DIY Recycled Magazine Christmas Tree

DIY magazine Christmas tree

If you want a simple, relaxing Christmas craft to make this holiday season, this DIY Recycled Magazine Christmas tree is a fun little project that even the kiddos can make.

I love the simplistic look of this tress. The variety of colors and text you get from the magazine pages add so much charm to your home and just make me smile. I also like the fact of recycling materials.

Magazine Christmas Tree Items & Materials Needed

Another plus for this project is you don’t need a lot of supplies and materials.

  • Magazines of all sizes can be used (my favorite size is the Reader’s Digest, and Prevention Magazine) It’s nice to have a variety of sizes sitting by each other.
  • Tinsel Pipe Cleanser (optional for star)

That’s it!

Play Video

Magazine Christmas Tree Instructions

Start with the first page of the magazine. Fold the top edge of the page over to line up with the binding edge. Make a crease with your fingers and fold the creased edge over again to line up with the binding edge.

Flip the folded page over to the left side. Take the pointed part of the page over so it lines up with the bottom of the magazine.

Gently push on the fold, which will pop the folded page open so you can stuff the pointed edge inside.

Go to the next page and repeat this process until you have folded all pages. Depending on how big the magazine issue is, it will take approximately 30 minutes to an hour.

 

This is a great little project to do while watching a good movie!

Most children can handle this project and will enjoy the process. It’s quite relaxing actually.

Once you have folded all the pages, REMOVE THE FRONT AND BACK COVER.     

Evenly space out the pages. Sometimes you will need to glue the front pages to the back page.

How to make a pipe cleaner star for the magazine Christmas tree

Fold the end of the pipe cleaner 1 inch from the end.

Fold it at 2 inches, and then four more times that size. (You should have 5 2-inch folds)

At the second fold, flip the ends to the left, then at the next fold, flip it to the right. Tuck the flipped section either under or over the wire you are crossing. 

Flip the next fold over to the left and under or over the wire.

Adjust the star points and twist the ends together at the bend to form a complete star.

These little starts can be placed at the top of the magazine tree by sticking the ends into the middle of all the points of the folded magazine.

Make more stars to hang on the tree or as you can see in the picture above, I have hung it on an ivy wreath.

Simple projects are the best. 

Grab a magazine, turn on a good movie, and cozy in and make a magazine Christmas tree!

OTHER CHRISTMAS CRAFTS YOU MAY ENJOY:

How to make a dried orange slice garland

How to make a Christmas Stocking

How to make an orange pomander

jan

Share:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest

Connect:

Jan Howell

Jan Howell

My intention for this website is to share tips and tutorials that I have found on my journey of life that has brought me joy, improved health, and peace, in hopes that it will do the same for you. I hope you'll join me on this journey!

Read More

10 Simple Gift Wrapping Ideas: Brown Paper Charm

Let the gift wrapping begin! 

I’m all about simple when it comes to wrapping presents. I like to use items that are unique, available, and even repurposed. Brown craft paper and twine are some of my most favorite ways to wrap a present.

Those of you who know me, and perhaps received a gift from me, know that I like my brown paper and twine. I have to tell you something about the twine. Years ago I was shopping at Restorations Hardware (back when they had cool home stuff) and found this HUGE thing of twine. I got the whole deal for like $5. I don’t think I’ll ever run out.

You can get it online HERE.

So obviously, I use it for EVERYTHING. But you know, it works for so many things. You can dress it up, or be rustic and casual with your crafting.

Ya, ok I also have a thing for brown craft paper as well. I used to print and sell my clipboard calendars on brown paper, which was an icon of mine for years until I stopped printing them. 

You can get brown craft paper on rolls quite cheap at stores, or you can also just use an upcycled brown paper bag.

10 Gift Wrapping Ideas

1- Colored Rubber Bands

Seriously, how simple can it be? Just wrap a few, or a lot of colored rubber bands around a small box and top with a bow. You are good to go. I love having a bag of colored rubber bands around, they really do come in quite handy for a lot of things.

2- Reindeer Box

Kids and adults like getting a gift wrapped up like a cute little reindeer.

What you need:

This example is just for a small box, but you could use a bigger pom, pom and larger antlers if you wanted.

Instructions:

  • Wrap your gift in brown paper
  • Glue the nose, using a glue gun, to the front end.
  • Draw on the eyes and mouth.
  • Fold a pipe cleaner in half, and just start forming the antlers in random lengths. They don’t have to be exact.
  • Leave about a 1 inch folded tab on the bottom for gluing.

3-  Dried Orange Slices

Several posts ago, I showed you how to dry orange slices. The bright orange color adds such a cheery look to any craft project AND gift wrapping. 

