Zenith Tie Wire 14g x 20m Galvanised
You can make your own Christmas decorations – and memories – by harnessing your creativity and transforming “found” objects (like pinecones and discarded cardboard) into beautiful ornaments.
We spoke with Kiwi cook and lifestyle guru Annabel Langbein about the power of creativity, and we’re sharing a couple of her suggestions for D.I.Y. Christmas tree décor.
Tip: This is a great project for families of all ages!
Found objects are everyday objects that can be used to make something creative. They can be natural objects (like stones or twigs) or man-made objects (wire or cardboard, for example).
“I think the past few years have encouraged us all to create a life that’s gentle on the environment and our wallets, a life that is good for our bodies and minds,” says Annabel. “Creating something unique and beautiful from materials you find on a walk, or from something you otherwise would have thrown away, is a wonderful way to awaken your curiosity and creativity.”
No matter your age, find time to be creative, Annabel says, and you’ll feel refreshed and restored. “We all have a creative spark in us, but it needs time and space. If we give ourselves that, the space is open for wonderful things to happen.”
And creating your own D.I.Y. Christmas decorations, using objects that other people overlook or cast aside, is not only a great way to kickstart your creativity and make memories, it is also good for the environment.
"I’ve always been a big advocate for cooking and crafting at home from scratch,” Annabel says. “It’s such an easy way to bring less packaging into your home.”
And inspiration can be found in the strangest of places – landfills, thrift stores, your garden and even your junk drawer. Look for items that catch your eye, and transform them into something beautiful, giving them a new purpose.
Unlock your imagination by taking found objects and turning them into D.I.Y. Christmas tree décor. Wrap discarded wire into the shape of an angel. With a little glitter and glue, transform a cardboard toilet paper roll into an elven home. Paint up old paintbrushes like Santa Claus. The sky is the limit, and anyone can give this a try!
Two of Annabel’s favourite D.I.Y. decorations utilise discarded cardboard and a handful of pinecones. Here’s how she works her magic:
Transform ordinary cardboard into glittering gold star ornaments. First, cut up old cardboard boxes into manageable pieces. Using a star-shaped cookie cutter, trace outlines of stars on the cardboard with a pencil. Place a cutting mat or a piece of plywood under the cardboard to use as a safe cutting surface, and cut out the stars using a craft knife and metal ruler.
Using the cookie cutter as a general guide, draw one larger star – this one is to hang at the top of the Christmas tree.
Push the pencil through one point of each star, to create a hole for a piece of string to be added later. Lay down a drop sheet, spare cardboard or newspaper, place your stars on top and apply the gold spray paint, leaving to dry. Apply a second coat if necessary.
Once the stars are dry, cut pieces of string and thread them through the holes in the stars; tie for hanging.
Spread pinecones on a drop sheet, spare cardboard or newspaper and apply white and/or silver glitter spray paint. Turn the pinecones over and apply more spray paint, coating the entire pinecone and leaving to dry. Apply a second coat if necessary. (Again, make sure to wear PPE gear and follow instructions.)
Once the pinecones are dry, cut short lengths of twist tie and twist around the top of the pinecones for hanging.
Place your tree in the Christmas tree stand, ensure it is standing straight and tighten bolts around the lower trunk. Hang Christmas lights close to the trunk, wrapping them around the full length of the tree. Lastly, decorate your tree with your pinecones and stars, saving the largest star for the top of the tree.