Great Ways to Recycle Special Moments!

There are many celebrations that people will have in their lives, like holidays, weddings, and commencements. It is not unusual for them to wear special clothing, or give beautifully wrapped presents to each other during these times. After the celebratory periods have passed, however, the wrapping paper and costumes are usually thrown away. Many feel that this is a waste, so they recycle the used items by making them into arts and crafts for adults and children. Doing so reduces the amount of festive pieces that wind up in landfills, and keeps the special moments hanging around longer!

Used Christmas wrapping paper is often wadded up and tossed in the trash can after the holidays, but it can also be turned into crafts that are both decorative and useful. It comes in every color, and can be shiny, sparkly, or have a demure matte finish to it. Some funny Christmas wrapping paper even comes with pictures or popular animated characters on it. Nightmare Before Christmas wrapping paper is a perfect example of this. It comes with pictures of characters from the Tim Burton film emblazoned all over it. Vintage Christmas wrapping paper comes with pictures on it, too. These are more holiday-themed, however, and usually include fir trees, holly, berries, elves, and Christmas ornaments.

If it has been removed from the package carefully, Christmas gift wrapping paper can be flattened and reused to cover more gifts next year. For this reason, some people use easily removable Glue Dots instead of tape when they seal their packages, so the paper will be less likely to tear as its folds are being separated. What are Glue Dots? They are pieces of a specialized adhesive, which maintains its shape and does not run when pressure is applied during sealing. They are transparent and small, so they can be quickly tucked under the paper folds of a package without being noticeable. Glue Dots also will not damage surfaces they are stuck on, so they are ideal to use with delicate kinds of paper.

Old Christmas wrapping paper rolls can also be cut up and fashioned into bows to be used on gifts given the following Yuletide. The paper can be cut up into strips, which will then be fastened together at one end, and folded into bow-shapes. Mini Glue Dots, from Glue Dots International, can be used to hold the strips in position. They are the perfect adhesive to use in this situation, because they are extremely small and strong. Once all the strips have been stuck into place, the bow can be embellished with some acrylic craft paint or glitter glue pens.

Some people forego buying premade Christmas cards to send their friends and close acquaintances. They opt to create their own instead with blank cardstock, and glue squares or circles cut from their leftover Christmas wrapping paper as designs on the front of it. Season’s greetings written in the card are often done with calligraphy pens or glitter glue pens. Many of the items needed to make homemade Christmas cards can be found in an art supply store, or in the catalog of a stationary retailer's online store.

A few people do not like to mess about with glass Christmas ornaments, since these break with ease. To have tiny shards of glass littering the floor is not a good situation for folks with kids or pets, and so they make harmless paper Christmas decorations to have in their homes, instead. Many kinds of Christmas wrapping paper come in sheets, not rolls, and these can be folded into festive shapes, then held in place by Glue Dots or spots of Elmer’s Glue. Many people further embellish these ornaments with paint, stickers, or glitter gel pens, then punch a hole through their tops and run string through the holes. The holiday decorations can be hung anywhere after that.

When children return to school after the Christmas holiday has ended, they may be assigned new books. As every parent knows, the covers on the kids’ books will get scratched up in no time if a wrapper of some sort is not added. Many people recycle their unused or saved wrapping paper into book covers for their kids’ new hardbacks. In order to make a paper book cover, the paper is trimmed to a rectangle slightly larger than the book it is going on, then folded down around the book's original shell. Once the paper has been folded to fit the book snugly, it can be held in place with tape or Glue Dots.

Children can use old wrapping paper in other ways at school, as well. They can use it to line their lockers with, so these small spaces will have some flair. All the kids need to do is pre-measure the interiors of their lockers, then cut out pieces of paper that will fit those measurements at home. They can then take those pieces of paper to school and adhere them to the lockers' walls. Many kids use regular Scotch tape to hang up their locker decorations, but Glue Dots may work better, because it will not pull off the lockers' paint during removal. Children can also wrap the decorative paper around empty soup cans and use them as pen and pencil holders to keep on the shelves of their lockers.

