Craft ideas

Upcycling for Christmas instead of throwing it away – make beautiful Christmas decorations yourself

“From old to new” has been the motto of many DIY projects in recent years. People who want to live sustainably and also like to do handicrafts decide to find new uses for old things instead of simply throwing them away. You can also choose this motto for Christmas crafts. If you also feel like upcycling for Christmas, you can be inspired by our ideas. We will show you how you can create beautiful upcycling Christmas decorations from everyday things such as newspaper, cans and scraps of fabric and create a festive atmosphere.

Upcycling for Christmas - great ideas for recycling Christmas decorations

Upcycling for Christmas – Christmas card made from scraps of fabric

Upcycling for Christmas - recycling scraps of fabric or scraps of paper for Christmas cards

We’ll start with a simple Christmas upcycling idea for anyone who enjoys sending greeting cards during the Christmas season. If you still have a few scraps of fabric, you can use them to create a nice Christmas tree. You can sew the fabrics onto the paper as in the example above, but you can also just glue them on. Fabrics with Christmas colors or motifs are of course best. But if you prefer a modern or minimalist card, other colors are also suitable. Incidentally, this also works very well with scraps of paper. No matter which of the two variants you choose, the pieces do not have to be straight and neatly shaped. That makes the map even more interesting.

Christmas decoration upcycling with can lids

Upcycling for Christmas - beautiful landscapes in the lid

Turn the can lids into canvases and create beautiful Christmas landscapes and pictures with a 3D effect inside. They are the perfect upcycling Christmas decorations! You can use all kinds of decorations and figures to put together your own design. As an inspiration and basis, however, we will show you simple instructions with the necessary materials for upcycling for Christmas.

Pendant as an idea for an upcycling for Christmas with lids and Christmas figures

  • wide can lids
  • Cotton wool
  • double-sided tape
  • patterned or colored craft paper for the background
  • Decorations
  • yarn
  • Pencil, scissors, hot glue, or other liquid glue

Cool craft ideas for Christmas – instructions

Upcycling for Christmas - designing pictures in the can lid for trailers

For this upcycling for Christmas, trace the inner outline of the lid on the construction paper and cut out the circle. You get a nice background for the future landscape that you simply glue into the lid. Then you can start decorating. You use the wadding for the snowy landscape, and that’s where you should start. Then you can distribute the other decorations. Finally, glue a piece of yarn to the back of the lid. You can then use the loop you received to hang up the great Christmas decorations made of recycled material.

Upcycling for Christmas – Christmas decorations from tin cans

Christmas bouquet made of fir green in cans with floral foam and moss

Do you fancy a pretty Christmas bouquet that can decorate tables and mantels? Then the following Christmas decoration made of cans is exactly the right idea for an upcycling for Christmas! It is quick and easy to make and you can change and design it according to your ideas. Here’s how to do upcycling with cans for Christmas:

  • Cans
  • Fir green
  • tape
  • optional: spray paint
  • stone
  • Floral foam
  • moss

Quick and easy craft idea as an upcycling for Christmas - cans as vases for fir green

You can use both artificial and real plants for the project. Spray the cans in the colors you want and let them dry. If necessary, spray on another layer. Then put a stone in the jar that will serve as a weight. You can also use other heavy objects. Then put the floral foam in the can and put the fir greenery in it. You can also combine it with branches with berries. Then cover the opening of the can with moss. This is how you hide the floral foam as well. Finally, tie decorative ribbons around the cans and you’re done with the upcycling for Christmas!

Make Christmas decorations out of egg cartons

Upcycling for Christmas with egg boxes - making cute Santa Clauses

Aren’t these Santa Clauses really personable? Use the empty egg cartons to make and use as decorations. The craft idea is also great for upcycling with children for Christmas, as it is a simple craft idea. You can also vary the additional handicraft materials.

  • Egg carton
  • red acrylic paint and brush
  • Wooden ball, acorn or hazelnut
  • white and red rope or alternatively pipe cleaner
  • Cotton wool
  • Glue, scissors
  • Dough

Santa Claus make handicrafts from an egg carton and cotton wool

For Christmas upcycling, cut two tips from the egg carton – one large and one long. Pierce two opposite holes through the tip of the large piece. Then paint the two cones red, which the children can do as well. Thread the red rope (or pipe cleaner) through the two holes and tie a knot at both ends – you get arms and hands. Then glue the head onto the top. This can consist of a wooden ball, an acorn or a hazelnut as desired.

Make small decorative figures yourself for the Christmas season - tinker Nicholas

Then use the white rope or the white pipe cleaner to make the remaining elements for the body, namely the white fur on the collar, sleeves and the hem of the coat. Then make the Santa hat. You can simply add white “fur” to these as well. The materials mentioned (rope and pipe cleaner), from which you can simply cut a small piece off, as well as a small finished bobble are suitable for the bobble. Make a beard and mustache as well as the hair out of the cotton wool, glue them to the head and then shape a tiny ball for the nose out of the dough, which you also attach. All you have to do is stick the hat on your head and the first Santa Claus is ready as an upcycling for Christmas for children.

