Thursday, December 13, 2018

3 Easy, Upcycled Christmas DIY Projects

Chilly December days at home are the perfect time to try your hand at some simple Christmas DIY projects.  Here are three projects that I have made over the years.  All were made from materials that I already had on hand.

1. DIY Reusable Cloth Gift Bags

After replacing our long, rectangular table with a round one, I found myself with a bright red tablecloth that no longer fit our table.  I'd always been intrigued by the idea of reusable, fabric gift bags, so I decided to cut up the tablecloth to make gift bags for our family to reuse year after year.  They've held up for a decade so far!

Cloth gift bags are simple to make with the help of a sewing machine.  Each bag is essentially a pillowcase with one open end.  I made gift bags in a range of sizes to accommodate different sized gifts.  If you repurpose a tablecloth, you can strategically cut it so that you use the finished edge of the tablecloth for the open end of the pillowcase to save some hemming.  Alternatively, you can use pinking sheers to prevent the open end from fraying. 

To tie the bags closed, I have used tartan plaid ribbon that I already had on hand--similar to this ribbon.  You either can use a separate ribbon to tie each bag closed, or you can use a couple of stitches to attach a ribbon at its center point near the open end of the bag to "marry" the ribbon and the bag.

Gifts wrapped by family members before Christmas are just tucked in cloth bags under the tree; additional empty bags can be left near the tree on Christmas Eve for Santa to fill. 

Wrapping gifts is a breeze--just slide the gift inside, tie with a ribbon, and add a gift tag or a sticker to name the recipient!  Then, at midnight on Christmas Eve, when all of the moms in your local Facebook group are frantically wrapping gifts while posting crying face/glass of wine emojis, you can put up your feet, gaze at the Christmas tree, and indulge in an extra cup of cocoa.

Christmas morning clean up is simple too--no wrestling mountains of wrapping paper into the recycle bin.  Just fold up the bags, and you're finished!  

2. DIY Vintage Postcard Window

The mullions on an old window offer an easy framework for displaying vintage Christmas postcards (or your favorite Christmas cards from past years) on a mantel or over a sideboard.  Old windows can often be found at your local Habitat for Humanity Restore.  Simply attach the cards to the window with rolled tape.  If you don't have a collection of favorite cards, The Graphics Fairy offers fun, free, printable vintage French Christmas postcards here.  You can also order books or sets of reproduction vintage Christmas postcards, such as this set below, offered by Amazon:

3. DIY Gift Garland

I was inspired to make this easy garland after a stylist used a similar garland in a photo in the Pottery Barn catalog many years ago.  Wrap small gift boxes with scraps of wrapping paper or fabric and tie with pretty ribbons, and then string all of them onto a single ribbon to hang as a garland.  Tip: if you don't have enough little boxes, the lids and bases of jewelry boxes can be wrapped separately to stretch your box supply.  These gift garlands are darling draped across a mirror, mantel, or armoire.  They also make cute props for Christmas portraits.

Happy crafting!

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