When did shiny plastic things come to represent all that's good about the holiday season? Whether you're putting up a tree, a menorah or a set of Kwanzaa candles, Ecoholic has come up with a few ideas on how to deck your halls this season with all kinds of found objects and stuff otherwise destined for the blue box or gathering dust in your kitchen cupboards. Just say no to commercial holiday bling and roll up your sleeves for a session of quick ’n’ easy DIY craftin’.
CUT AND PASTE
Sure, you can bake cookies and hang 'em, but if you're as lazy as I am (or as terrible a baker), why not just use photos of them instead? Not into cookies? How 'bout a martini? Or a picture of your favourite politician? Simply snip images from old cards, magazines and flyers, paste onto a cereal box to make them sturdy and hang with whatever ribbon, rope or string you have kickin' around. (I used the straps off some old clothes for these.) The Santa was cut from a vintage card from Winkel on Queen East.
ORIGAMI ODDS AND ENDS
Another NOW staff dynamo made origami ornaments out of recycled paper. She used pages from this magazine and folded them into simple throwing stars, cute boxes and more. String a bunch together and you've got a gorgeous garland! But just to prove that origami morons like myself could do it, I creased together this little tree with pages from a glossy mag (see http://dev.origami.com/diagram.cfm for diagrams) . Now I can do them in my sleep. Or inebriated, at least.
JUNK SHOP JAW-DROPPERS
Your local antique store or junk shop is a virtual treasure trove of stuff you can string up this season (including second-hand ornaments). But some of the prettiest can be found in piles of vintage hardware. We scored these old-school cupboard knobs and doodads for $1.50 each at Winkel. Hang them with a simple bow or fasten them onto a wider ribbon or swatch of scrap fabric affixed to a chopstick.
If you're anything like me, your jewellery box is filled with earrings that lost their partners long ago, broken chains and necklaces that, as nice as they once were, just don't do it for you anymore. That doesn't mean they won't look fabulous on your tree! Fasten a hook or ribbon to them or use the chain or string they came on. Old beaded necklaces can be taken apart and restrung as one long wow-worthy garland.
Looking for more nature and less glitter in your holiday? We snagged some twigs to make this twine-tied Star of David. Yellow and green split peas are perfect for making mini Kwanzaa corn. Since Kwanzaa means "first fruits of the harvest," we made a few fruit-shaped garlands out green split peas and red peppercorns, with cereal boxes as backing. Dry a few fruit slices (try orange, lime or apple) in the oven on low, then tie 'em up with a cinnamon stick, some star anise pods (available at bulk stores) and a little raffia or ribbon. A slice of dried orange and a little raffia can dress up traditional clementine pomanders pierced with cloves and rolled in cinnamon.
ISLAND OF MISFIT TOYS
Kids lost interest in that furry thingamajig grandma gave them two years ago? Not sure what to do with that tiny toy you won at the CNE last summer? Make use of them and any other little trinkets gathering dust in your home and toss 'em onto your tree. Whether you have children or a penchant for kitsch, hanging a rubber cow on your Douglas fir is just plain funny.
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