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Top 20 Ways to Recycle After the Holidays with Crafting

By: Caley Walsh

Looking for ways to be a little greener? These craft ideas will help you to reuse and recycle materials from your holiday celebrations. Reduce the amount of trash your household produces and be frugal with your future decorating and gift-giving. Many of these green crafts also make for great activities for kids. Here are some of our favorite after-Christmas craft ideas.

Table of Contents

Wrapping Paper

Christmas Cards

More Ways to Recycle


Wrapping Paper

Instead of tossing wrapping paper torn from gifts this Christmas, recycle the paper into something new. Even small paper scraps and crumpled balls can be used to make homemade paper.  Use the homemade paper to send thank you cards for gifts or save for occasions throughout the year.  You can use red wrapping papers to create paper perfect for Valentine’s Day cards. Here are some more craft projects to use wrapping paper:

Recycled Bows

Green Gift Bows- While this project recommends magazines, you can also use small amounts of leftover wrapping paper to create colorful gift bows for next year or for other presents during the year.

Recycled Holiday Candle Wraps- Use old gift wrap to create pretty recycled paper candle wraps. These make a great handmade gift for next year.

Decoupage Picture Frame- Use leftover wrapping paper to decoupage a picture frame. This makes a great decoration for next year or a thrifty handmade gift.

Rolled Paper Beads- Turn wrapping paper scraps into colorful rolled paper beads sealed with varnish. The thicker wrapping papers work particularly well for this craft, but experiment with different papers.

Star Paper Topiary- A small amount of holiday gift wrap becomes an attractive topiary in this craft. Use for next year’s decorations.


Christmas Cards

Christmas cards are another great opportunity for recycling. Just like with wrapping paper, you can recycle the Christmas cards you received this year into homemade paper for a variety of purposes. Here are some crafts which recycle Christmas cards:

Recycled Christmas Card with Crochet

Recycled Christmas Cards with Crochet- Decorated with a crochet edge, old Christmas cards can be used to adorn scrapbook pages or the fronts of photo albums. They can also be made into ornaments for next year.

Recycled Christmas Cards- Use received Christmas cards and leftover wrapping paper to create beautiful handmade cards for Christmas or any occasion.

Paper Cast Love Card- Recycle white and red cardstock from Christmas cards to create a Valentine’s Day card or love note.

Christmas Ornaments from Recycled Cards

Recycled Christmas Ornament 1

Recycled Christmas Ornament 2

Recycled Christmas Ornament 3


More Ways to Recycle

No matter the material, our Green Crafting section likely has an idea to help you recycle with crafting. For example, keep those plastic containers from the supermarket (like the ones berries come in) to create surprisingly pretty jewelry.  Use #6 plastic leftover from your holidays feasts in place of shrink plastic in this bracelet project shown below.

Shrink Plastic Bracelet

Recycled Poinsettia Cards- Preserve your leftover poinsettias from the holidays by using them for homemade cards.  These cards are great for Valentine’s Day.

Oatmeal Container Yarn Holder- Buy or receive any new wool for Christmas? Use an empty oatmeal container to store your yarn balls and hold while knitting or crocheting without tangles.

10 Things to Do with Old Wine Bottles- Have leftover wine bottles from your holiday celebrations? Here is a great collection of craft ideas, including Faux Dichroic Bottles.


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Project of the Day

Swanky DIY Phone Case

Looking for a great gift for your daughter, friend, or co-worker? Look no further! This faux leather Swanky DIY Phone Case is a great… See more

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