Using recycled items to make Christmas crafts with the kids can be your family’s holiday gift to the environment. While the most common recycled Christmas craft may be making a Christmas tree ornament by cutting out an image from a recently received holiday card and attaching a string to it, there are many more creative children’s Christmas crafts that can be made by reusing and recycling items.
Packing Peanut Garland
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, in the United States, 25 million extra tons of trash is generated between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Since many people send packages during the holiday season, packing peanuts likely contribute to increase in trash. Packing peanuts can be recycled into a Christmas tree garland. To make a packing peanut tree garland with the kids, paint the packing peanuts, or leave them white, and string them together using a needle and thread. For younger children, use a dull-tipped plastic needle, rather than a metal sewing needle for threading the peanuts together to prevent injury.
Christmas candles are made from recycled toilet paper tubes, construction paper, tissue paper and small paper plates. To make a candle, have the children decorate the toilet paper tube by coloring it or covering it with construction paper. Embellishments like cut-outs from recycled holiday cards, stickers and glitter can be added. Torn-up pieces of recycled yellow and red tissue paper are stuffed in the top of the tube to make the flame. The candle can then be placed on a small paper plate and displayed in a window.
Christmas bookmarks are easy for children to make and can be given as festive gifts. Children can use recycled Popsicle sticks, markers, stickers, Christmas cards, paper and glue to make Christmas bookmarks. To make the bookmarks, the Popsicle sticks are colored with markers. At the top of the stick, the children can affix Christmas-themed cutouts, like trees or snowflakes, from Christmas cards or Christmas-themed stickers. Older children can draw and cut out Christmas-themed images from construction paper and glue them to the top of the stick as an alternative.