DIY: how to make zero waste decorations for Christmas!

Last year for the first time I decorated my own Christmas tree and I loved playing with creativity, making beautiful handmade decorations.

Since they had great success among the people who have seen them, today I share my tutorial with you, and I recommend to do this activity with children in the coming days of vacation, to train manual skills and have fun together.

Here is the good news: you don’t need to buy anything! In fact, we will only use recycled materials, broken or surplus items that everyone has at home.

What do we need?

The necessary materials are:

  • cardboard tubes from the inside of the finished rolls of toilet paper or absorbent paper for the kitchen. The more we have, the better it is!
  • a pair of scissors
  • a brush
  • a water-based glue (tip: if you don’t have it, heat in a saucepan, until boiling, 10 grams of cornstarch with 50 grams of water and you’ll have your zero-waste glue!)
  • twine, or threads, or ribbons recovered from gift packages.

In addition, to make the decorations more beautiful, but not strictly necessary:

  • paint of the color you prefer (this can be the opportunity to finally use those old dried tubes of tempera you certainly have somewhere… cut them, add a few drops of water and patiently mix until they become creamy again)
  • crystals or beads (look for your broken bracelets and necklaces and give them a new life!).

Let’s begin!

First of all, fold the tubes, as shown, and then cut them along the shorter side; the width should be of about 1 cm for everyone.

Among the cuttings, choose five of the larger size and, with the help of the brush, stick them together, putting a little glue only on one end, as shown in the picture.

Press with your fingers until the two pieces of cardboard are perfectly fixed. Wait a few minutes, all we need is just a little patience!

Once all five cut-outs have been glued, you have in your hands a kind of stylized flower. To make it more appropriate for Christmas, turn it into a snowflake: glue other five cut-outs between the “petals”, possibly slightly smaller in size, putting the glue only in the corners and pressing with your fingers.

At this point you have already made a decoration ready to hang, but if you want you can go further, making it more elaborate and beautiful.

Fold the cut pieces in half and attach them inside the five larger “petals” that you had glued to each other at the beginning.

You can continue by cutting the cardboard pieces in the center and glue each half between the corners of the outer “petals”.

And here we are: our snowflake has taken shape! You can stop or fold more cut-outs and glue them where you prefer, trying to keep a certain symmetry in the figure as much as possible.

A light coat of paint and the addition of some crystals or beads will give a special touch to your decoration, ready to be hung with a simple thread, or twine, or even with ribbons that match the chosen color.
Little tip: to make your ornament last longer, apply a light final layer of glue over the paint.

They will look great on your Christmas tree, but they will also be perfect hanging on the railing of the stairs, on the window glasses or as embellishments for your Christmas gifts, instead of using wrapping paper and useless packages that, most of the time, turn immediately into trash.

Play with your imagination, create different shapes and have fun. I can’t wait to see your results! Share your photos with me, write me, tag me on Instagram with #veravigliediy and I’ll share your works on my social media!

Good creative recycling and Merry Christmas!

If you’re interested in more eco-friendly decorations, made of recycled materials, visit: VeraPaperLab!

Slow crafter from Italy ✂️? ?? Nature lover ?

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