Christmas is always a time of excess and over-indulgence – either in terms of turkey helpings or splurging on presents! As the season of excess, Christmas can be a difficult time to prioritise recycling and buying less. That being said, recycling at Christmas doesn’t have to be boring or drab! To help, we’ve developed some suggestions that help you combine your love of books with some handy recycling this Christmas.
Make Mini Gift Pouches
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs estimate that each year we use enough wrapping paper to wrap the island of Guernsey! If that statistic isn’t mind-boggling enough, a good majority of it won’t even get recycled due to laminates or glitter. Making your own mini gift pouches from old books is a fun and cute way to not only infuse your gift wrapping with some originality and vivacity this Christmas, but also a little step towards saving the planet! Using a touch of glue, you can connect old pages together to create a small pouch, and then use buttons, string or wooden pegs to fasten your pouches shut – all supplies you can source from independent craft stores or thrift shops to support your local high street as well. It’s a win-win!
Create Kusudama Balls for Baubles
Kusudama balls are a Japanese paper model where you sew or glue together multiple pyramids to form a spherical shape. Once traditionally used for potpourri and incense, they are now mostly decorative – and are the perfect way to combine crafting handmade ornaments and recycling old books you have lying around the house. Or alternatively you could even make a day of it as a family or group of friends and go on a trip around your local thrift stores to find old books– and then have a little crafting session (ideally accompanied by hot chocolates and classic Christmas tunes!). Not only will you create baubles you can use for years to come, but it’s a great way to get together and spend some quality time at Christmas.
Craft a Guardian Angel
This is a lovely opportunity to create a Christmas tree centrepiece that is a little bit of you, and something you can admire every year. You can use a mini pom-pom for the head of your little bibliophile angel and can decorate the wings with a splash of red or gold glitter for a cute Christmas vibe if you fancy. This is the perfect mini craft project to take on with your loved ones this festive season. You could even make a little competition of it, maybe with a box of Quality Street and a guaranteed place at the top of the tree as the number one prize! Bonus points if the old book is Christmas-themed!
Create Christmas Cards
One tree, on average, is only enough for 176 people to send cards to loved ones at Christmas – so if as many as one billion cards end up in the bin, that’s the equivalent of 33 million trees discarded! We also all know what predictable Christmas cards we tend to end up both giving and receiving each year. Using just pages from old books, some card and some glue, you can instead craft a sweet, handmade card personalised to its recipient. What better way to combine doing our bit for the planet and giving your friends and family a really thoughtful, bespoke Christmas treat this year? Another great way to save the trees this Christmas is to consider sending an e-Card. There’s no postage and packaging fees, they can be emailed on the day, and are completely eco-friendly!
Make a Christmas Wreath
This is a slightly bigger project, but a great Christmas challenge to take on! Wrapping some old pages into cones, you can glue them in a ring to create a Christmas wreath – and then you can really get creative with it. You could use glitter, old buttons, or other festive decals to spruce it up, and then hang it with some ribbon to show off both your bibliophilia and your artistic prowess. Although watch out hanging it on your front door in wet and windy Wales – we might suggest it’s best enjoyed inside!