Tuesday, 15 December 2009

A Recycled Christmas Carnival


A few weeks I was wax lyrical about the amazing range of creative ideas for Christmas gifts that exists on the web, featuring recycled or reused materials. I'd been inspired by some research I'd done for the Recycle Now website and came up with the notion of this carnival to share details of things that other people have made or have even spotted on the Internet.

While I was waiting for creative bloggers to send me their links, I got busy with my own ideas and started making presents to give to some lovely people this Christmas. The gift that you see above is something I've made for Mr A's aunt. It's pot pourri, which features dried rose petals that I'd gathered from the garden this autumn, along with rosehips, pyracantha berries, sliced clementine peel and some cinammon sticks from the cupboard. I packaged it in an old jam jar, wrapped in an offcut of fabric taken from a festive organza tablecloth. It really was that simple and cost just a small amount of time.

I have to admit it's been an uplifting experience creating some handmade gifts this year, particularly using things from the garden that would have otherwise perished. Although I haven't had much time available, I've given it my best shot and even when we've sent our relatives money, I've tried my hand at "banknote origami" to add some originality - try googling it as I'm sure it will bring a smile to your face.

Well that's enough of my exploits. In this post I want to highlight the creativity and inspiration that has come in from other folk and as ever, between them there is a massive amount of enthusiasm that I hope will inspire you for years to come. So grab your favourite seasonal tipple, put your feet up and enjoy.


A bit of festive recycling from around the web.

Kicking off the carnival, is the lovely Nixdminx, who in her post Recycling this Christmas highlighted a fabulous pair of Vivienne Westwood shoes made from a fabric that will be recognisable to anyone who has visited London. It really shows how recycled products can be both stylish and cool.

I can't believe when I initially put this together that I forgot Evie George's most wonderful Baby Friendly Christmas Tree. I'd lost the email link and have been scratching my woolly head to find it again. And I am so glad I did because her work of recycled art is truly inspirational as is her gorgeous blog.

Mrs Green over at MyZeroWaste.com, (who you might recognise as being featured in the Sunday Mirror this weekend) has been a real busy bee. Her post A Zero Waste Christmas highlights how she's discovered her inner creative child, just in time to make an MP4 player case from an old pair of pyjamas for her 8-year-old. For someone who hasn't had confidence in picking up a needle and thread for years, the results are amazing.

Maria at Fabmums has also been creative with decorations made from branches, fir cones and recycled ribbons. I love her Monday Crafts post about how she made the festive branch, which not just saves pounds, but is so versatile it can be used in a number of ways to decorate the house this Christmas.

I'm sure you'll also fall in love with the painted garage in this post called Loving-Not Loving-Christmas, which has been submitted by Simone from Great Fun For Kids. How she has transferred an old battered child's toy is utterly awesome and is really worth a look.

With a totally thrifty feel, Cambridge Ecothrifter, also called Simone, has submitted her fabulous ideas in her post Cheap Christmas Cheer, which includes a whole host of creative thoughts on alternative gifts this year.

And if you have any doubts at all that you're up for the job of crafting your own recycled presents, Grit has done a great job of inspiring confidence, especially if you have children to hand and need to come up with that "something special" for the loved ones in your life. For an amusing tale, check out Grit's guide to Christmas for mean parents.

Now last - but definitely not least - is this cracking submission from a new website that I've recently discovered, thanks to a tip-off from the wonderful Mrs B from York. If you haven't visited the website Present Sense, then it really is a must. I guarantee that regular readers of The Rubbish Diet willl absolutely love it. Set up by a group of mothers who are passionate about sustainable gifting, the website offers bundles of alternative ideas for sourcing recycled or reused presents and helps break down any social barriers in doing so. I've already caught up with Karen, one of the founding members, who is delighted to include their Gift Ideas page in this carnival.

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So there you have it, lots of inspirational posts and links to keep you on the straight and narrow in preparing for this Christmas and many more to come. Huge thanks to everyone who took the trouble to submit their entries. With so much to choose from, the difficulty will be deciding between what recycled gifts to buy and what goodies you can make. Judging by this year's experience I know that I will be champing at the bit to start my plans in January.

