Top 10 Christmas Decorations Made with Recycled Materials


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Hand Cut Paper Snowflakes
The design choices are endless with this craft.
The design choices are endless with this craft.
iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Paper snowflakes have been a holiday staple since sometime around the Victorian Era, when the production of paper was mechanized and therefore, more readily available. In more recent times, paper snowflakes have become the consummate childhood Christmas holiday craft. But who says that they're just for kids? These seemingly simplistic creations can make elegant and beautiful decorations. And the best part is all you really need is some white paper and a pair of scissors.

As you probably recall, all you need to do is cut your paper into a square and then fold it into layers of smaller squares. The typical paper snowflake is usually either four-sided or six-sided, depending on the maker's preference. To achieve a four-sided snowflake you fold the paper twice, and to make a six-sided snowflake, you fold it three times. Natural snowflakes have six sides, so choose this option for the most authentic creation. And of course you can make a few more folds if you want to create your own unique versions.

Once you have your paper folded, use your scissors to start trimming out areas of the paper. If you want to make more intricate cuts, we recommend using an Exact-o knife and fewer layers. You can also round corners to change the overall shape of your snowflake. Like real snowflakes, each snowflake you make will differ slightly, becoming its own unique work of art. Using thicker paper will create a sturdier flake but thinner paper is easier to work with more layers.

Create a stack of snowflakes, and the sky is the limit as to what you can do to them. You can tie a string onto the top and use it as an ornament on your Christmas tree. Or, string them together and make a beautiful garland for your mantel or stair banister. For a simple decorative touch with much visual interest, you can hang them at different heights in doorways. You can even attach them to the fronts of card stock or beautiful paper for a custom Christmas card.

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