50 Eco-Friendly Christmas Crafts

Christmas can be fun and festive without using precious resources or adding to the waste stream. Here’s how!

Advent Calendars

1. Christmas Tree To Decorate

Make this project simpler by using a stash panel of plywood, instead of buying new. Kids will LOVE adding a new ornament every day!

2. Embroidery Hoop

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Impromptu Christmas card display (I never end up getting any out, so thanks those that still send them to us πŸ˜‰πŸ˜©). Wrapped an old garland around a big ole stick and clipped on the cards with mini clothes pins. Bam! πŸ‘ŠπŸ»

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Here’s an Advent calendar that you can completely disassemble between holidays. Just don’t plan any new embroidery projects for December!

3. Pallet Tree

The wood for this Christmas tree Advent calendar is upcycled pallet wood. With paper origami decorations, it’s quite eco-friendly!

4. Paper Chain

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Spent the morning updating our Christmas Countdown Chain! I made this last year and it worked SO well for us that we're doing it again! All I needed to do was updated some of the activities printed on the insides of each link. If you're looking for a fun and (seriously) stress-free way to countdown to Christmas, check this version out. I put the link in my bio if you want to see how i did it!⁠⠀ .⁠⠀ .⁠⠀ .⁠⠀ .⁠⠀ .⁠⠀ #Christmas #Christmascrafts #paper #papercrafts #paperchain #kidcrafts #cricut #cricutmade #cricutexplore #vinyl #vinylcrafts #diy #diyblog #diyblogger #cricutcrafts #madewithcricut #craftprojects #DIY #diyhome #diyhomedecor #diydecor #decor #homedecor #houseandhome #wahmmade #wahmstyle #wahms #mombloggerβ €β €

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The paper chain is the Advent calendar that I used most often when my own kiddos were small, and they loved it. They helped me make it, building numeracy and fine motor skills, and when kids are little, simply tearing off the next link and helping read the number of days left until Christmas is all the fun they want–no extra presents or candy necessary!

5. Picture Frame And Paper Envelope

Switch out the art from one of your large-format picture frames to make this Advent calendar. Make the paper envelopes from scrap scrapbooking paper or colorful magazine pages.

6. Upcycled Shoe Organizer

It’s like shoe organizers were made to be upcycled into Advent calendars!

7. Stockings

Clear out the scrap fabric bin making an Advent’s worth of small stockings for this calendar.

8. Wood And Burlap Tree

If you want an heirloom-quality Advent calendar, this is the one to put your time and effort into. To make it even more eco-friendly, upcycle pallet boards instead of buying new wood.

9.Β  Wood Clock

Paint a large wood slice to look like a clock face, and add a clock hand that you can manually adjust each day.

10. Wreath

Make your Advent calendar do double duty by embellishing a wreath.

11. Advent Calendar From Recycled Containers

25 days? Who has time for that? A 12 Days of Christmas Advent Calendar is something we all have time to craft up! So let's do this!!!

Nobody is going to notice that you’ve upcycled the compartments of this Advent calendar from old containers–not when there’s a treat inside each compartment!

Crafts For Kids

12. Baby Food Jar Snow Globes

Kids love small world play, and they’ll be enchanted with helping you make these small snow globes.

13. Button Wreath

Give kids a ton of buttons and some glue and let them make their own wreath decorations while practicing their fine motor skills.

14. Cinnamon Dough Ornaments

cinnamon dough ornament

This is my absolute favorite kid-friendly Christmas craft. This cinnamon applesauce dough is safe enough for a baby to handle, it acts just like play dough, it smells absolutely delicious, and you can either keep it forever or compost it after the holiday. I even loved it the year that one kid made nothing but “Christmas poops” with it!

15. Kid-Painted Holiday Shirt

painted christmas tree t shirt

Don’t like the idea of buying a special holiday shirt just for your kid to wear for only a couple of weeks? Hand them an old shirt and some fabric paints, instead!

16. Macaroni Snowflake Ornaments

Kids will have a fabulous time making their own snowflake ornaments out of dried macaroni.

17. Tree Branch Paintbrush

Tree Branch Paintbrushes

If you cut your own Christmas tree, trim off a bit of a branch and let your kiddo try her hand at painting with a real tree branch paintbrush.

18. Twig And Raffia Stars

You make the star out of twigs, then give the kids some raffia to wrap as they wish. I promise it’ll look charming in the end!

19. Wine Cork Reindeer

After your next Christmas party, you might have enough wine corks to help kids make a whole herd of reindeer!

20. Wood Slice Rudolph

Sing the song or watch the movie, then show kids how to make their own Rudolph ornaments using wood slices.

Decorations

21. Copper And Evergreen Hanging

Copper plumbing elements make a lovely contrast to evergreen and berries.

22. Felt Leaves And Berries

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This year for the 2018 Holiday Ornament Exchange I have been so lucky to be teamed up with Katrin from @northernfeeling! πŸƒπŸ’—πŸƒ Bloggers from all over the world get to exchange beautiful handmade Ornaments which means we get to share fun tutorials for you to make lots of beautiful Ornaments too πŸƒπŸŽ…πŸƒ For Katrin I went with these Simple Farmhouse White Berry Ornaments made with felt! You can find the tutorial over on my blog #linkinprofile #raggedybits . . . . . . . . #handmade #ornaments #2018 #diy #raggedybitstinker #whiteberry #farmhouse #exchange #bloogers #worldwide #fun #creative #simple #decorateforchristmas #christmasiscoming #gather #christmastree #felt #create #vignette #dailydecordose #tutorial #blogger #northernfeeling #berries #craft #oldbooks #papertree

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If you can’t decorate with real greenery, then felt greenery is the next best thing.

