How to upcycle Christmas decorations

How long do you keep your Christmas decorations up? Some believe you need to take everything down before New Year’s Eve to prevent bad energy flowing into the next year, whereas others follow the 12 days of Christmas rule and pack away on January 5.

Whenever you decide the time is right and carefully store your Christmas lights so they won’t come out in a tangle next year (good luck!), don’t be too quick to throw away decorations you won’t use in 2021. Perhaps you can upcycle them into something that will add a special touch to your home all year round?

Here are a few ideas to upcycle Christmas and keep waste out of landfill.

Fairy lights: These are no longer the domain of Christmas. Move them from your tree to your outdoor seating area or drape around your bedhead for a soft, romantic glow. Or if they longer work, you could spray them with mirror effect spray (or whatever colours you like) and make a decorative garland (step-by step instructions here).

Pin on Apartment
Image from Pintrest

Baubles: Use them as mini-vases or tea-candle holders (sit them on curtain rings or on a tray supported by pebbles), or they might also hold the perfect amount of bath salts (just be careful using glass around the bath). You could also mix a few in a bowl with some flowers or other natural elements to enhance your table or sideboard.

A small Vase made from a Glass Bauble standing on a Curtain Ring
image from

Broken ornaments: Consider using the pieces to create a mosaic masterpiece – maybe decorate a photo frame, tray or piece of jewellery. Or think about creating a wreath for next year using a foam block from a craft shop, or update your existing wreath with new colours and textures.

Tinsel: Use as padding around fragile items for packing, or add to your new-look wreath for next year (along with the broken ornaments from above). You could also keep it to decorate next year’s presents instead of buying new ribbon. It will also come in useful should you need to whip up a fairy costume and add sparkles to the wings.

When all else fails, TerraCycle has a Zero Waste Box that will take all your decorations and ensure they do not end up in landfill.

And for next Christmas, instead of buying anything new, look at everything you’ve packed away and get creative about how you can reuse it. Remember, the best way to zero waste is to not buy stuff in the first place!

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