Cool and (mostly) eco-friendly holiday crafts

BlogHer Original Post

When I was asked to write a post about cool holiday crafts, I thought, "Oh, this could be fun!" I've been getting a little more crafty myself lately and have been really digging the craft blogs. However, in light of my No Plastic Holiday Challenge (also on BlogHer) and my propensity to be a greenie, it didn't feel right to me to showcase anything other than eco-friendly holiday crafts. I began my search and was pleasantly pleased with what I found. Let the reusing, recycling and recrafting begin!

Crafts, especially during the holiday season, are a great way to bring families and/or friends together. Depending on the craft, kids of all ages can get involved, making it a wonderful bonding activity. Rachael Page from EcoFactory points out, "Crafts can be even more rewarding if they utilize items that would otherwise be discarded into our landfills." Her top 10 list of Eco-Friendly Ways to Trim Your Tree includes things like paper chains made from wrapping paper scraps, bottle cap ornaments and tin lid ornaments.

grinchlightbulb.jpgWhile we're on the subject of recycled ornaments, check out these cool ornaments made from light bulbs and baby food jars from The Wicked Stepmom and these glittered recycled bulb ornaments from Craft Chi. Over at Cordite County, there are tutorials to make three light bulb ornaments - a Santa, snowman and a reindeer. Photo credit: The Wicked Stepmom

Here's a homemade ornament idea from Simply Thrifty that the kids can be a part of - painted pinecones!

Alpha Mom has the blueprints for a super cute life-sized gingerbread house (for the kids). Wow! My kids would eat that up (pun intended).

At Creatively Green, Wenona used decorated toilet paper rolls to make gift card holders and turned paint chip samples into cute gift tags.

Grandma Shelley at Grandma's Modern Day Trunk of Treasures has an easy Christmas picture frame craft for kids that involves macaroni.

Sommer at Green & Clean Mom has tips for Eco-Friendly Gifts and Giving for Kids this Holiday Season and All Year Round. She suggests using pressed seasonal holiday flowers to decorate beeswax or soy candles, making decorative paperweights out of rocks, and making a picture frame decorated with puzzle pieces (from puzzles that are missing pieces). And what does she suggest to wrap these kid-friendly crafty gifts? Your child's own artwork, of course!

Another post from Green & Clean Mom features five simple holiday crafts to decorate and celebrate, and includes things like popcorn garland, salt dough ornaments, and a clove pomander made by sticking whole cloves into an orange - festive, pretty and smells great.

grinchfeet.jpgHere's a craft that could double as a gift, Grinch feet slippers! Em from Modern Cottage simply washed some thrift store wool sweater on hot to make felt, then used this pattern and stitched them up into cute and warm pointy-toed slippers. Photo credit: Modern Cottage

If your holiday crafts require felt, like this Mini Santa Claus, Sleigh and Two Reindeer and you don't feel like making your own, check out this cool recycled plastic felt made from recycled bottles that Summer of Wired for Noise recently wrote about.

Here's a crafty project from Junk Creation that transforms old cereal boxes into gift boxes. Brandie, from A Journey of 1000 Stitches begins with just one..., also posted a craft project using cereal boxes and made them into magazine holders which could easily be decorated festively for the holidays.

Zen Crochet by Akua has a round up of several mini Christmas trees made both by knitting and crocheting and at All Free Crafts Blog there are some cute knit or crochet Christmas bells and wreaths.

tissuepaperwreaths.jpgHere's an example of a craft that's not necessarily green, but could easily be made more eco-friendly by using recycled or reusable materials. These tissue paper wreaths from There Is No Place Like Home aren't specifically green in nature, but they look like a fun craft that the kiddos could get involved in and if you used old magazines instead of tissue paper, they become a little more eco-friendly. It might be fun for the kids especially to search through the magazine for the colors you need for the wreath. I think you could easily find reusable items around the house to use for decorating the wreath too. Photo credit: There Is No Place Like Home

Although many crafts you come across may not be eco-friendly, there are likely ways of greening them up a bit. Get creative, get crafty and don't forget to get out your reusable and recycled materials whenever possible.

Contributing editor Amy Gates blogs about green living, attachment parenting, activism and photography at Crunchy Domestic Goddess.

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