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[Video] Make eco-friendly Christmas crafts for your wellbeing

Marcella McEvoy, Specialist Editor, Bupa
Specialist Health Editor at Bupa UK
08 December 2021
Next review due December 2024

This Christmas is the perfect time to get crafty and sprinkle your home with homemade decorations. You’ll feel good knowing you’re reducing waste and using less plastic, while adding a personal touch to your festive creations.

Crafting, or learning new hobbies, is linked to increased wellbeing too. With that in mind, my 10-year-old son has been busy creating some eco-friendly Christmas ornaments to inspire you.

Festive paper star decorations

These colourful paper stars are quick and easy to make. They’re also a great activity to do with children over the festive break. To get started follow the video instructions above, or these steps.

What you need: To make festive paper stars you’ll need A4 coloured paper, A4 magazine paper, scissors, glue, tape and some thread or string.

  • Fold and cut your coloured paper into a square. Then fold it in half, unfold and then fold in half in the other direction. Then open the paper out flat again.
  • Next, fold your coloured paper on the diagonal in both directions. Then open it out flat again. The folds criss-crossing the paper should divide into eight.
  • Get your scissors and make a cut in the middle of each side, almost halfway to the centre of the square.
  • Carefully fold in the straight sides to meet the diagonal folds, as shown in the video.
  • Add glue to one of the triangular flaps and stick the opposite flap directly on top of it. This will create a 3D point. Then repeat to make four points.
  • Now repeat the above steps to create a second star using a coloured sheet of magazine paper.
  • Tape some string to the inside of one of the stars. Stick the two paper stars together by adding some glue, as shown in the video. Leave your star to dry before hanging up.

 

Colourful paper stars

Christmas salt dough ornaments

Making salt dough ornaments is another great crafting activity to do at home. These cinnamon-infused salt ornaments make great Christmas tree decorations that will last for years! They’re also a more sustainable alternative to plastic baubles or buying new decorations in plastic packaging.

Chances are, you’ll already have all the ingredients and tools you need to make them too.

 

Utensils you will need:

  • Festive cookie cutters
  • Toothpick or skewer
  • Thread or twine
  • Baking tray and baking paper
  • Rolling pin and mixing bowl
  • Measuring jug
  • Hand whisk
  • Mixing spoon

 

Ingredients you will need:

  • 128g flour
  • 64g salt
  • 78g cinnamon
  • 118ml of water

 

Method:

  • Add all ingredients to bowl and mix until combined.
  • Transfer to fridge to chill for one hour.
  • Roll out the dough to about a quarter inch thickness.
  • Cut out shapes in the dough with the festive cookie cutters.
  • Transfer decorations to a baking tray.
  • Use a toothpick to add a hole to the top of each decoration.
  • Bake in the oven at 250°F /120°C for one hour.
  • Remove from oven, cool and flip over to the other side.
  • Return decorations to the oven and bake for another hour at same temperature.
  • Cool on a baking rack, pop thread through the holes. Your ornaments are ready to hang up!

 

Salt dough star Christmas decorations

Wrap presents in a mindful and eco-friendly way

Crafting and wrapping Christmas presents are also a great way to practice mindfulness. This is the art of being in the present moment. For example, you can get mindful by focusing on a physical task like wrapping. There are many ways you can reduce the amount of waste from gifts too.

  • Use recycled kraft paper and reusable ribbon or twine.
  • Choose gift wrap which is recyclable. Some are coated in plastic to make them shiny or decorated with glitter, which may not be recyclable.
  • Decorate gifts with pinecones, bells or a sprig of mistletoe or other winter greenery.
  • Use brown string and biodegradable paper tape.
  • Make gift tags from last year’s Christmas cards. Cut them into squares or rectangles or into the shape of the recipient’s initial.
  • Reduce the number of shiny, plastic bows and ribbon and swap them for paper versions.
  • Choose reusable items where possible, such as gift boxes or gift bags which will last several festive seasons.
  • For something a little different, try wrapping the present in a scarf. This could be considered as a gift itself.

 

brown paper wrapped Christmas present with handmade star tag

If you’re worried about your mental health, our direct access service aims to provide you with the advice, support and treatment you need as quickly as possible. If you’re covered by your health insurance, you’ll be able to get mental health advice and support usually without the need for a GP referral. Learn more today.

Marcella McEvoy, Specialist Editor, Bupa
Marcella McEvoy
Specialist Health Editor at Bupa UK

    • Rowland L, Curry OS. A range of kindness activities boost happiness. J Soc Psychol 2019; 159(3):340–43. doi:10.1080/00224545.2018.1469461
    • Davies C, Knuiman M, Rosenberg M. The art of being mentally healthy: a study to quantify the relationship between recreational arts engagement and mental well-being in the general population. BMC Public Health 2016; 16:15. doi:10.1186/s12889-015-2672-7
    • Five ways to wellbeing. Mind. www.mind.org.uk, accessed 2 December 2021

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