But Christmas isn't over yet and with that in mind, don't forget there is still time to enter Recycle Now's draw to win this stunning recycled Christmas Tree, the deadline for which is 17th December.



And while you're there, be sure to check out the latest ideas for making Christmas decorations as well as musical instruments from things that might otherwise be thrown away.

So all that's left to do is to officially wish you a merry recycling Christmas. And do come back soon for some more waste-free fun!

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14 comments:

CraftyCreative said...

This is great (and creative) stuff, I must post on my blog and include this link! Thanks for the inspiration

maria said...

Thanks for this great carnival. The stuff that we can make out of materials that would be otherwise wasted is very inspirational and for me it's a fantastic way to teach my son about recycling having fun!

nixdminx said...

great carnival - can you do one in the new year on how we coped with all the Christmas rubbish please? xx

Danda said...

What a marvellous Christmas carnival!!! Plenty of great ideas! It's a pity I lost the chance to send my little contribution to a recycled Christmas... but if you have some time, pop over my blog to see the recycled decoration I made... perhaps a good idea for next Christmases!
And you were very inspirational with your lyrics... many thanks!

ALMOST MRS AVERAGE said...

Hi Crafty Creative - thank you so much for joining in and for the link over at your blog too. Hope we'll get to meet soon :-D

Hi Maria - There's so many possibilities aren't there. I'm just looking at the table covered in all sorts of festive bits and bobs and can't wait for some more time to do more. Thanks for sending in your link :-D

Hi Nixminx - LOL, as one carnival ends another begins eh. What a fab idea! Brilliant indeed. Yes, great idea and you're on!
* Here's the invitation to anyone who wants to join in with nixdminx's idea. Send me your submissions by 6 Jan and I'll publish 7 January. It can cover anything - regifting presents, discoveries about recycling facilities. I'm looking forward to it. :-D

Hi Danda - thank you. Shame you missed it but I definitely recommend readers to pop over to your blog and have a look at your post. Those decorations look fab and I love your photos of your visit to Trento :-D

cartside said...

thank you so much for this fab carnival idea, been looking forward to it all week! It's given me lots of ideas, also on similar types of carnival (ideas for reusing empty milk bottles anyone?)

Anna @ Evie George said...

Thank you for the mention! right at the top as well.. ooooh! thank you!!!!

I've got some homemade recipes up today if anyone fancies making body scrub/lipbalm or ginger biscuits.

I'll try and think of something for the post-Christmas waste carnival x

ALMOST MRS AVERAGE said...

Hi Cartside - so glad you liked it. There are some super ideas there aren't there. Re empty milk bottles, if they're the plastic ones I've seen them decorated with coloured squares and turned into Elmer Elephants. If I can grab a picture to demonstrate I'll do so :-D

ALMOST MRS AVERAGE said...

Hi Anna - It's great to have you in it and I am so sorry for misplacing your original email. Thank you so much for joining in. Your tree is gorgeous and I'll most definitely be popping over as I'm in need of some biscuit tips as Christmas pressie ideas for the teachers. :-)

John at Cell Phone Recycling said...

I have always love Christmas and aside from the snow, decorating is one of my favorite, but of course this is crucial because you really have to be green. That's why I always come back on your blog because I always find good ideas. Thanks for sharing them always.

happy Holidays.

lunarossa said...

Great post, Karen, thanks. I had a lot of ideas but my time is so limited these days that I didn't manage to meet the deadline. So sorry. Byt you've got plenty to share here anyway. Ciao. A.

ALMOST MRS AVERAGE said...

Hi John - thank you so much for your kind comments and it's always good to have you around. Hope to see you soon :-)

Hi Antonella - I know how you feel. Can you believe it Christmas in just one week. Yikes. I feel like I've hardly started :-)

chris said...

great info on the diet industry's dirty little secrets!

Doctor_Eva said...

A fat woman looks miserable and shabby! You need two month to get slim But I know, how to lose weight!

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