An important tenet of sustainable waste management is recycling: extending the life of the objects we use by putting them to new uses. Not only does this limit the exploitation of virgin resources, it also means we pollute less by sending less garbage out of our homes.
With some creativity and patience, everyday stuff from our homes - empty tin cans, plastic spoons, fabric waste - can be transformed into unique and interesting items of home decor, light fixtures, for instance, that are a low-budget, eco-friendly way to lend your space a warm glow this festive season. They're super easy to make and a fun way to bring the family together over a shared project.
1. Recycled tin can lanterns
Perforated tin cans make lovely mood lighting for an indoor gathering. Get creative with designs, use them as single pieces or string up for an outdoor party. Here's how.
2. Empty can tea light holders
Shallow cans work best to make these hanging candle holders. Transform the empty cans with paint or any gift wrap you have handy, drill a hole on the side and string them up to hold your tea lights or diyas.
3. Glass jar table lamps
Super simple to do: Paste thick paper around a glass jar or bottle. Cut out your desired pattern. Alternatively, paint the bottle with your chose design or wrap with fabric. Place a candle or lamp into the bottle. If you're shutting the lid, make sure to leave a vent for air access.
4. Colourful paper cup light garland
Dress up a plain string of lights with (used, cleaned and dried) paper cups. Paint them, add decoupage, fabric, twine or glitter to lend them a personalised twist.
5. Recycled plastic bottle lights
A fun way to upgrade a simple string of lights into a festive garland using old plastic bottles. All you need are a few used bottles, some craft supplies and lots of creativity.
6. Plastic bottle tea light holders
Give old plastic bottles a facelift by turning them into these floral candle holders. Gather your old plastic bottles, paint and a pair of scissors and get to work getting creative.
7. Recycled plastic spoon chandelier
This gorgeous pendant light keeps not just spoons, but also old plastic cans out of the trash while giving you a statement art piece.
8. Wine bottle lights
Turn those wine bottles you've been saving up into budget decor. Place them on a shelf to illuminate a corner of your room or use them as a centrepiece for a festive family meal.
9. Doily orb lamp
Doilies may be dated but when the light shines through those lace patterns, you'll be glad you didn't send yours to the trash. Make your own. It's easier than you think.
10. Fabric scrap lamps
This project transforms used plastic cups and fabric bits into a garland of tiny, colourful lampshades that can light up every room.
Featured image: YouTube screen grab