Holiday Crafts

Published on November 25th, 2009 | by Becky Striepe

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Handmade Holidays: Recycled, Personalized Collages

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The weather is getting colder, and we have a handmade holiday on our minds! Handmade gifts have heart, are better for the environment, and, if you opt to buy, it supports independent artists!

If you want to have a totally handmade holiday, now is the time to get started. Over the next couple of months, we’ll be posting about recycled gifts and giftwrap you can make yourself and great handmade finds for sale!

A personalized collage is a great gift for family or maybe your best pal! Hero Arts has a great video tutorial on making beautiful collages. We’ve got the video and tips for turning this into a green craft project after the cut!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/v/urksrBVuVUU&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

Green It!
While the materials in this video aren’t green, with just a little substitution, you can take the techniques above and apply them to make your very own recycled collages!

It would be really easy to substitute scrap paper or even fabric for the scrapbooking paper that she calls for. You could also try using a piece of scrap wood in place of the 4″x4″ canvas to make this a fully recycled project!

For the different layers, get creative! If book pages aren’t your thing, the insides of security envelopes or other junk mail works great. Instead of card stock, you can rescue scraps of corrugated cardboard from the bin. For the ribbons and buttons, dive into your stash for items that are too small to use elsewhere or include a piece of something that’s meaningful to the person you’re gifting.

Rather than the matte finish, try using EcoGlue! For painting it on, you’ll want to dilute it a bit. If you need it stronger for parts like adding the buttons, you might want to use full strength.

The one thing I’m having a tough time replacing with a green alternative is the foam mount. Any ideas, you guys?



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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .



  • Pingback: Handmade Holidays: Recycled, Personalized Collages

  • http://www.celebrategreen.net/blog Lynn

    I used to be a big time scrapbooker and embarrassingly, accumulated a ton of paper etc. Now I’ve switched to digital, but I still work at using up everything I have in other ways. Collaging (also known as mixed media), is a great way to do this.

    You don’t need foam mounts. There are loads of possibilities to use. You can layer cardboard, use a flat button, washer etc. anything that can be glued to both surfaced works. The foam mounts are convenient but definitely not necessary.

    The other issue of course is buying a canvas. You actually can use a box instead or a flat surface too.

  • http://www.recreate.org Donna Sangwin

    Thanks for this GREAT inspiration post! I love it so much I am adding it as a class at reCREATE Eco-Art Center this month.

    Lynn gave some great alternatives to foam mount. We just will cut little pieces of corrugated cardboard, and glue them.

    For the Canvas – we have LOADS of little 4×4 inch samples of flooring and countertops that were saved from going to the landfill.

    I can’t WAIT to do this project!

  • http://glueandglitter.com Becky Striepe

    Corrugated cardboard! Of course! Thanks so much, Lynn!

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