23. Glittered Wine Bottle Greeting

Spell out a holiday message with upcycled wine bottles. If you don’t have wine bottles, you can also use soda bottles or Mason jars.

24. Magazine Trees

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Magazine Trees 🌲 ages 6+ 🌲 How beautiful are these recycled magazine trees? And the best part is that they are so easy to make! All you need are some old magazines that were ready to be recycled and you can create a beautiful forest of trees. Start by taking the cover and folding the top right corner into the center crease. Then take that folded section and fold it into the crease again. Finally, take the bottom and fold it up to be level with the bottom of the magazine. Repeat with the remainder of the pages. Once all the pages are folded, use tape or staples to secure the cover and back page together. That’s it!! And the best part is they can be recycled at the end of the season! ♻️ πŸ‘πŸ»πŸŒ² Follow us @raisingdragons4 for more fun kids activities! ⛄️ #kindergarten #holidaycrafts #finemotorskills #recycle #recycledart #firstgrade #stem #homeschool #playbasedlearning #artforkids #preschool #kidsart #earlychildhoodlearning #letthemplay #earlyeducation #imaginativeplay #invitationtocreate #playmatters #homeschooling #homeschool #everydayplayhacks #playideas #montessori #kindergartenactivities #homeeducation #preschooler #raisingdragons

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Pro tip: this project also works with catalogs!

25. Miniature Wreath

Who says that every wreath has to be huge? This miniature wreath is tiny and perfect.

26. Mini Wreath Garland

Did you forget to trim your shrubs before winter? Go do it now, and use the trimmings to make this miniature wreath garland.

27. Origami Star Garland

You can use any square-format paper for this project. I think that upcycled sheet music or wrapping paper would be really pretty!

28. Product Packaging Snowflakes

Upcycle clear plastic packaging into snowflakes!

29. Toilet Paper Tube Christmas Lights

diy paper christmas bulbs

They use a lot less electricity than real Christmas lights do!

30. Vintage Button Sign

holiday craft with vintage buttons

Spell out your favorite holiday message with vintage buttons.

Ornaments

31. Bottlecap Snowman

Here’s your excuse to drink.

32. Broken CD Ball

Cover an ornament in mosaic tiles made from broken CDs. It’s like having a disco ball on your Christmas tree!

33. Embroidery Hoop Christmas Ornaments

You could also stencil or freehand the art on these ornaments.

34. Fabric Scrap Pom-Pom

DIY Christmas Ornaments: Fabric Scrap Pom Pom

Your fabric scrap bin needs to be emptied out. This is the project that will make that happen!

35. K-cup Snowman Hats

Honestly, it’s WAY better for the environment if you simply don’t use K-cups, but if you’ve got a few, here’s how to upcycle them into snowman hat Christmas ornaments.

36. Mason Jar Screw Band Ornaments

mason jar lid ring ornament

Upcycle a dinged-up Mason jar screw band as the frame for your own artwork or a fussy cut Christmas card, picture, or postcard. Tie on a ribbon, and hang from your tree!

37. Miniature Mittens

Knit a pair of adorable mittens for your Christmas tree.

38. Miniature Pine Cone Stars

Save all of your smallest pine cones for this ornament!

39. Partial Puzzle Ornament

Upcycled Christmas Crafts: Make a Puzzle Christmas Ornament

It’s okay that you lost a few pieces to that puzzle! Pick out the best part–at least the best part that still has all its pieces–and turn it into a unique Christmas ornament.

40. Patchwork Star

These stars are made from wood scraps. If you don’t have any leftovers from previous projects, upcycle wood pallets.

41. Pine Cone And Bow

This ornament is super simple to make, which means that you can make a LOT of them in not a lot of time.

42. Ribbon And Twig Christmas Tree

Tie scrap ribbon to a sturdy twig to make this sweet Christmas tree ornament.

43. Sheet Music Ornament

Remember that you can always substitute your favorite paper for the sheet music called for in this tutorial.

44. Upcycled Decoupaged Ornaments

Makeover a plain old ornament with decoupage!

45. Upcycled Light Bulb

Hollow Light Bulb Christmas Ornament

Give the last of your decorative, old-style light bulbs a last hurrah in this project as you transition to eco-friendly lighting.

46. Wine Cork Angel

Here’s your excuse to drink wine.

47. Wood-Burned Snowflake

I am a big fan of my wood burner. It’s a great way to make a wood slice into a beautiful Christmas ornament!

48. Painted Wood Slice Ornaments

If you don’t have a wood burner, paint your wood slices, instead!

49. Wooden Block Photo Ornament

It’s quite possible to upcycle a kid’s old building blocks into this photo ornament. Before you buy new blocks, ask around to see if anyone has any old blocks to hand off to you!

50. Yarn-Wrapped Star

Use up that leftover stash yarn making these ornaments that are impossible to get wrong.

Do you have a favorite Christmas craft that also just happens to be eco-friendly? Tell me about it in the comments below!

Written by Julie Finn

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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