Do you spend too much at Christmas? Why not save the cards and paper you receive and use them to make your own cards, decorations and even presents? They are classy, individual and appreciated by the recipient for the care that has gone into producing them.
Cut out pictures from used cards to make postcards – save time, save envelopes, save paper, save trees, save money!
Make your own envelopes – use a small opened envelope as a template. Open a large envelope, mark around the template and cut out your new envelope using the inside of the old one. White envelopes generally have coloured patterns inside already and brown envelopes can be sprayed or painted to brighten them up. Make your card to fit the envelope and close with a Christmas seal.
Punch a hole in pictures from old cards to make gift tags and use coloured wool as ties.
You can make original tree baubles from used light bulbs. Pattern them with glass paint and glitter, and make hanging loops with fuse wire.
For the Christmas table, paint small sauce jars with glass paints and fill with tea lights. And for a stunning free door decoration, prune your Virginia Creeper, twist the stems into a wreath and fasten rowan or holly berries and stems of ivy to it.
For other ideas come to the Crafty Christmas workshop at the Chapel in Burngreave Cemetery on Sunday, 11th December 2005, 11am–3pm.
Other planet-friendly ideas
Rent a Christmas tree for £20 from Heeley City Farm to avoid the hassle of needles and disposing of it afterwards. Reserve your tree at the garden centre and collect it from 10th December 2005. Call 258 0482.
For presents that can change people’s lives in a real way, try the following catalogues:
‘Oxfam Unwrapped’ has alternative gifts in Oxfam shops, on 0870 410 5030 or at http://www.oxfamunwrapped.com/. A goat at £20 is their best seller – over 38,000 of them have been sent so far to help alleviate poverty in one of the 70 countries Oxfam works in.
‘Good gifts’ has Kalashnikovs at £25 to be turned into farming tools in Sierra Leone and bicycles for midwifes at £35. Call (0207) 794 8000 or go to http://www.goodgifts.org/.
Don’t forget you can recycle your Christmas tree at any Onyx recycling centre – the nearest is on Longley Avenue West in Shirecliffe.
by Saleema Imam