Christmas DIY: Go Green
Updated: Dec 28, 2021
Christmas has had its own special charm for years and generations. No matter what your age or how many children you have or how many hours you’ve been stuck in college or in office, it doesn’t change the magic it brings with it. The cookies and warm milk, the family gatherings, the big old Christmas tree and decorations, everything about it is filled with magic.
But here is the problem, as festivals become more commercialized, they also become more harmful to the environment. The tradition of leaving gifts in shoes or near the fireplace became neatly wrapped under huge trees and the trees would all be thrown away or put into wood chippers later. The UK alone throws away almost 365321.088 km of wrapping paper every single year.
Why is this the legacy we are leaving for our future generation?
This new year let’s bring a change. Let’s celebrate Christmas and the new year in a more eco-friendly traditional manner. You can make everything used in Christmas decor yourself! You will be not only recycling and upcycling material already present in and around your house but also cutting down on a lot of carbon footprints as there is no transportation required. The bonus is that these handmade decors will really let your individuality shine!
We will learn to make:
1. Painted Wrapping Paper
With Covid19 becoming a real problem, a lot of households do not get newspapers anymore. However, if you still do this is one of the most aesthetic ways of wrapping a gift for your loved one! (Just make sure there are no scandals on there). However, if you feel like going the extra mile and making your own wrapping paper, it would take a few supplies and about 5 minutes to do.
Why go the extra mile? Well, Christmas is the festival of love and joy, and when your loved ones see not only what you gifted them but also the amount of effort you put in behind it, it is sure to get you a better present next year. Fun bonus: They don’t need to know that it was a five-minute task, that’s our little secret.
There are a couple of different ways to go about it.
Turning up the notch on old wrapping papers (Jump to this)
Creating wrapping papers from scratch (Jump to this)
Turning up a notch on old wrapping papers
Material Required –
Gift wrapping papers but make sure they are solid colored
Stencils ( You can go the old fashion way and get some stencil designs, freehand it or download some from us)
Metallic acrylic paints
Operation DIY wrapping paper phase 1: First we will secure our designs. If you are using an old-fashioned stencil, it’s perfect. However, if you do like some of our designs, we’ll walk you through how to get them. Make sure to open the design on your laptop, turn the brightness of your screen to 100%. Now take a tracing paper and secure it on your laptop screen. You can increase or decrease the size of the designs based on your liking. Trace the design you like. Now, trace the design onto cardboard and cut it out. Our stencil is ready.
Operation DIY wrapping paper phase 2: Roll out the wrapping paper and secure its four (4) ends with heavy objects. Now place the stencil over it and trace it out onto the paper. Make sure that the pencil you use is sharp and does not leave any of the pencil shavings on the paper.
Operation DIY wrapping paper phase 3: All there's left is to now paint the design. Remember to not mix in water with acrylic paints. If you feel like you want a shiny design you can always get acrylic pearl paints and if you feel like the paint is thick, mix in some medium. (Ask the shopkeeper, they know what mediums are)
Operation DIY wrapping paper phase 4: Success, sit back and enjoy the look on the face of your loved ones.
Creating wrapping paper from scratch:
Now this one is slightly more complicated. It’s equally fun and a little frustrating to do.
Brown paper. You can also use the ones we used to cover our textbooks in school. If you have the plastic covering on one side, remember to remove it carefully.
2 Potato halves
Cookie or biscuit cutters (optional)
Knife for carving
Pen/Pencil for markings
Operation DIY stamp phase 1: Before we start, make sure to cut the potatoes into two halves. Pat dry them with kitchen towels and they are ready to turn into stamps.
Operation DIY stamp phase 2: Now comes the slightly harder part: Making the stamps. If you have metal cookie cutters or biscuit cutters you have your work cut out for you, literally. But if you don't, no problem. We have some easy-to-cut designs ready for you, all you have to do is select and make them on your potato half. Two things to keep in mind here, whether you use a cutter or knife do not cut the design all the way through. It just needs to be about 5cm deep and all the access potato that is not a part of the design will be removed.
Bonus phase: you can use the access potato as manure for your plants!
Operation DIY stamp phase 3: Now we have the stamp ready, all we need is some paints in a flat tray, brown paper, and let the fun begin! Keep in mind to not use a lot of paint though, the chances are the stamp might look a little shabby or the design might not be clear.
Operation DIY stamp phase 4: Let the paper dry and then wrap up the present!
If you are looking for some slightly more challenging but amazing DIY gift wrapping ideas check out the Spruce Crafts.
2. Origami Christmas Stars
Do you know why we decorate our Christmas trees with Christmas stars? Well if you look at the Gospel of Matthew’s Nativity scene, the one most T.V. shows refer to, there is a star of Bethlehem. This star of Bethlehem is what guided the three wise men to the birth of Jesus. In some stories, it is also believed that this star is what gives Santa his powers.
