craft, DIY, how-to, paper, recycled, eco, Christmas, holiday, decor, decoration, paper

Decoupage Christmas Trees

What you’ll need:

Recycled cardboard (cereal boxes, mailers, boxes, old notebook covers)
Colorful recycled papers (we used stationery and maps)
Glitter
Mod Podge or white glue
Paintbrush
Pen
Scissors
Needle and thread (gold or silver)

craft, DIY, how-to, paper, recycled, eco, Christmas, holiday, decor, decoration, paper

First create a template Christmas tree shape (it should be symmetrical) on a piece of cardboard or cardstock. Cut it out and then trace the template onto a piece of recycled cardboard. You’ll need two Christmas tree cutouts for each tree ornament.

craft, DIY, how-to, paper, recycled, eco, Christmas, holiday, decor, decoration, paper
Once the trees are cut out of cardboard, you can start to decorate them. Using a paintbrush, daub Mod Podge (or regular white glue) on each cutout. We sprinkled half of them with glitter, and pasted on shreds of old maps and stationery onto the other half. If you’re using recycled paper for a decoration, make sure you use another coat of Mod Podge on top to seal it on. Once they dry (about 10-15 minutes), flip the trees over and apply the desired collage or glitter to the other side and dry thoroughly.

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Get ready to assemble your trees: using scissors or a utility knife, carefully slice a slit into each tree – for each pair of tree cutouts, you’ll need to slice once through the bottom up of one tree, then once from the top down of the second tree so they slot together like puzzle pieces.
craft, DIY, how-to, paper, recycled, eco, Christmas, holiday, decor, decoration, paper

We used one glitter cutout and one decoupage cutout for each ornament – carefully slide one cutout onto the other, arranging the slits so that the shapes lock together. You can stand the tree ornaments on their own on a mantelpiece or counter, or using a needle and thread, add a hanger, dangle from a Christmas tree or houseplant, and admire.

craft, DIY, how-to, paper, recycled, eco, Christmas, holiday, decor, decoration, paper

Recycled Christmas Card Bunting

What you’ll need:

Last year’s Christmas cards, scrap paper, and junk mail
Scissors
Thread
Needle
Glue or double-sided tape

Create a whimsical, colorful bunting garland to deck your Christmas tree, mantle, or doorway this season. All you’ll need is a handful of Christmas cards to make your decor bright. Follow along with the whole tutorial here.

Read more: DIY: How to make a Terrarium Christmas ornament

craft, DIY, how-to, paper, recycled, eco, Christmas, holiday, decor, decoration, paper

Newsprint Stars

What you’ll need:

Black and white newsprint from old magazines, books, catalogs
Glue stick
Pen
Scissors
Golden thread and needle

These simple, whimsical stars will brighten your space for the holidays. First, determine the thickness of your paper. If you’re using a catalog or old book, the paper may be thick enough to stand on its own. If the paper seems flimsy, use a glue stick to glue two sheets together and let dry before proceeding.
craft, DIY, how-to, paper, recycled, eco, Christmas, holiday, decor, decoration, paper

Trace a template of a star onto a piece of old cardstock and cut out. Using a pen or pencil, trace the star shape onto the newsprint. You’ll need two cutouts for each star, so ensure you cut out an even number.

craft, DIY, how-to, paper, recycled, eco, Christmas, holiday, decor, decoration, paper
Cut a slit into the top of half the stars, and the bottom of the other half of your star cutouts. Fit the two pieces together, then using a needle and thread, create a thread hanger.
craft, DIY, how-to, paper, recycled, eco, Christmas, holiday, decor, decoration, paper Red and gold thread look especially nice with the newsprint.

craft, DIY, how-to, paper, recycled, eco, Christmas, holiday, decor, decoration, paper

Watercolor Paper Feathers

What you’ll need:

Newsprint, magazines, or old book pages
Watercolors
Water and paintbrush
Washi or masking tape
Fishing line or string
Scissors

These colorful, rainbow-hued feathers flutter with even the slightest wind. They’ll add a bohemian touch to your Christmas tree, holiday table, or even as part of gift wrapping. You’ll wash translucent, colorful, watercolors over recycled magazines or newsprint. Check out the tutorial here.

Read more: 10 Faux Christmas Trees to Green your Holiday

craft, DIY, how-to, paper, recycled, eco, Christmas, holiday, decor, decoration, paper

Cardboard Christmas Village

What you’ll need:

Recycled cardboard boxes
Scissors
Craft knife
Ruler
Pencil
White paint

What a fun project for all ages. Create an amazing table-top Christmas village, complete with houses, towers, churches, and evergreen trees. All you’ll need to do is save some of the packaging from all those holiday deliveries. Follow along with our easy tutorial here.

All photographs by Emily Peckenham for Inhabitat.