How to achieve a more sustainable Christmas: Crafting up-cycled decorations and ornaments

How to achieve a more sustainable Christmas: Crafting up-cycled decorations and ornaments

by Michelle Chow

As the holiday season unfolds, we find ourselves surrounded by a surplus of gifts and decorations, contributing to an alarming amount of waste. In the spirit of positive change, we believe in making small steps towards a more sustainable approach to Christmas, repurposing everyday objects and granting them a second life as festive decorations.

With this in mind, we recently had the pleasure of hosting a Sustainable Up-cycling Gifting Workshop at Millenia Walk Mall over the past weekend, using material collected from our recycling initiative. If you missed the event or simply need a refresher, you can follow our step-by-step instructions to create your own recycled decorations at home. The tutorials will guide you on how to make your very own Christmas present bow, paper Christmas tree and cardboard star using old magazines and toilet roll cores. 

Christmas Present Bow:


  • Old magazines
  • Scissors
  • Glue or Stapler
  • Ribbon or twine for hanging
  • Ruler


1. Gather Old Magazines

Collect a stack of old magazines with colourful pages. Look for vibrant images and patterns that will add a festive touch to your Christmas bow.

 2. Cut Magazine Strips

Using scissors or a paper trimmer, cut the pages into strips approximately 2cm in width. Prepare the following lengths:

 3x strips: 21cm long

 3x strips: 19cm long

 2x strips: 17cm long

1x strip: 9.5cm long

3. Create Loop Strips

Take one of the 21cm strips and apply a small amount of glue or use a staple at one end. Loop it down towards the centre, creating a circle of 8. Repeat this loop process with each stripe remaining 21cm strips. Arrange the circles on top of each other, with the larger ones at the bottom and the smaller ones on top. This layering will give your bow a fuller look.

5. Glue Layers Together

Apply glue to the centre of each circle and stack them on top of each other. Press down gently to ensure a secure bond. Allow the glue to dry completely.

6. Attach Hanging Ribbon or Twine

Cut a piece of ribbon or twine to your desired length for hanging. Apply glue to the back of the bow and attach one end of the ribbon or twine. Once the glue is dry, your recycled magazine Christmas bow is ready to be hung on a gift or Christmas tree.

Magazine Christmas Tree

This easy and fun project requires no glue or cutting, just a bit of folding magic. 


  • An old magazine


1. Start Folding

Open the magazine to the first page. Fold the top right corner of the page over, creating a triangle. Align the folded edge with the spine of the magazine. Then again fold at an angle, as indicated in the image above. The page should extend off magazine, fold this up to not stick out.

2. Repeat the Folds

Continue folding each subsequent page in the same manner. As you progress, the folded pages will create layers, resembling the branches of a Christmas tree.

3. Complete the Folding

Continue folding until you reach the last page of the magazine. Make sure the final page is securely folded to maintain the tree's structure.

Now that you've mastered the art of folding, your holiday decorating just got a whole lot greener. 

Toliet Roll Christmas Tree Star

In just a few easy steps, we'll show you how to transform an old toilet roll core into a dazzling Christmas tree star.


  • Old toilet roll core
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Paint in festive colors
  • Paintbrush

1. Mark the Center Lines

Using a ruler and a pencil, draw two vertical lines around the curvature of the toilet roll core, ensuring they are 2 cm apart. This will serve as a guide for cutting the star shape.

2. Cut Stripes on Each End

With a pair of scissors, carefully cut stripes along each end of the toilet roll core, leaving the centre uncut. 

3. Flatten and Trim the Stripes

Flatten out the cut stripes, and then using the scissors cut the outer edges of each stripe at an angle to create sharp triangles. This will form the points of your Christmas tree star.

4. Paint in Festive Colors

Let your creativity shine by painting the star in festive colours. You can choose classic Christmas colours like red, green, gold, or silver. Feel free to add glitter or other decorative elements for an extra festive touch.

Once the paint is dry, your handmade Christmas tree star is ready to shine! Place it on top of your Christmas tree or use it as a delightful center-piece for your holiday decorations.

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