Old magazines are full of color, and the paper is often a useful combination of lightweight and glossy -- perfect for crafts. Just as vintage advertising posters create a sense of warmth and nostalgia, old magazine ads can become a source of holiday color and character.
Use origami -- the Japanese tradition of creating three-dimensional paper sculpture -- to populate your Christmas tree with miniature animals. You can make cranes, frogs, fish, dragonflies, and crabs -- almost any animal you can think of. Paper is so light that you can put it anywhere on the tree -- even perch a paper bird on a delicate branch, or drape an orchid among the pine needles. You can also use a needle and thread to hang the ornaments.
You don't need many tools to create origami, which traditionally uses techniques of folding but not cutting. Use the back of a clean wooden spoon to score your folds so they'll lie flatter. If you want to give the ornaments some permanence, coat them with varnish or polyurethane. A spray can will give you a lighter finish; a sponge brush makes for a thicker, heavier finish.
At the holidays, one of the loveliest ways to use origami is to create many-pointed stars. Some designs interlock up to six different pieces of paper. The individual folds are relatively simple, but you may want to watch a video or check a diagram to see how the pieces interrelate [sources: Barbour, Metacafe].
On the next page, we'll look at a different way to repurpose some old paper you may have around the house.