Tip: If you want to hang up the Santa Clauses, you can poke a hole through the tip from below, tie a loop out of thread or string and then thread it through the hole from below. The knot prevents the cord from slipping completely.

Crafting with PET bottles for Christmas

Handicrafts with plastic bottles - Christmas tree balls for upcycling for Christmas

Most plastic bottles are returnable bottles and have to be returned, but there are also those without a deposit. You can use these for the next handicraft project. From the upcycling for Christmas you get beautiful Christmas decorations with which you can decorate not only the Christmas tree, but also lamps or windows. You need:

  • Plastic bottles of any size
  • Tapes
  • Rhinestones or other decorations
  • hot glue
  • Scissors or a sharp knife
  • Iron
  • Duct tape or washi tape

Make Christmas balls yourself as upcycling ideas for Christmas

Make your own Christmas tree balls out of plastic - cut rings out of PET bottles

Take a bottle and cut off the middle, straight section. Then cut the resulting cylinder into thin rings. Since this creates very sharp edges, you can melt them on an iron and round them off in this way. Heat the iron and press the ring several times and only for a short moment on the hot surface.

Then wrap the strips with ribbons and glue on any decorations. Then place three rings for each Christmas tree ball, interlinked with one another, gluing them together at the points where they touch. Then all you have to do is tie up ribbons to hang it up and you’re done. Design the balls in any color. You can also use bottles of different sizes for Christmas upcycling, making balls of different sizes that way.

Make upcycling projects yourself for Christmas – Christmas tree made of cardboard in white

Make Christmas trees out of cardboard for creative upcycling for Christmas

This Christmas tree, which you can make from the cardboard of a box, is extremely elegant and chic. So it is sometimes worthwhile not always to throw everything away! Although the tree in the example has a beautiful white color, you can of course also opt for any other color and thus, for example, make the classic green Christmas tree.

  • cardboard
  • Acrylic paint and brush or spray paint
  • Ruler and pencil
  • Scissors or a sharp craft knife with a suitable surface
  • Materials for decorating: pompons, washi tape, stickers, colored craft paper, etc..

Recycling and handicrafts for Christmas – instructions

Crafting instructions for a cardboard Christmas tree

For this creative upcycling for Christmas, first draw a Christmas tree on a piece of cardboard. It’s best to start with geometric shapes – 5 equilateral triangles that overlap at the top tip. You can then convert the side corners and make them more rounded. If you want, you can of course also draw the tree free-hand. Cut out the tree and use it as a template for a second one. Now measure the center of both vertically. Along this line, cut one tree from the top and the other from the bottom to the middle. This gap should be as wide as the cardboard is thick. Fit the two pieces together to check that everything fits.

Decorate white cardboard fir tree with paper Christmas decorations

If so, you can paint the cardboard trees. Let the paint dry and apply a second coat if necessary. While the paint dries, you can craft the elements for design. Garlands, stars and Christmas balls made of paper or cardboard or even a real string of lights can be used. Put the cardboard pieces back together and design the Christmas tree.

Crafting with newspaper for Christmas

Minimalist fir trees as upcycling Christmas decorations made of paper

Christmas decorations made of newspaper radiate romance and nostalgia. The material is therefore perfect for the Christmas season and especially for upcycling at Christmas. The same applies to the paper of the magazines and the Christmas tree from the picture above, which is exactly what is made of it – a magazine. And which woman hasn’t stashed lots of magazines at home to use them for this project? The minimalistic looking result is simply super impressive and anything but difficult to tinker with. You need:

  • a stapled magazine with about 150 pages
  • Spray paint

Instructions for paper fir trees from a magazine

Remove the envelope. This is because this is thicker and would later spoil the appearance of the tree. Then take the top corner of the first page and fold it to the stapled edge of the magazine. Then fold the lower corner to about 1/3 the length of the side. Fold the page one more time up to the edge of the booklet. Repeat these steps with all of the other sides until the fir tree is ready. Then you can color it with a spray paint. Let the paint dry and you can decorate your home with the recycling Christmas decorations.

Use newsprint for romantic decorations at Christmas time

The fir trees as an idea for an upcycling for Christmas look particularly pretty in groups of different sizes and colors. They are also a great gift idea for anyone who likes modern and minimalist Christmas decorations. Perfect for setting up on the dining or coffee table as well as on a side table!

Upcycling for Christmas for modern decorations from a magazine

Fir trees from the hem of jeans

Creative Christmas trees out of jeans - tinker cones out of cardboard and glue on with hems

Christmas wreaths made from old bicycle tires

Upcycling for Christmas with bicycle tires as a Christmas wreath