Artists and crafters know that nothing says "I love you" like a handmade gift, and when it comes to making stuff nothing makes new stuff quite like old stuff, also known as upcycling.
Here are ten fun and easy to follow tutorials that show you how to make neat new Christmas stuff out of old stuff you would otherwise just recycle or throw away.
1. Baby Food Jar Snowglobes-
When you've got a baby in the house you typically end up with a bunch of used baby food jars bound for the recycling bin, but why trash those jars when you can use them again? People often keep baby food jars around for nuts and bolts, art supplies, etc. but they can also be used to make neat little snowglobes!
2. Paper Cup Wreath-
Stuck with a bunch of leftover cups from your last soiree? Cups of all sizes and materials make a great, and very unique, wreath. This tutorial presents a plain white cup wreath as the final product, but it looks like the skeleton of a far more colorful wreath to me.
With a little paint, tinsel, ribbon, candy, and whatnot you can turn a string of cups into one cool piece of DIY Christmas decor.
However, cups can always be saved for another occassion, but what the heck can you do with all those small scraps of wrapping paper? Turn them into a stylish and ultra festive wreath wrapping paper wreath, and show everyone who visits your home that you are one creative Christmas lovin' crafter!
3. Pasta Christmas Tree Decor-
Remember all those pasta related projects from elementary school? Bring those fun food art projects forward into adulthood by making some cute little Pasta Christmas Trees! They're utterly adorable, fun and easy to make, and they'll bring a bit of your childhood home to stay in a really crafty way!
4. Light Bulb Ornaments-
When light bulbs burn out they end up in the trash, but their glass bodies, which are perfectly round or teardrop shaped, and metal tops make them ideal forms for a hand painted Christmas tree ornament.
This tutorial require intermediate to advanced level painting skills, but when you think of the light bulb as the underlying form of your ornament crafters of all skill levels can create something cool with an idea, a bulb and some supplies.
Here's a Christmas craft project that's a lot of fun for parents and their children to do together, and when Christmas is over your crafty kids can tear their creations apart and eat the supplies!
The Holiday Candy Train is made using a Pringle's can, but any cardboard tube will work, and since it's created by simply gluing pieces onto the tube form there's no limit to what kind of train you and your crafty kids can create.
6. Computer Carton Reindeer Decoration-
This Instructable comes to you courtesy of Neatoramanaut Daniel Kim, who politely insisted we include it in one of our tutorial articles.
Well Daniel, we've finally gotten around to sharing your Computer Carton Reindeer with the world, and now homes of new computer owners will look a lot snazzier come Christmastime! Just don't leave this reindeer outdoors during the holidays, or he's liable to take after Frosty and melt into a pile of paper goo. -Thanks Daniel!
7. Fusible Bead Christmas Tags-
Fusible beads, such as Perler and Hama, are taking the craft world by storm because they're easy to use, versatile, durable and allow crafters to let their creativity run wild.
This tutorial adds another clever use to the ever growing list- Christmas gift tags. They add some crafty visual appeal to your Christmas presents, and can even be used as an ornament after the gift has been opened.
And if you don't have time for all that designing, tweezing and ironing those fusible beads look equally cool when they're used to fill a clear glass bulb ornament, which also takes no time at all!
8. Recycled CD Ornament-
Here's another great use for those clear glass bulb ornaments- glue a bunch of CD shards to the outside to create a unique, and very shiny, Christmas tree ornament sure to catch the eye. The shards give the bulb lots of visual appeal, and they reflect the tree's lights to make the whole thing sparkle!
9. Cardboard Tube Characters-
Kids like to leave their own handmade touches around the house for the holidays, and crafting is a great way to keep kids from getting bored during winter break, so grab a bunch of cardboard tubes and make a menagerie of Christmas characters. With the addition of googly eyes, pipe cleaners, buttons and bits of felt those tubes go from plain to just plain cool!
10. Sock Plush Snowman-
Last but not least we have this festively frosty fellow, who would make a great centerpiece or gift yet costs virtually nothing to make. The Sock Snowman is a crafting concept that can be brought to life in many different ways, and with an almost limitless assortment of accessories.
Christmas is a great time to share your love of crafting with your loved ones, so get to work and share your artistic skills with someone special!