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Recycled Christmas Tree Decorations + a Virtual Tree

recycled christmas decorations that kids can make from

If you’re doing any online shopping this year, you probably have cardboard boxes piling up in your recycling bin. In fact you may have already employed a son or daughter to get on top of the pile any use their weight to compact it so you could fit even more in.

Just me?

Well, while the kids may be getting anxious for the arrival of Christmas, you can keep their hands occupied with a fun and easy recycled craft for kids!

Recycled Cardboard Ornaments for Kids

Craft Supplies

Recycled cardboard


White glue

String and or yarn

Holiday ribbon scraps or fabric scraps

Colorful beads – optional

Tiny hole punch or compass with pointed end.

Easy Cardboard Ornament

snowman ornament

1. Trace a Christmas cookie cutter onto a rectangle of cardboard.

2. Trace over the pencil line with a stream of white glue.

3. Stick colorful yarn to the outline of glue.

4. Add more details by gluing on plastic beads.

Medium Level Cardboard Ornament

1. Trace a Christmas cookie cutter onto a rectangle of cardboard and cut out.

2. Trace the cookie cutter onto a piece of plaid or Christmas fabric or ribbon.

3. Shape the fabric to fit a portion of the shape – like a piece of clothing, hat, or other detail within the silhouette.

4. Glue it onto the cardboard shape.

Advanced Cardboard Ornament Cross Stitch

DIY ornaments for kids

1. Trace a Christmas cookie cutter onto a rectangle of cardboard and cut out.

2. Wrap graph paper over the cardboard. Tape to the back so it stays in place.

3. Punch holes in the corners of the graph intersections as shown in the photo above.

TIP: You don’t have to punch every intersection. To make it easier, punch every 2, 3, or 4 squares up and down.

4. Thread embroidery string into a large needle and cross stitch your shape.

TIP: If you used a small hole punch, you could use a plastic needle with yarn, which is easier for younger kids.

Optional: Cross stitch a design into your pattern like the year, your last name or change colors to indicate ornaments!

Online Tree Decorating

Another awesome way to teach children to take care of the earth besides recycling is to participate in NBC’s Green is Universal’s #GIFtatree campaign!

With the help of an adult, kids will love going to the NBC’s Green is Universal site where they are hosting their annual campaign to support the Arbor Day Foundation.

On the site you can make and share an animated GIF here to help foster an eco-friendly holiday season. For every GIF shared and hashtag #GIFATREE generated on social media by the end of December 2015, the Arbor Day Foundation will plant one real tree in a state park or national forest up to a maximum of 25,000 trees!

You can make as many GIFs as they want for the rest of the month. More GIFs, more trees! #GIFtATree

You can make as many GIFs as you want for the rest of the month. More GIFs, more trees!

Let kids pick a tree, the scenery, an animal, a bird, and the decorations for their very own custom Gif. Then be sure to tell everyone about it on social media with #GIFtATree

Want more tree fun?

Check out tree facts on the Arbor Day website!


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4 Responses to Recycled Christmas Tree Decorations + a Virtual Tree

  1. Lucy Schmidt December 13, 2015 at 6:16 pm #

    Great ideas for the ornaments. Too bad my young niece is 5+ hours away and we won’t be seeing her until after the new year begins. I’ll send this post to her mommy & daddy and they can pass it on to her babysitter, who loves doing craft projects with my niece. I hadn’t heard of the GIFtatree campaign. I’ll check it out and maybe make a donation in her name. Thanks for another year of good info and gentle reminders. PS: I’ve never seen a hole punch like that. I like-y!

    • Eve December 17, 2015 at 7:59 am #

      Hi Lucy, it’s great to hear from you! The hole punch is used for leather working. I splurged on it at Joann’s with a 60% off coupon! Merry Christmas to you and yours!!

  2. Jess @ Best Credit Cards Canada December 16, 2015 at 8:27 pm #

    These ornaments are seriously sweet. I love them! My little one is too young at this point for arts and crafts but luckily I have a need for the cardboard boxes that I have been collecting from Christmas shopping. We are moving in early March so I have been saving the boxes for packing. I am happy to have a use for them because it really bothers me for so many to build up, even though, thankfully, they can be recycled.

  3. Dasley David February 25, 2016 at 11:50 pm #

    I wish I read this post last christmas because we did not put christmas tree. My reason was it needs more space. Anyway, there is still another christmas to come so we will do that with kids. Thanks for this idea!

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