DIY Christmas Countdown - 12 Days of Eco Ideas Part 2

As we attested in our rebuttal of Christmas being the most unsustainable time of year, we believe that with some simple reductions in consumption, we can do better and wipe that slanderous slogan from existence. So get ready to ditch the non-biodegradable tinsel and plastic baubles for decorations you’ve made yourself this Christmas, with a little help from ReLove 💚

Although the 12 Days of Christmas don’t actually begin until Christmas Day (what?!) we are celebrating the lead up to it with twelve days of eco ideas; a festive saviour to get you in the Christmas spirit and put this mostly abysmal year behind us (it hasn’t been without its opportunities)Each day between December 14th and Christmas Day we will be releasing a new do-it-yourself (or buy small) decoration, game or otherwise eco idea to inspire you this festive season! Check back every morning for a fresh idea in our Instagram story and find the full how-to guides below and in Part 1.

*p.s. If you are catching up having missed the live reveals, read from the bottom to enjoy the countdown effect and check out Part 1 for the first 6 eco ideas ⏳*

It's Christmas Day!...
Save and repurpose your wrapping paper 🎁

A DIY Christmas tree decorative bauble using old craft paper - try it with old wrapping paper!

Even if you’re already a sustainable superstar using eco-brown paper, beeswax wraps or fabric to wrap your presents, it's almost inevitable some gifts from friends and family will arrive wrapped in perfectly pretty, yet non-biodegradable wrap. Do not fear, to cap off our Christmas Countdown, we have a solution for that too! An easy idea to repurpose gift wrap and save it from the bin after a single-use.

Here’s what you’ll need:

♥ Some old wrapping paper, of course 😇

♥ Clear glass baubles you can open

♥ Tools: a paper shredder or scissors (and a dose of patience)

If you have fringe scissors or a shredder this will be super easy for you - if not you can just bask in the creative fun a little longer (always a silver lining). Literally all you need to do is save ALL the wrapping paper you’ve torn from today’s gifts and shred or cut it up into small pieces that will fit inside your glass baubles. Spend Boxing Day or a little time in between preparing Christmas dinner to fill your clear baubles with a little colour. The possibilities are endless (just imagine how uniquely awesome they’ll be with a bit of Spider-Man wrap?!). Got too much for your baubles? Make some for a friend (perfect eco gift for next year already sorted 🤔), or fill a glass jar and use them as birthday or celebratory confetti down the line - there’s always a sustainable solution!

On the 2nd day of Christmas...
Make a stick sled table decoration 🛷

Repurposed popsicle sticks are used to make a Christmas decorative sled.

Okay, admittedly, you may have to eat some popsicles for this one…but it's totally worth it! Add a little DIY creativity to your Christmas dinner table and perch these adorable sled ornaments to the centrepiece, on your mantlepiece or below your tree! You could even add a little artificial snow below the tree and make a mini winter wonderland ❄🎿

Here’s what you’ll need per sled:

♥ Popsicles or similar sticks - 2 large & 5 small

♥ Wood stain or brown paint for base sticks

♥ Red or white paint for top sticks

♥ Festive twine

♥ Decorations (e.g. bells)

♥ Tools: wood glue, toothpick, paintbrushes

Let’s start by attaching our small popsicle sticks together using some wood glue, staggering the centre sticks lower. Only use 4 of them at this stage. A toothpick is the perfect tool for applying glue along such a small surface! Once dry, paint all 5 sticks with red or white paint. While waiting for them to dry, begin adding brown paint or wood stain to the larger sticks. Once everything dries, attach the larger sticks to the smaller ones using wood glue as earlier. Add your other small stick horizontally across to form the front of your sled and attach a little twine to the front so you can hang or drag your sleds. Lastly, we recommend adding a little greenery and some jingle bells. If you want to really personalise them, add your name too. They’ll look great on your dinner table!

On the 3rd day of Christmas...
Make a bottlecap reindeer 🦌

2 bottlecap reindeer Christmas tree ornaments,

One of the simplest options on our list; quick, eco fun for all the family. Make a bottlecap Rudolph, or go crazy with all the bottlecaps you’ve saved up (from all that Christmas beer you’ve been treating yourself to) to make all 9 of Santa’s reindeer 🎅

Here’s what you’ll need:

♥ Between one and nine bottle caps

♥ Small googly eyes

♥ Red pom-pom for Rudolph's nose

♥ Pipe cleaners for their antlers

♥ Tools: sandpaper, scissors, glue

Start by giving your bottle caps a light sand to soften the edges (and a clean so they don’t make your tree smell like last week's beer). Next up, decide whether you’d like to give them a paint to make them look even more like Rudolph, or keep them more like their beer source. Once dry, cut your pipe cleaners to size to create your reindeers antlers and stick them onto the back of your (clean) bottlecaps. Now it’s time to attach your googly eyes and Rudolph’s nose 🔴 with a little glue and done! Hang it on your tree by gluing a little twine to the back or stick a magnetic strip on the back to add it to your fridge.

