We Wish You an Upcycled Christmas

Upcycling is the reuse of discarded objects—trash—to create products that are usually even better than the original. For example, in the 1940s, your grandparents may have dressed up an old door as the dining room table.

Any holiday, especially Christmas, provides the perfect opportunity to upcycle.

Here are some fun projects you can try on your own or as a family. They’re creative, challenging, and are good for the planet!

Turn Wood Pallets into Christmas Trees

Ubiquitous symbols of Christmas include Santa Claus and Christmas trees. And guess what? Christmas trees are incredibly fun to upcycle from wood pallets.

Find a pallet in your basement, attic, or a local store. Chances are that you can get one for free. You can also try contacting a pallet recycling company to see if there are any pallets available for sale.

Before you get started in earnest, clean the pallet with antibacterial soap, and let it dry completely.

Next, disassemble it, and cut the pallet pieces so that each is a differently sized part of a Christmas tree. Paint each board—if you want a pink tree, go right ahead!

Finally, assemble the pieces, give the glue a day or two to dry, and then stand your tree up for everyone to admire.

Turn Sweaters into Stockings

Upcycling old sweaters into Christmas stockings is a great idea for parties and family time alike. Kids especially enjoy this project and feel more of an attachment to their stockings.

Take a stocking and old sweater. Use the stocking to guide the shape that you cut out from the sweater.

Pin and sew the sweater/stocking, and decorate it as you like. For example, you can reuse old fabric to make mistletoe or holly and place it at the top of the stocking.

There’s no limit to the imaginative creations you can make!

Broken Lights into Jewelry

Everyone knows the pain of laboring over Christmas lights only for a few bad bulbs to ruin everything. Don’t toss last year’s lights out, though. Use old or broken lights to make earrings, necklaces and other jewelry. They make a very personal and fashionable gift idea!

To create earrings, take a couple of lights off a strand, and make a hole through the plastic end of the lights. Insert jump rings and hooks through the holes, use pliers to secure the earrings, and voila! The process for making a necklace is similar.

These are just a few festive ideas for upcycling your way into the holidays. Other possible projects include turning junk mail into ornaments and soda cans into Christmas stars.

As for Christmas gifts, you can upcycle practically anything into the perfect presents for your loved ones. Merry Christmas to all, and happy upcycling!