Instructions: 

  • Dry the orange slices (video directions HERE)
  • Apply to package using a hot glue gun.
  • Wrap the package with a few loops of twine (optional).

4-  Paper bag sewn closed with sewing machine stitching

This particular brown paper bag gift wrapping is embellished with some sprigs of Elderberry bush. I love how the blue berries and greenery look against the brown bag. 

I have also added a tulle bow. Tulle is a fun fabric to work with. There are so many fun things to make with it, including a simple tied bow. 

Instructions:

Using a sewing machine is a fun unique way to seal the top of a gift bag. You can use a variety of stitches and colors of thread to give the look of your choice.

  • Place the gift inside the bag and fold the top over several times. You can cut off some of the bags if it is too tall. 
  • Take it to the sewing machine and sew across the top. Get creative and play around with different types of stitches and colors.
  • Embellish the bag with a bow, sprig of greenery, bell, or whatever you fancy.

5-  Mini Rosemary Wreath

I absolutely LOVE rosemary. Rosemary is awesome to cook with, craft with, and just enjoy the look in the garden. I am lucky enough to have a place on the South side of my house where it thrives and doesn’t freeze in the winter. We go out even during the winter to clip off some sprigs for a recipe or crafting.

Rosemary smells AMAZING! Adding a little sprig or wreath of rosemary not only adds such charm to a gift but also a clean aroma.

Items you’ll need:

  • A fresh sprig of rosemary. (Dried rosemary will crack when bending).
  • Floral wire or tape (2 strips cut to approximately 2 inches)
  • Ribbon for the bow (optional)

Instructions:

  • Cut a sprig of rosemary long enough to make the desired size of the wreath. (approximately 7-8 inches)
  • Bend the sprig to form a circle, overlapping ends about an inch.
  • Take the wires and wrap them around the ends to secure them in place. Try to wrap underneath the little leaves to hide the wires.
  • Embellish with a bow (optional)
  • Using a glue gun, apply to a gift package. 

6-  Bias Tape Trim with Button

Homemade bias tape is a fun way to add a fabric trim to any gift. Who would’ve thought? Such a fun way to add color to any gift wrapping. Just think of all the little fabric prints that you could use. You can just use a solid color of bias tape if you want. That you can buy at the store in several sizes and colors. But colors are limited, and they don’t sell printed bias tape.

I have a tutorial on how to make your own bias tape. You can locate the video HERE.

What you’ll need:

Instructions:

  • Simply wrap around the gift overlap about an inch. 
  • Cut 
  • Using a glue gun, glue the end of the trim to the backside, then overlap the other end and glue in place.
  • Leave just as it is, or embellish with a shiny button or whatever you choose.

7-  Buttons, buttons, buttons

Here’s a fun way to use those buttons you’ve been saving. Am I the only one who has a jar, or two, of random colored and sized buttons? I eventually use them for something. Not only do I use them, but I also love the look of a jar filled with multi-colored gems sitting on my shelf.

What you need:

  • Handpicked buttons of your choice. Enough to cover the area you want.
  • Hot glue gun/glue
  • Twine for wrapping (optional)

Instructions:

  • Handpick and arrange the buttons in a way you like before gluing.
  • Keep them there, and one at a time add a dollop of glue to each button and adhere to the package.
  • Do the same thing with each button.
  • Wrap with a string of ribbon or jute (optional)

8-  Holiday Baubles and Twine

Go through your Christmas decorations and look for a little miniature of things. These mini plastic bulbs look so cute tied up on a package.

Instructions:

  • Tie an arrangement of bulbs together with a thin piece of ribbon or cording.
  • Wrap the gift with jute or ribbon and insert the loop with the bulbs and tie a bow.

Simple, straight forward addition to any gift.

9-  Rosemary & Bells

Little jingle bells are a great way to add a festive look to a holiday gift.

Items you’ll need:

  • jingle bells
  • ribbon or twine
  • rosemary or other greenery sprigs

Instructions:

  • String the bells onto a strip of ribbon or twine. (I love this red & white twine)!
  • Wrap the gift with twin, inserting the loop of bells.
  • Tie a bow.
  • Tuck the sprigs of rosemary under the twine.

Simple greenery  & twine

One last shout out for ROSEMARY.

Just a few sprigs of rosemary, or any other greenery, tucked under a bow of twine is a classic and natural look.

So there you have it, a few gift wrapping ideas perhaps you haven’t thought of.

Perhaps this will get your brain thinking outside the box as far as gift wrapping goes. Don’t stop at the standard way of wrapping gifts, look inside your craft box, and use what you have! 

Have fun wrapping!

