If you’re tired of using the same Christmas decorations every year, then it’s time to think outside the old ornament box. To freshen up the look of your tree or holiday spaces, turn to your favorite pastime or profession for inspiration. We’ll show you how to use old trinkets, knick-knacks, collectibles, or the tools of your trade to add style and personality to your usual holiday decorating tradition.
1. Choose a Theme
The first thing to do is decide on a theme. Whether it’s a hobby, sport, or occupation, select the one passion you’d like to share with your loved ones and holiday guests. Also, consider what items you have plenty of and can spare.
Perhaps you’re an avid figurine collector with a boxful of duplicates stored in a drawer. Or maybe you’re a veteran photographer who’s amassed several years’ worth of film rolls or canisters. Got kitschy travel souvenirs from every city, state, or country you’ve ever visited? Almost anything can be transformed into a Christmas tree ornament, so dive into your collection and get cracking.
2. Gather the Materials
To get your items to hang on the tree, round up a variety of ribbons, thread, twine, or nylon fishing line. Generally, you can use hot glue to directly attach these hangers onto your objects. Some items may need to be fastened with a cup hook or screw eye to be displayed properly, so a small drill or awl will come in handy.
3. Do Your Thing
CD’s. There are many ways to decorate with old or scratched up CD’s. Try gluing two discs back-to-back, shiny side up, with a loop of cord sandwiched between them. Decorate each side with buttons, beads, costume gems, or scrapbooking materials.
Guitar Picks. Rock out your Christmas tree with your old guitar picks. Use a small drill or a hot needle to punch a hole in the top center of the pick, and then thread a length of nylon guitar string through to create a loop.
Toys. From Happy Meal toys to designer art figurines, playthings bring plenty of fun and charm to any Christmas tree. Simply hot glue a loop of twine to the top of your toy, and it’s ready to go. In order not to ruin you fabric dolls, autographed baseballs, or prized collectibles, wrap and suspend them with ribbon instead.
Cookie Cutters. Metal cookie cutters are a great way to display your love for baking. Simply dab some craft glue along the edge of the cutter, and then press the cutter to some patterned paper or photocopied pictures. Trim off the excess paper, add a loop of baker’s twine to the back, and they’re for hanging.
Scrabble. Word lovers don’t need to fret over incomplete Scrabble sets. Spell out names or holiday words with wooden Scrabble tiles. Glue a wooden popsicle stick to the back of the tiles, and then cut the stick to fit. Attach a loop of colorful thread, and embellish with beads, ribbons, or berry accents.
Try these techniques on your collection of shells, key chains, refrigerator magnets, or even miniature liquor bottles, and liven up your Christmas tree with a festive look that is uniquely you!