What’s Old Becomes New: Repurposed Items As Holiday Decorations

One of the latest words to be coined recently is “upcycling,” a way of reusing something you thought could be pitched. This repurposing has become quite a popular activity of late and for good reason. Whether it originates in trying to save some money or being environmentally friendly, or both, it’s caught on in a big way and online communities with a passionate fan base have been built around the idea of repurposing.

One great example of repurposing is finding ways to decorate your home for the holidays. When it comes to the big event of Christmas, saving money is always attractive, yet you may still want to deck out your home with fun and festive decorations. This is where repurposing comes in. Although you already may have certain traditions that are already time-tested veterans of past celebrations, such as certain family ornaments or an artificial Christmas tree, doing some upcycling will let you reuse something that can become a new family tradition.

Here we’ll look at a few suggestions on ways to give the holiday a unique, personalized touch. What may seem ordinary can find new life with an imaginative idea.

Clothes & Jewelry:

Christmas wall hangings or artwork can be made out of gloves, scarves and sweaters. You could take old shirts and blouses and remake them as flowers in a bouquet. Different kinds of fabrics and color together can make for some interesting texture and styles. Old necklaces and bracelets can also look great as repurposed decorations.

Family Photos:

You may have photos from many Christmases of years past, so why not dust them off and put them on display when the holiday rolls around? You could also decorate the tree with them, or if it’s possible to copy or scan them, you could design a holiday wreath made from photos, showcasing memories from previous years.


The kitchen is one part of the house where things can stack up and, with their constant usage, need to be replaced or reused, so the possibilities are enormous. Snowmen can be made from bottles, bowls or containers. Old salt and pepper shakers can find new lives as ornaments hanging from a branch on your tree. Old jars and glassware can be used to hold candles or Christmas treats. Or give them a coat of paint and you have a new table centerpiece for flowers or winter pine branches.

Magazines & Newspapers:

The art world has seen more than a few collage artists who’ve combined painting and photography together. Rather than recycling those old magazines and papers you have lying around, you and your family could create some festive artwork by cutting photos from them and combining them with some artwork of your own. With the holiday ads beginning well before winter arrives, you should have plenty of material to work from.

Andy Warhol is credited with saying art is anything you can get away with, and by taking a fresh look at various household items you may be surprised with not only what you can get away with, but with how great it looks when it’s been repurposed for the holidays. Let your imagination go; you may come up with some ideas that will help you save money and make your holidays even more fun. Don’t let yourself be limited by the suggestions here. Take a look around your basement, attic or closet; you may find you have a goldmine of materials to work with. What you create may wind up being part of your family traditions for years to come.