only do I save a bunch of money, I get to have fun creating. Get the kids involved- what kid can resist paint, glue and sparklies? Not this one. ;-)

Last year I had a snowman Christmas wreath. It was cute enough- singing, animated snowmen and all- but it was beginning to fall apart, plus I felt I'd 'outgrown' the style. In fact, when I was packing up last year I *almost* tossed it.

When I got it out this year, I decided to repurpose. I took it apart, and with just a few cheap purchases at the craft store, I came out with not only a new wreath for the door, but with enough leftover supplies to make a few more decorations.

The only part of this that is original is the wreath itself. There are always piles upon piles of old, ugly wreaths at the thrift store. (hint hint) I like the clean, simple lines of this wreath, and as cheap as it was to throw together, next year I can do a completely different style if I want to and not feel like I've wasted a ton of money.

This is the pile of leftovers I had when I was done. It's a combination of stuff cut from the old wreath and supplies from making the new one. I tossed them all in a basket, threw it on the table and called it a centerpiece. :)

This literally took me about 60 seconds to make, using nothing but leftover supplies.

And those silly motion-activated, singing, dancing snowmen from the original wreath?

I placed them on a table in a high-traffic area just so I could listen to the groans of my cheerful teenagers. With each loudly crooned verse of "Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow" I was entertained with "Moooo-oooooom! That is SO annoying!" I do take pleasure in the strangest of things. ;)

So, as you're packing up this year, slide your box of thrift-store-bound decorations into the closet. Because while the idea of redecorating may not appeal to you right now, bogged down in holiday-overload as we are, by next year when you pull it all out and the Christmas spirit is just beginning to bubble, you might be surprised at how much fun it will be to recreate, repurpose and redecorate!

Some helpful links:

Thriftshop Romantic: Repurposing Christmas Decorations

Mom's Budget: Repurpose Your Christmas Decorations

Ways to repurpose broken Christmas decorations

This one gives ideas for how to use your Christmas decorations all year round:
After Christmas Decorating: Repurpose Your Christmas Tree and Ornament Collection

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