DIY Home + Garden upcycled cardboard leaf garland (6 of 6)

Published on October 30th, 2011 | by Julie Finn


Make an Upcycled Cardboard Leaf Garland for Autumn

upcycled cardboard leaf garlandOne of my favorite recycling activities is to scrounge around the house looking for cardboard and cardstock to upcycle into holiday decorations. Heavy paper waiting to be recycled is ubiquitous around here, whether it comes from magazine covers, cereal boxes, toy packaging, junk mail, flat rate envelopes, door hangers, or any of the other thousand sources of unwanted paper in our lives.

As long as a source of cardstock or cardboard fits my color scheme (and painting counts!), I like to use it to make temporary holiday garlands to decorate those last bits of uncluttered surface in my house. Read on to see that my red Valentine heart garlands (made from Target photo processing envelopes) and my yellow and green autumn leaf garlands (made from Crayola boxes) are easy to make, and would look pretty great in your house, too:

cut shapes out of cardboard packagingAlthough I do have dedicated storage space (limited, and with no overflowing allowed) for three-dimensional cardboard packaging and miscellaneous books, magazines, and pretty junk mail, all to be used for various crafting and homeschool projects, I’m also not above stealing the box from around an only half-eaten package of granola. That’s what that plastic inner bag is for!

It’s easy to find simple templates for any shape that you’d want to create by searching on the internet, using any number of die cutting machines, or just by hand-drawing something and then cutting it out.

When I lay the templates on top of my recycled cardboard, I like to keep the cardboard face-up so that I can fussy cut my shapes exactly the way that I want them, without including any distracting elements from the box.

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About the Author

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now. Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.

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