Share:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest

Connect:

Jan Howell

Jan Howell

My intention for this website is to share tips and tutorials that I have found on my journey of life that has brought me joy, improved health, and peace, in hopes that it will do the same for you. I hope you'll join me on this journey!

Read More

5 DIY Christmas Craft & Gift Ideas

Yep, the holiday season is here and I’m feeling the intensity of all the hustle and bustle. ARE YOU? There is a big part of me that wants to just nestle in and make some kind of Christmas craft. Christmas would just not be the same without a DIY project of some kind.

I hope you’re carving out a little time to just chill and create something festive. It doesn’t have to be a major thing, sometimes it’s those simple little projects that are the most rewarding. If you want a little project or Christmas craft to whip up, here are a few fun ideas.

1- Orange Pomanders

I have been making orange pomanders for years and it just doesn’t seem like Christmas until we have made a few orange pomanders. I love the cheery orange and green color they add to the holiday decor, and the citrus clove aroma is amazing!

It is a fun, easy project to make with the kids.  This is a good time to sit, turn on some Christmas music, and enjoy each others company while you make something fun for the holidays.

You can find the complete tutorial HERE.

2- Christmas Stockings

It’s always fun to have a unique Christmas stocking, and one that is made from a variety of upcycled sweaters is the best! Of course, you can make these from woven cotton fabric as well. 

In this tutorial, I walk you through the process, which is quite easy and quick. You can find the tutorial and pattern link HERE.

Christmas gifts

3- sweater stars

These little stars are a unique little craft. They can be made from upcycled sweaters, which really give them a cozy texture or knit and woven fabric pieces can also be used.

You can embellish them with a cute button, jingle bell or felted wool ball.

These stars are cut hung on a doorknob, hung on the tree, or sitting on a cupboard. 

Get the full scoop and tutorial HERE.

4- felted wool mistletoe 

I love having greenery in my house in the winter and a cute little sprig of mistletoe with its contrasting white berries and a red ribbon hung above the door is a breath of fresh air to me, and a great way to get a few more of those heart felt kissaroos. Who couldn’t use a little more loven in your home? 

This is a fun and unique way to use a piece of felted wool. Regular felt pieces can also be used. 

The tutorial can be found HERE.

5-  Dish soap gift

If you’re looking for a NON-FOOD gift for your neighbors or friends, this dish soap idea is kinda fun. A plate of cookies or Christmas candy is a nice gift, but sometimes I like to give something that is not SWEETS and a little more practical. 

I love Mrs. Meyers holiday scent soaps. The pine and peppermint scents are so yummy. You can get the whole story and free PDF download HERE.

There you have it, 5 Christmas crafts to choose from. I hope you’ll take the time to slow down, gather your family and friends and enjoy some holiday crafting.

Seasons Greetings!

jan

Social Media

Most Popular

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.

Categories

Smart#Werable

How to Make a Dried Orange Slice Garland and Ornaments

dried orange garland

The holidays are just around the corner, so let the crafting begin! One of my favorite Christmas crafts to make are dried orange slices. Their bright cheery color and aroma really add character and charm to your holiday home décor.

This is a fun little project that both adults and children can enjoy!

By the way………..your house will smell fabulous when you make these!

What do you do with slices of dried orange?

  • One of my favorite things to do with them is to make a garland, and that is what I will be showing you how to do in this post.
  • Make single Christmas tree ornaments.
  • Use them to embellish your gift wrapping.
  • Add them to a potpourri mix.
  • Hang them in a window.
  • Add them to a Christmas wreath.
Play Video

Items and things you’ll need

Cooking the oranges

1 -Preheat oven to 250°

2 -Slice oranges ¼ inch, crosswise. Discard small ends.

 

3 -Blot with paper towel to remove excess juice.

dried orange garland

4 -Place on parchment covered cookie sheet.

5 -Place in preheated oven and cook for 3-4 hours. Flip oranges over half way through cooking time.

6 -Check periodically to make sure oranges are not overcooking and turning brown.

7 -Remove when almost dry and place on cooling rack to finish drying.

 

Making the garland

1- If using small twine, thread the yarn needle with the twine.

If not, just poke a hole into the orange with a nail or another small pointed object and insert twine.

2- Insert the needle just inside the rind from the back side.

Stick the needle back into the rind about an inch away from where threaded.  (Insert at 1:00 and exit at 11:00) Like on a clock.

Leave about a 12 inch tail for hanging.

3- Continue to thread until you achieve the desired garland length.

(Make sure to leave a little space between orange slices so they don’t overlap).

4- Make a knot with the leftover jute on both ends for hanging.

