The holidays cost big bucks, bigger bucks than some of us out-of-work elves and cash-strapped consumers can afford.
But if you don’t have the cash to pay for Christmas, Chanukah or Kwanzaa gifts this year, especially during these difficult financial times, you can make lovely gifts from what you might otherwise trash. (Even this post has been recycled from one I did last summer.)
The Christmas tree ornaments below, for example, can be made from found fabric and repurposed paper—skirts to shirts, magazines to maps.
What you will need:
–found fabric (40 squares per ornament, 2 inches each) OR
–repurposed paper from books, maps, or newspapers (40 squares per ornament, 2 inches each)
–straight pins (approximately 200-210 per ornament)
–Styrofoam balls (2.5 inches each)
–ribbon (5/8 inch, ½ inch, and ¼ inch)
Follow these steps:
- Cut fabric and/or paper into 2 inch squares. You will need 40 squares per ornament.
- Pierce center of first square with pin.
- Fold fabric/paper as shown in photos below and attach to ball.
- Add fabric/paper squares until you have 4 in the first circle, 8 in the next, and 8 in the last.
- Repeat steps 2-4 on the opposite side of the ball, again adding 4 squares in the first circle, followed by 8 each in the following 2 circles, until fabric/paper squares nearly meet in the middle and you can see only a narrow band of Styrofoam circling the center of the ball. (See images below.)
- Pin 8 inch strip of ribbon (5/8 inch wide) around the middle of the ball to cover pins.
- Add optional ¼ ribbon over the 5/8 inch ribbon to create layered effect and pin in place.
- Attach ribbon to form bow on top in desired pattern and color. Secure with pins. I usually use two colors, applied in opposite directions and crossed in the center.
- Secure loop for hanging with decorative beads and pin.
- Pin optional decorative beads in the center of the smallest star on either side of ornament.
(Note: I would make a number of ornaments with fabric before proceeding to paper, which is more difficult to manage.)
Will you rethink your ethic of giving this Christmas? Do you have a holiday ecology?