Repurposing – A New Way to Decorate for Christmas

Christmas is well known to be a wonderful time of the year to decorate your home, business and more. Every year stores put out their selection of Christmas decorations in the hopes that people will purchase new and different ornaments each year. Since I started this blog and put my mind to finding more ways to find a new purpose for clothes that come through my store. I decided to come up with a Christmas tree with repurposed clothing items as Christmas tree decor. In the past I have helped to decorate a themed tree for a local Festival of Trees, so this year when the applications were sent out I decided to do one for Glad Rags that would feature some of the Christmas Repurposed Decoration Ideas that I had found. Of course one of my first stops was to go out to Pinterest and do a search for ideas. What a great resource to find tutorials, photos and more! As a matter of fact, to keep me organized I started a board entitled Christmas Decor Repurposed and you can find it here. I, of course found more ideas than I put to use this year, but I am sure that the ideas will only grow from here. I also started out with just a small tree this year, as it takes time to make your Christmas ornaments. But if you find a an idea and have all of the supplies, what a great time to get together with your family or friends and have an ornament making party!!

First off, the tree topper is actually a craft from several years ago when I actually used to participate in a Christmas Craft Show. I made several angels such as this one, from – of all things – a shoulder pad. Many shoulder pads that you find in items are covered with just a simple lining material, and need to be covered with other material to make this craft. The one that I used for this angel was actually covered in the tapestry material that was found in the blazer that it was removed from.

shoulderpadangel

As I said, I made this angel several years ago and the flyer that I found the instructions on has since disappeared. I think it was a free pattern found in a subscription to some crafting magazine. If I locate it, I will try to post it later for those that might be interested. When I did a search on the internet for a shoulder pad angel, the ones that I found do not look like this one.

The next item that I worked on was the garland for the tree. I found a link on Pinterest  for a garland made from buttons and ornament hooks, you can see it here The ornament hooks that I used were longer than the ones pictured in the tutorial, but I liked the look. Because the hooks were longer, I decided to add some ties made from a repurposed houndstooth blazer. I just cut strips with my pinking shears and tied these to the garland. You will see more of this patterned material on other ornaments. Here is what mine turned out to be.

buttongarlandcloseup

I could have just used any wire, but using the ornament hooks made for not having to cut the wire, and they are very easy to bend into the shape that you want. Christmas ornament hooks are also very inexpensive and come in different colors as well..

rag and buttonsSo remember the houndstooth blazer material – I wish that I had taken a photo of the blazer before it was de-structed for this project, but I didn’t. I used more of the pinked strips to make rag ball ornaments. And of course I wanted to use more buttons, so when I saw a photo for icicle ornaments made from buttons, I had to try that too!

 

When someone sent me a pin that featured star ornaments made from sweaters, I knew that I had to give that a try. I had a wonderfully patterned sweater that needed a new purpose, so I used just one sleeve to make these stars.I think I made 5 from the one sleeve and I have plenty left to make more in this shape or maybe stockings, mittens, etc.

sweaterstars

One tip – I found that it was best to do some of the stuffing of the points of the star as I was handsewing the edges.

So, thus far I have incorporated shoulder pads, buttons, sweaters, and wool material from a blazer. But a re-purposed tree would not be complete without a material that anyone must have tons of (I know I do at the store and at home) – DENIM!! .Since I liked the star theme, I decided to cut out some denim stars, but these I did not stuff, and I used my sewing machine for the edging, that went a lot faster.denim stars

That was a good thing as I was running out of time to finish the decorations and get the tree up just after Thanksgiving. Here is how they turned out. I was able to weave an ornament hook into the top points  where they were stitched to hang them from  the tree.

As I was looking for just one more way to put some denim on the tree I remembered a tutorial that I had seen on making bracelets out of the seam of jeans. I decided to try something with the denim seam and came up with icicles!!denim icicles

These were the fastest of the ornaments that I made. I just put a piece of floral wire down through the seam, put a bead or bell on the end, cut the wire to make a hook on the top and then curled the resulting piece around a large knitting needle to get the right shape.

These were fun to make and I want to try some more and maybe add some bling? I was planning to do some demonstrations of repurposed Christmas ornaments at the Stockton Christmas Walk this weekend, and these may be the easiest to do.

So here is a photo of the finished tree which is in one of the windows at the Warren Community Building in Warren, Illinois at their Annual Festival of Trees.

tree

I was glad I started out with a small tree as all of the items took some time to make, but now that I have started, I may just work on items all year to make it better for next year.

What do you think? I did use more of the houndstooth material – I actually had two different blazers for this – to make the star-shaped tree skirt. Once again, I have bigger plans for next year.

I hope you enjoyed this and get some ideas of your own for your tree. Be sure to check out more ideas for re purposing clothing items on my Pinterest boards.

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