I love winter time, especially when it’s white and snowy outside (sorry drivers!). For me the best part of this season is Christmas time and preparing for the festive period. I love the Christmas displays at in shop windows, but I also love to have fun doing something creative. I have made Christmas decorations since I was little and loved doing so during art classes at school. My school years are behind me now, but recently I’ve been putting aside some time in the evenings to bring back that little artistic soul. It is also a great activity to do while watching TV!
Before beginning my festive craft projects, I did a clear-up around the flat (you could even do one on your desk at work!) to find as many unwanted items as possible to get inspiration for my craft project. Items like old magazines, bottle tops and yoghurt pots, ribbons and buttons can all find a new lease of life in a festive project. For my first project I opted to use magazines and glass jars. Like many shoppers, I tend to pick free magazines at supermarkets which can often sit around collecting dust. However, they are great for use in collages. Glass jars are quite heavy to walk to the recycling point with so I was happy that I was able to use almost all the ones I had in the recycling bag.
I then prepared a cup of tea and put on some Christmas carols to get myself in the creative festive mood.
Here are the results:
I found this Christmas tree idea online, the original idea used an old book but as I didn’t have any books to spare I decided to use a magazine instead. The magazine would have ended up in the paper recycling anyway.
We normally advise residents to donate unwanted books to charities but if the book is looking too tatty to donate, check out some more amazing ideas what to do with old, unwanted books.
Upcycled candle holders
I love candles! I do try not to buy candles in glass jars to avoid extra waste but these glass jar candles managed to find their way into my home! Recently I saw a great idea how to reuse the glass jars. Just add some loose tea and a tea light candle on top! It’s amazing how easily you can make an effective decoration in your home. I got that idea from a great tearoom in Aberdeen, Yvi’s House Of Tea
Re-used candle jar before and after
Re-used glass jars with lace ribbons, loose tea and tealight candle
Re-used coffee jar on the right with some painted snowflakes
See more ideas for festive candle holders here, I’d never thought about using old music sheets and books for table decorations!
Wine bottle centre piece
This wine bottle got a new festive look with glitter. Perfect to display flowers in (don’t forget to dry your roses; they will stay looking pretty for ages)! Thanks to former Recycling Officer Christina for this idea from Recycle For Aberdeen’s amazing 12 Days of Christmas booklet. The booklet is ready to download here.
Find more about DIY wine bottle centrepieces here, they look absolutely fabulous!
I got a gift last year which was wrapped in a handmade crochet snowflake. I hung it on the Christmas tree later on. Thanks to Wool for Ewe for advice and guidance – I made my own! I’m planning on making a whole set of snowflakes for my Christmas tree at home as well as small surprise gifts for friends and family.
The thing with craft projects is that the more you do, the more creative ideas you get! Over the weekend I was wandering around the shops looking for Christmas jumper. As I was already doing some charity shopping and also needed something from Hobby Craft, I got a brilliant idea to put these two together. Why spend a lot of money on a jumper you only use for a couple of days in December? Instead, I bought a random black jumper from a charity shop and some glitter from Hobby Craft and started to design my own Christmas jumper. If you have some old necklaces you don’t wear, try using these as decoration.
Why not redesign some of your “tired” tops and dresses for a glam festive outfit?
For more ideas, see OHMY!Creative blog 🙂
Winter essentials (DIY)
I got my winter essentials from my last holiday in Estonia, bought from a local Handicraft shop in Tartu. Since I didn’t have the time (or the skills- yet!) to make the gloves myself, I’m pleased to be able to support local culture and small businesses.
MARU gloves are by far my favourite and I’m pretty sure that a pair of these beauties will end up in my collection soon!
Where can you buy similar products in Aberdeen area? I would recommend having a look in the different craft fairs that will be popping up all over Aberdeen during the festive season. The Recycling Team will be at the Christmas vintage and craft fair at Aberdeen Music Hall on the 22nd November. Come along and support local craftspeople!
I can also recommend Teasel & Tweed in Aberdeen where you can find locally made Scottish products; items vary from earrings to upcycled cushions and furniture. After shopping why not enjoy a hot drink at vintage-style Yvi’s House of Tea downstairs!
Sweet treats (DIY!)
Finally, don’t forget to treat yourself after all your hard work. Don’t be afraid to mix ingredients together to use up what you already have in the kitchen – be creative! I chose to make dark chocolate and oat cookies.
Making your own Christmas gifts/accessories/clothes will save you a lot of money, impress your friends and family and keep you occupied on those cold winter nights 🙂 I definitely feel that I have done my own little bit for conscious living and sustainable environment.