Like many folks out there, Christmas is my favourite holiday. But unfortunately there is often a lot of waste involved. I’m aiming to create as little waste as possible this year – from presents, gift wrap, decorations and food. Today I started with my favourite part of the season, decorating the tree.
Some might say it’s a little early to put up the tree, but I truly couldn’t resist the urge. Last year was our first Christmas living out of home, so we bought ourselves a small (but admittedly plastic) tree, with the commitment we would have it forever. Last year I felt the tree was under-decorated and lacked some love. Instead of rushing out to buy some decorations from the store, I decided to make my own felt creations.
Learn a craft
Hand sewing is probably the easiest craft out there. With simply a needle, thread and coloured felt, you can create your own, personalised decorations. If you don’t know how to sew, youtube can be your greatest resource. I’ve used the blanket stitch for my creations, it’s a nice and secure stitch, but also the most tidy looking. I used this video to teach myself, although there are plenty out there. I also think it’s extremely easy to pick up, even for a total novice. If your stitches aren’t perfectly even, who cares! it will still be something you’ve created from scratch.
Picking a pattern
As a seasoned crafter, some of these little felt creations were of my own imagination. Except for the little Santas, which I found a pattern for on Etsy as a PDF download (which is no longer available). If you head to Etsy and search for something like ‘Christmas felt decoration’, you’ll find a plethora of gorgeous, simple patterns available for a couple of dollars. I chose a simple design for mine, mostly because I have a thousand other projects on the go. But you can make it as complicated as your sewing skills allow.
These angels were based off a homemade decoration I’d been given last year for Christmas (the one on the right), which ended up being a good excuse to use up some pipe cleaners I had stashed away!
Unfortunately, even craft has it’s waste. Acrylic thread that is sold in most craft shops is a non-compostable product. So any leftover pieces of thread I have – I use as stuffing for my decorations. This also applies to any un-usable pieces of felt as well. This also makes me think about decorations in stores. Although you can buy unpackaged decorations from the stores, you can’t control the waste that was involved in making the product.
I will certainly be keeping my homemade decorations for years and years to come. I’m hoping to make even more next year, so that every branch on the tree has a decoration. The best part is, if any of these decorations break (or get attacked by one of my cats), I know how to fix them.
Alongside our multi-coloured baubles, our tree is looking absolutely magnificent in all it’s tiny power. We both absolutely adore these felt beauties, and will be with us for as long as our lives. I’m looking forward to pulling out my decorations in twenty/thirty/forty years time, and feeling reminiscent of when they were created. It’s easy to be low/zero waste with as something as simple as tree decorations, so try and resist the urge to purchase another set of plastic decorations from the store. Take the plunge and make your own!
For my favourite video on how to do the blanket stitch, head to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0S7OLAb__E
For Etsy and patterns, head to https://www.etsy.com/
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