5 Crafty Ideas For Repurposing After The Holidays

twine ribbon tied around pine twig with sparkling festive lights

The holidays may be over, but that doesn’t mean the holiday stress is. Between wrangling string lights, wrapping paper, and festive knickknacks, dealing with a post-holiday household can get overwhelming. It’s even more stressful when you realize just how much stuff people throw away after the holidays. According to Stanford University, Americans throw away 25% more trash during the Thanksgiving to New Year's holiday period than any other time of year.

That’s why we love repurposing after the holidays! Not only does it lighten the load on our planet, but it also makes for fun, crafty activities that are great to share with family or a group of friends.

So, still not sure what to do with all those lights and extra rolls of wrapping paper? Here are some ideas:

1. Turn flat-backed decorations into wall art

You can take relatively neutral decorations — things like birds or snowflakes — and create a piece of art to hang up on your wall. Glue the decorations onto a flat background, like the lid of a shoebox or a canvas, and add the colors or other elements you think will work best. Then, find a frame for your new creations and hang them up for the world to see. If you need to see an example, this blog does a great job of explaining.

This is a great activity to do with young kiddos — the more creative they can get with the decorations they decide to use, the better! (Also, you can use an adhesive putty instead of glue if you want to reuse the decorations for next year.)

2. Mix metallics with natural elements for year-round decor

If there was a Christmas tree in your house, you can place metallic ornaments in a wooden bowl to create cute, wintry home decor. Place the bowl in your entryway or on the dining room table for a sparkly accent.

3. Make collages with wrapping paper and cards

christmas minimal wrapping paper

Lots of wrapping paper lying around? You don’t need to recycle it; try crafting your own collage. Discover which patterns and colors complement each other. You can also add components of holiday cards to your collage for an infusion of more texture and color.

4. Repurpose wreaths and pine needles for potpourri

Who doesn’t love filling their home with the smell of winter? Making homemade potpourri is one of the best ways to do that. With notes of balsam, orange, cinnamon, and cloves, this recipe makes good use of pine needles you can repurpose from a tree or wreath. It’s a wonderful way to create a fresh scent in your home using only natural ingredients!

5. Use festive lights around the house for year-round decoration

woman sitting in front of lightstrung pictures

String lights make for pretty home decor no matter what the occasion. Light up a bookshelf, bedframe, or doorway by placing string lights around the perimeter. You can also use lights to accentuate picture frames and artwork or to spice up plain old phone charging cables.

What will you be repurposing from the holiday season? Let us know in the comments below!

Cecilia Seiter
Cecilia is a freelance writer and contributor to Slow North. She writes largely about sustainability, especially as it applies to beauty, wellness, and the future of technology. She is a graduate of the journalism department at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and is based in Oakland , CA.