To make single Christmas tree ornaments

 

You can use these nifty pre-bent wire hangers or simply poke a hole in the orange and tie with a piece of jute or ribbon.

Doesn’t this just add some fun color to a Christmas tree!

Look how cute these single dried oranges look hanging in the window. They look like mini stained glass windows.

Here is another fun Christmas craft you can make with oranges. ORANGE POMANDERS

Let the holiday crafting begin! These also make cute Thanksgiving decorations. Perhaps some cute Thanksgiving dinner place setting decor?

Enjoy your holiday crafting.

Share:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest

Connect:

Jan Howell

Jan Howell

My intention for this website is to share tips and tutorials that I have found on my journey of life that has brought me joy, improved health, and peace, in hopes that it will do the same for you. I hope you'll join me on this journey!

Read More

Upcycled Sweater Stars – Free Pattern and Tutorial

sweater stars

Can you believe Christmas is just around the corner? It’s time to get out your sweater stash and make some fun things for the holidays. These upcycled sweater stars are so simple to make and can be embellished in so many ways.

Hang them from a door knob, embellish a gift package, put them on your Christmas tree, or just simply set a few on a shelf.  Depending on what sweater or other material you use, each one will sew up a little differently. That is what makes them so fun to make. Mix and match colors, textures, buttons and balls to your hearts content.

I was so excited to find this yellow sweater at the thrift store one day. A yellow wool sweater is always a good find. They are rare and hard to find. It was the perfect sweater for a warm, holiday star!

If you would like some tips on how to felt wool sweaters and how to get them ready for craft projects, I have a FREE online video class. You can read more about it HERE.

You can make them with:

  • felted wool sweaters (my favorite)
  • mixed fiber sweaters
  • knits
  • fleece
  • felt
  • woven fabrics

Other Items that you will need:

  • Downloadable printable pattern (GET IT HERE)
  • Sewing machine (although it can be sewn by hand)
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Needle & Thread
  • Fiber fill stuffing
  • Embellishments (optional) buttons, jingle bells, sweater balls, etc.
  • Loop material for hanging (twine, ribbon, embroidery floss, etc.)

Instructions:

1-  Download, print and cut out pattern.

There are two sizes.

 

2-  Cut two stars out of the fabric of your choice.

(Felted wool sweaters, mixed fiber sweaters, fleece, knit, and woven fabrics will work as well)

3-  Place star pieces Right Sides Together (RST) and pin in place.

4-  Starting at one star point, backstitch and then sew around stopping where indicated to leave space for filling.

5-  Trim seam.

6-  Clip star tips and inside corners.

7-  Turn the inside out

Poke star tips out using the tips of scissors, or a wood turning tool.

This is the polyester fiber fill that I use. As you can see, I buy it in the big bag to have on hand for all my crafting adventures.

8-  Stuff the star, poking the fiber filling out into the star tips.

Use a turning tool or the tips of a pair of closed scissors. (only if they have a rounded tip). Be careful not to poke through the fabric!

9-  Double thread a needle and knot the end.

10- Sew the opening closed using a slip stitch.

You can watch a demonstration of how to sew the slip stitch HERE.

10- To make indent in the middle (optional) double thread a needle and knot the end.

Making a dimple or indent in the star, makes it easier to place a button or bell on the front of the star.

11- Stick the needle in the back and pull through into the inside.

12- Stitch back and forth through both layers several times, pulling tight to form a dimple.

Here are a few ideas of what you can use to embellish your star.

13- Sew or glue, the button, bell or sweater ball to the star.

14- To make a loop to hang the star:

Here are some options of what to use to hang your star.

  • Jute (I use this stuff for everything)
  • Colored twine
  • Ribbon
  • Embroidery floss
  • Crafting trim

Cut a strip of yarn, embroidery floss, ribbon, jute, etc. about 10 inches long. Fold in half and make a knot on the end.

15- Using a needle and thread, whip stitch the knotted area onto the end of a star tip.

Ta-dah!

I bet you can’t wait to whip up a bunch more!

These sweater stars would be a fun Thanksgiving craft. Someone in my family usually comes up with a simple craft for all of us to make while we sit and chat. I wonder what we’ll make this year? I will have to keep you posted.

Send me a note if you have any questions while sewing up your stars.

You can find other fun things to make with upcycled wool sweaters in my Etsy shop and my Craftsy shop.

This is a great time to get started on your Christmas gift making. Here are a few other ideas.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday!

jan

Share:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest

Connect:

Jan Howell

Jan Howell

My intention for this website is to share tips and tutorials that I have found on my journey of life that has brought me joy, improved health, and peace, in hopes that it will do the same for you. I hope you'll join me on this journey!

Read More