No Christmas decor is ever complete without the star. To make this a little challenging and super impressive, we are going to origami it! So let’s get to our pretty string of stars to wrap our Christmas tree in!
Materials Required –
There are two ways to go here: Origami sheets or old newspapers cut out 15x15 cm
Operations DIY Christmas star Phase 1: One of the first things to remember is that a star is pointed on 5 ends. However, we are making one with 8 points. If you are anything like me, you might want to draw a star in front of you for reference.
Operations DIY Christmas star Phase 2: Start with a square of white card stock. Fold in half lengthwise, then fold in half again, widthwise. Then fold across to create a triangle.
Operations DIY Christmas star Phase 3: Open the folded paper and mark halfway from the center of the paper, along the 4 center lines. Snip along each centerline from the edge until you reach the marked points.
Operations DIY Christmas star Phase 4: Fold each cut flap toward the diagonal fold lines. Repeat for all four sides until you get a 4-pointed star shape.
Operations DIY Christmas star Phase 5: Apply glue to every other flap. Pull flaps without glue on top of the adjacent glue-covered flap.
Operations DIY Christmas star Phase 6: Turn the star around and define the creases and folds with your fingertips.
Operations DIY Christmas star Phase 7: Repeat the process with another sheet of white card stock. Let dry. Staggering the points of the stars, glue one-star atop the other. Let it dry.
Bonus phase: You can additionally add more Christmas feels to it by spray painting the stars with your favorite colors and while it dries up dust it with sparkles.
Operations DIY Christmas star Phase 8: You can hang these stars two ways: 1. individually by making a hole on the top of the star and running a string through it, thus making it hanging, or 2. by stringing a bunch of stars together.
If you want some more challenges, you can check out how to make Christmas stars with 5 points on Homemade gifts made easy. And if you want there are a number of other origami Christmas ornament projects that you can choose from on the spruce crafts!
3. Christmas DIY: Wreath
Wreaths are like the landmarks of Christmas, much like mistletoes. While buying them is always an option, you can also make them at home, that way you do not have market mass-produced wreaths but something that symbolizes you and your individuality and is an amazing conversation starter. Fun bonus: They are extremely eco-friendly and you can use whatever you have at home to make them. However, while making a wreath be very careful as it involves bending metal into a circle, it might not be hard but it can end up injuring you!
While there are no real instructions on how to make the wreaths, there are two ways to make the base. If you are comfortable with metal wires that’s one way to go. Otherwise, you can use cardboard to make the base and use some super glue and metal paper clips to make the hanging mechanism. You can paint the base the color of your choice to match the rest of the decoration on the wreath or use some super glue and stick the Christmas tinsel strings to give it a more standardized look.
At the end of the day, there isn’t really a right or a wrong way to go about it. And that is another beauty of the Christmas wreath. So let your imagination go wild!
There are some more amazing eco-friendly and Upcycled Christmas Wreaths by Ecobrista, do make sure to check them out before you make yours!
We put together an amazing Christmas album for our amazing DIY-ers to listen to as they make their decorations.
With this thought, we at Khakhed, wish you a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! If you do try out some of these DIYs, essentially the wreaths, we would love to see them! All you have to do is, upload a picture on your Instagram feed or story and tag @_khakhed_ and we’d love to share it with the world.
If you really want to celebrate Christmas in a green and eco-friendly way, here are a few more things you can do:
Buy less: While Christmas is a festival of gifts, not all gifts need to be store-bought. Some gifts just need to be thoughtful. If you really need to buy gifts, then you can look into locally sourced gifts or companies that are making gifts by recycling and upcycling material. One great example is Brown Living.
Nature restoration: You can also start a new family tradition. You can plant a tree every Christmas. Look after it, nurture it and teach yourself and your loved ones its importance, uses, and how to look after it. Soon before you know it, you would have planted so many trees and helped the environment and future generations so much.
Live Christmas tree: If you really want a green Christmas, you can always rent a tree. Depending on where you live there are nurseries that are now starting a service called “Rent a Christmas Tree”. Instead of buying plastic trees or a live one that has been sawed down, you can always call up these nurseries, inquire about the fir trees and book them for Christmas. The services not only rent but also drop the trees before Christmas and pick themup after and take them back where they nurture and look after the trees until next Christmas.
Even places like Mumbai have started these services! However, if you are planning to go for a vacation during Christmas, these nurseries strongly advise against renting a live tree, well for obvious reasons. So maybe the new trend this Christmas should be renting a Christmas tree and not buying a plastic one.
"One selfless act will always ignite another."
- Klaus, Klaus