Have Yourself a Merry "Green" Christmas

Brighten the season, and go easy on the planet, with these eight holiday DIY suggestions and solutions.

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  1. Holidays, Merry & Green

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    Making the holidays merry doesn't have to mean spending a bundle on decorations, trimmings and gifts. Nor does it have to involve the pangs of conscience that go along with stocking the landfill. With a little resourcefulness, you can create your own one-of-a-kind decorations, hand-made gifts and seasonal scents, like this potpourri from Real-Life Decor . These eco-friendly DIY holiday suggestions will brighten the season and go easy on the planet.

    Real-Life Decor

  2. Light the Way with Luminaries

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    MERRY: Convert a collection of small shopping bags into a set of enchanting luminaries, lighting the path to your front door. Just place the bags along the path or up the steps to your front door, then fill the bottom of each with an inch or two of sand and insert candles. To avoid risk of fire, use battery-operated votives, or LED tea lights, instead of lit candles.

    GREEN: Bags find a new purpose and you save on electricity.

    Flickr

  3. Gift Wrap Worth Saving

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    MERRY: Why not give a gift and wrap it with something just as special as the gift itself, like this book covered in an organic tea towel from Studio Patro? Creative gift-wrapping is perfect for cookbooks and bottles of wine and will double the pleasure of your gift for its recipient. 

    GREEN: No wasted gift wrap.

    Studio Patro

  4. Gifts in a Jar

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    MERRY: Enchant a friend or family member who loves to bake with the gift of Cookie Ingredients in a Jar—or in this case, a homemade granola recipe from Country Living. For cookies, measure out the dry ingredients and layer them, one on top of the other, to create a visually marked distinction. Decorate with a bow and make the card serve double-duty as both greeting and recipe.

    GREEN: The jar will be useful even when the contents are gone.

    Country Living

  5. Real Birch Candleholders

    Real-life-decor-jean-nayar-birch-candleholders-bob-vila-green

    MERRY: Craft an inspiring tablescape with birch branches, like the one shown here from Real-Life Decor. Use a handsaw to cut birch cordwood into various lengths, and turn them into candleholders. Using large drill bits of 1 to 1-1/2", drill holes into the tops of the logs about 1-1/2" deep. Inset with tapers and votives and arrange on a tray or mirror. 

    GREEN: If you grow tired of your candleholders after the holidays–or if your creations don't turn out so well–toss them in the fireplace!

    Real-Life Decor

  6. Repurpose Paper into Artful Ornaments

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    MERRY: No need to let all that pretty gift wrap and ribbon go to waste. Use it to craft charming ornaments you can hang in the windows or on the tree next year. Consider onion bulbs, like these ones featured on curbly.com, which were made with little more than scissors, hole punch, paper clips, and metal eyelet kit. For how-tos, click here.

    GREEN: Paper becomes art, not trash.

    Curbly

  7. Home-Made Holiday Scents

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    MERRY: Nothing adds to the holiday spirit like the fresh smell of evergreens and winter spices. Simply blend a mix of fresh-scented elements–like pinecones, cedar shavings, balsam sprigs, star anise, cinnamon sticks, allspice berries, and bay leaves–in a pretty bowl and sprinkle with a few drops of pine essential oil. Great for packaging and gifting, too. 

    GREEN: Using earth-friendly materials to fill your home with natural fragrance (no aerosol spray).

    Keeper of the Home

  8. Plant Containers

    Real-life-decor-jean-nayar-floral-containers-bob-vila-green

    MERRY:  A holiday bloom will always find a welcome recipient. Try forcing the bulbs yourself and gifting them in unusual, salvaged containers, like those shown here from Real-Life Decor.  You can use containers saved over time or discover interesting varieties for pennies at yard and garage sales. The effort will show you invested time and the personal touch will make your gift even more special.

    GREEN:  Recycling saved and non-used items in a practical, decorative way.

    Real-Life Decor

  9. Vintage Ornament Wreath

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    MERRY: Consider turning your vintage ornaments into a decorative holiday wreath, like this one. With a standard, no-frills evergreen wreath, a few supplies, and basic DIY skills, you can create your own personal holiday expression. For a how-to on 3 Easy Wreaths, click here.

    GREEN: Putting vintage collections to good use.

    Nicole Esposito Polly

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