Of course, it is not just Christmas wrapping that can be turned into paper decorations and functional items. Wrapping paper for wedding and baby gifts can be used to make adornments for bridal and baby showers. They can be cut into strips and, combined with some Glue Dots, folded into paper flowers or bows to embellish the gifts given at the showers. People can also recycle the tissue paper they pre-wrap gifts with into party gildings. Tissue paper decorations are lightweight, and can be combined with streamers to create lovely party trimmings. Like gift wrapping paper, tissue paper can also be glued to decorative paper products and cardstock to make invitations and thank-you notes.

Some people like to save the wrapping paper from their celebrations to make crafts which will help them remember those special times. Collages are one example of such crafting. Folks can take the photographs, cards, and decorative paper items they received during their parties, and cut them up into pieces. They can then glue those pieces onto large pieces of poster board, and add writing, stickers, or craft acrylic paint to finish their artwork. A few folks also make bookmarks out of their special wrapping paper and cards they receive. They will cut thin strips from their decorated paper, and run them through a small laminating machines to preserve them. They may also punch holes in the end, and put on tassels or small charms strung on some ribbon.

Celebratory wrapping paper can also be used to add color and flair to homemade picture frames. A person interested in making frames for the photographs from his/her special moment can buy Alvin Balsa Wood Sheets and cut strips from them with a small saw. If using a saw is not an option, Alvin True Scale Balsa Strips can be used instead. These are strips of balsa wood that have been pre-cut to specific sizes. Once the strips are fashioned into a picture frame, one side can be sanded down and brushed with a liquid adhesive. The paper is then cut into strips that cover the frame, or put on collage-style, in little pieces. Some Craft Smart Acrylic Paint, or shards of gold leaf might also be added the frame for further embellishment. Gold leaf sheets are available for sale in many craft stores and online art supply stores. Gold leaf is one of the more expensive artistic materials, but many crafters are willing to pay the extra price to have its beautiful glow as a part of their artwork.

Many people recycle more than just the decorative paper they get on their gifts. They reuse the glasses their guests were drinking from, as well. They make glitter glasses out of the extra wine and champagne glasses they purchased for special celebrations, so they can use them again when they host other events. Making glitter glasses is very easy. People can purchase glass glitter paint at their local craft supply store, and brush it onto the spare glasses with a stencil brush. They may also use stencils to put designs and patterns on with the glitter paint. Once the glasses have set unused for three to four weeks, the glitter paint is fully cured and they are good to go.

A lot of folks only keep their leftover decorative paper plates to use at their next party, but these can be used to make fun arts and crafts for kids. Little ones can paint them, put stickers on them, glue fake gems to them, spray glitter adhesive on them, and virtually transform the paper discs into anything they want. Decorative paper napkins are also something that many people just save to have at their next get-together, but they can be used to complete lots of arts and crafts ideas, too. Adults and kids can use them to make paper flowers, clouds, and butterflies to hang on the walls and windows in their homes.

People like to make their own themed garments to wear during the holidays. After the celebrations are over, some may simply throw these costumes away or donate them to a charity thrift shop. This is something of a waste, because the outfits can be saved and turned into other fun and functional things. People can, for example, hold on to them to wear again the following year to celebrate the same festivities. Parents can also put their homemade costumes into a large bin, and let their children use them to play dress-up in during the rest of the year. Some people may break down their old costumes, and use them piece-by-piece to make other items. They might turn the headdress into a hat, or cut the whole costume into strips and sew it into a cloth purse or backpack. They may cut it up into patches, and use them to sew a pillow or quilt. If the outfit features symbols, like a superhero's costume does, those can be cut off and sewn as patches onto kids' clothing.

It is not just the costumes that can be recycled. The art supplies used to construct them can be reused to make other crafts. Fabric paint spray, glow-in-the-dark fabric paint, and glitter gel pens add special effects to holiday costumes, but they can still be employed year-round to put some pizzazz on everyday clothing and footwear. Kids can utilize them to make arts and crafts, too. They can use these to spruce up old dolls and repair stains on stuffed animals. Fabric spray adhesive is also handy to have around the home, because it can be used to fix many clothing-related mishaps very quickly.

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