On the 4th day of Christmas...
Make some 3D paper snowmen ⛄

3 paper snowmen - great DIY decorations for your tree!

An easy craft (so long as you have skills with scissors). Not the most sustainable craft on our list but certainly better than its plastic predecessors - and much more fun!

Here’s what you’ll need:

♥ White card for his body

♥ Orange card for his nose

♥ Brown card or sticks for his arms

♥ White twine to hang

♥ The skills to cut perfect 2” and 3” circles

♥ Tools: biodegradable tape, scissors

First, cut six 2” and six 3” circles from your white card. Fold them in half. Tape the back of each to the next. Before forming the snowball shape for your snowman’s head and body, use your biodegradable tape to attach your hanging twine. This will also help keep your snowman together. Finally, cut out a triangle for your snowman's nose and tape it onto the top sphere, before adding his arms, either using brown card or some small sticks and taping them onto the bottom sphere. Once everything’s stuck together, make the ball shape by closing the back of your snowman with tape. Done!

On the 5th day of Christmas...
Make a jam jar 
snow globe ❄️

A jam jar snow globe at different stages of design. Starting with just an empty jar, it becomes a mini winter wonderland!

Upcycling is the best way to be sustainable (in our humble opinion). Take those old jam jars you've been saving up or that would have otherwise been on their way to the bin and make a super unique jam jar snow globe you can use not just this Christmas but the one after that and after that.

Here's what you'll need:

♥ Clean jars with lids

♥ Distilled water – to prevent rusting

♥ Glycerine –  it’ll thicken the water slightly so the glitter can fall more slowly to emulate snow, find it at your local pharmacy

♥ Trees or other figurines – to attach to the jar lid

♥ Biodegradable tinsel glitter – it looks most like snow

♥ Epoxy (like E6000) – water resistant to permanently attach your trees

♥ Tools: sandpaper

Once you’ve cleaned your jar and given the inner lid a quick rough up to make the figurine stick more easily, add the epoxy to your figurine. Allow it to dry until firm before adding the distilled water. Next, add a tiny bit of glycerine (you don’t want it to be too thick) before adding your snowy glitter. Last, put the lid on, give it a shake and enjoy your very own handmade snow globe! Find the full guide here.

On the 6th day of Christmas...
Make a last minute secret Santa gift! 🎁

OMG I forgot to get a gift for my secret Santa!! 🎅 Not to worry, with a little DIY magic, give a present that will be their most unique ever. Keeping with the handprint theme, with a little clay, make that special someone a Hand Shaped Jewellery Dish. With a little love and a few hours of your time it'll be a gift they'll never forget!

Here’s what you’ll need:

♥ Air dry clay

♥ Washable paint

♥ Tools: paintbrushes, rolling pin, knife, bowl, loveheart cookie cutter, parchment paper, pencil

It looks complicated but trust us it's not! To start, roll out a ball of clay until its around 1/4 inch thick and large enough to place your hand. Next, place your hand on the clay and trace around each finger with a pencil. Ensure it's wide enough, like with your Santa handprint ornaments, and cut around it with a knife. To smooth out any roughness or imperfections, carefully rub a small amount of water on the clay to smooth. To make your small loveheart for the centre on the palm, use a shaped cookie cutter to remove a heart shape from the clay, adding a little water on the base to help it stick. Now we're onto the key stage - molding your hand shape to make it into a dish. Place a small bowl upside down and gently lay your hand shape over it to mold it into the position you'd like it to dry in. To ensure your dish is sturdy and lays flat, use some parchment paper and a book to press down and create a level surface. Allow your handprint to dry (typically 24-48 hours) and once completely dry gently remove it from the bowl. Finally, decide whether you'd like to leave it as it is or add a little paint or design to make it even more special!  paint or add design to any aspects of it. Don't think your Secret Santa would like a jewellery dish? Check out WonderfulDIY for more handmade ideas with clay including coasters, keychains and even earrings!

Stay tuned for tomorrows eco idea on our Christmas Countdown!

We have loved curating these ideas into an eco countdown for you guys and gals. If you’re just now discovering it after Christmas or haven't had the chance to try them, make sure to save the bookmark for next year, starting with the first six ideas in Part 1! Thank you to all of the creative craft websites, awesome Etsy sellers and everywhere we’ve referenced for ideas for our Christmas Countdown - you are all helping to make the world more eco. Have a wonderful Christmas 🎅

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