I remember our first Christmas. There was just no money for Christmas ornaments. We had a tree and gifts, but there was no money to spare on decorations. It was that year that I learned the beauty of making recycled Christmas ornaments and decorations.
Twenty years have come and gone since our first Christmas as a family. We’ve been given and have bought many ornaments and decorations through the years, but some of my favorite ornaments are those that we crafted from recycled materials.
I’ve even improved my skills at crafting recycled ornaments over the years, and I’m going to share one secret that can turn almost anything into a Christmas ornament.
Use Aluminum Cans to Craft Recycled Christmas Ornaments
I’m a bit of a fanatic when it comes to find uses for recycled aluminum. One of the best ways I have found to recycle aluminum cans is to craft Christmas ornaments out of them. The limit to the number of decorations and ornaments you can create using recycled aluminum will only be limited by your imagination.
Aluminum Christmas Angel
Grab a pair of scissors and rinse an aluminum soda can to make this beautiful Christmas ornament.
Find a pattern for an angel. You may use a picture of a Christmas ornament or find a rudimentary picture in a child’s coloring book or on the internet.
Carefully cut your can open and trim the top and bottom off the can and discard them. Be careful of sharp edges. Snip them off. You will be left with a cylinder of aluminum. Cut it into a strip of aluminum with which to make your ornament. Straighten out the aluminum so that you can work with it.
Using a pencil, bear down and trace the angel pattern onto the piece of aluminum.
Cut out the angel. I like to fold before cutting to help with symmetry.
Use small folds in the pliable aluminum to add dimension. You may also choose to add paint or glitter glue to your ornament.
Pierce a hole through the top to run a string or hanger through the top of the angel and hang it on your Christmas tree.
Other Aluminum Christmas Ornaments
Using the same method you can cut and fold stars, wreaths, snowmen, and hearts. Add a little glitter and paint to make your Christmas ornaments unique. The reflection of Christmas lights off of your recycled aluminum ornaments will be beautiful.
I have a fascination with making spirals out of aluminum. Small pieces of twisted aluminum painted or not, dangle from your Christmas tree like icicle ornaments. All you have to do is twist and mold the aluminum until it holds a shape you like. Make some short and others long. Create a variety of colors using different colored soda cans or paint.
Make a large icicle spiral ornament using a piece of wire coat hanger.
Turn Inexpensive, Plain Wooden Letters into Ornaments
We used plain wooden letters, which cost seventy cents each, to create SEC Christmas ornaments representing Tennessee Volunteers, Georgia Bulldogs, and Florida Gators. Making this ornament is as simple as picking up the letters at a local craft store. Use inexpensive acrylic paint and glitter to create an SEC ornament.
This project can be used to create ornaments representing a company, a last name, or any professional sports team. Use colors associated with the team the ornament represents. Give it Christmas shine by adding glitter.
Add a small utility hook to create a way to hang the Christmas ornament. .
Craft Unique Christmas Ornaments for Unique People
The secret to turning anything into a Christmas ornament is the small utility hook. This small hook will allow you to craft a variety of Christmas ornaments that represent any hobby, interest or obsession.
Screw the hook into the replica of a favorite car, a wooden fishing hook, or even a rubber duck. Anything small enough to hang from your Christmas tree can be turned into a handcrafted Christmas ornament.
Craft Modgepodge Christmas Ornaments
Modgepodge is the brand name for a thick glue-like substance used to stiffen crafts. Modgepodge or Elmer’s glue can be used to create simple, cheap long lasting Christmas ornaments.
The most ornaments I crafted that first Christmas were modgepodge ornaments because they were cheap and cute. I cut a snowman from paper Christmas plates, coated the would-be ornament good in Modgepodge, punched a hole in the top and hung it from the tree with curly ribbon. I used those snowmen ornaments for years and still enjoy creating homemade Christmas ornaments from Christmas cards, fancy gift tags, or other inexpensive Christmas decorations.