Easy DIY plastic free, zero waste Christmas decorations from Pebble Magazine

December 07, 2017

Easy DIY plastic free, zero waste Christmas decorations from Pebble Magazine

Never a fan of unravelling spiky Christmas lights? Molly from Pebble Magazine shares some DIY ideas that’s perfect on a grey winters day with a glass or two of mulled wine. Ah Christmas….

Dried Citrus Garland

This one will make your house smell super Christmassy and add a bit of Scandinavian style. You can hang these garlands on your tree and around the house.

To make the garland you will need:

  • Oranges (one orange will make one garland)
  • String
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Cloves (optional – but they do look pretty)
  • Chopstick

What you'll need to do

  1. Slice your orange into pieces that are around half a centimetre thick. The thinner they are the quicker they will dry.
  2. Make a hole in the top of each slice with a chopstick and put them on a wire rack so they can be heated evenly. Put them in the oven at 60* for up to five hours. Take them out once they’re no longer juicy and are as dry as possible. Leave them on the wire rack overnight to continue to dry.
  3. To construct your garland push the cloves in a decorative pattern around the edges of the slices. It looks great when you can alternate decorated slices and undecorated.
  4. Thread the string through the first slice, in the hole you made earlier, and tie a knot. Tie in cinnamon sticks in between the slices, then repeat this process leaving space between each one to change the length of the garland

Popcorn Tree Garland

Sticking with the garland theme, replace tinsel and fairy lights with a popcorn and cranberry garland. These are perfect to wrap around your Christmas tree this year. An yummy too!

You will need:

  • Popcorn kernels
  • Cranberries / dried cranberries
  • Needle and thread

What you'll need to do:

  1. Pop your popcorn! One bowl for your garland and one to snack on whilst you’re DIYing. 
  2. Lay out the popcorn and cranberries in the pattern that you want to follow (it’s always easier with fresh cranberries) remembering that to start and finish with a piece of popcorn.
  3. Take a length of thread that’s a little longer than the length you want the garland. Push the needle and thread through the first piece of popcorn and then wrap it around and tie a loose, but secure, double knot.
  4. Continue to thread through your pieces of popcorn and cranberries in the pattern that you’ve chosen. Once you’ve reached the last piece of popcorn, thread it through and then tie the string back around and into a double knot as you did with the first.

You can wrap it around the tree as you would with tinsel and it’ll last the whole season. 

Printed wrapping paper

So much paper is wasted at Christmas each year as it’s eagerly torn off and put straight into the bin – recycling if we’re lucky. Reduce the waste this year by creating your own using recycled or scrap paper. Save newsprint throughout to reuse and wrap your gifts or buy a roll recycled parcel paper and print it yourself. 

To do print your own you will need…

  • Recycled parcel paper
  • Small potatoes
  • Paint or vegetable ink
  • Small dish or plate
  • Knife for carving
  • Pen/pencil for marking shape
  • Rosemary / foraged leaves and berries

What you'll need to do:

  1. Research the pattern you want to make. You can personalise each sheet to each person you’re gifting to. We think Pinterest is great to get some ideas! Once you’ve got your patterns you’ll need to carve out the stamps into potatoes
  2. Take a potato and cut it in half - this will now make two stamps. Dry out the top of each slice as much as possible with a towel and then etch in your shape with a pen or pencil. Geometric shapes are easier to carve out.
  3. Take a knife and carefully carve out the shape. You want to make sure that when you stamp it, the only part of the potato that touches the paper is the shape that you’ve carved.
  4. Lay out the sheet of paper that you want to wrap with and dry out the stamp as much as you can. This is key before you can start stamping.
  5. Press your stamp into a small dish filled with the paint or vegetable ink into. Try a few practise prints and then start stamping when you’re happy with the pressure and amount of paint required.
  6. Leave the paper to dry for about 20 minutes and then you’re ready to start wrapping. To avoid sticky tape, tie the present up with string and add some foraged sprigs and berries for an extra festive touch.

Fabric wrap your gifts

An alternative to paper wrapping is the Japanese Furoshiki. This is a traditional art of fabric wrapping and the fabric used is intended to be reused for future gifts. 

There are lots of different techniques and knots that you can learn but here is a simple method you can use.

All you need is a square piece of fabric. You can work out how big you need it to be by placing the gift in the middle and roughly bringing up all of the corners together and making sure that there’s enough to tie. This is a great use of any scrap fabric you might have – old tablecloths, t-shirts, tote bags etc. 

What you'll need to do:

  1. Once you have the fabric prepared, place the gift in the center.
  2. Take two opposite corners and tie them over the top of the present.
  3. Take the other two corners and tie them over the top of the first knot.
  4. The take the first two corners again and tie them over the top of the second knot.

And it’s that simple! You can add sprigs or berries to it too.

Make sure to leave a little note inside to encourage the person to reuse the fabric and pass it on. 

Thanks Molly

Please join us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using #GiveGoodGifts to share our campaign this Christmas. 

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