Christmas countdown from October

Christmas decorations

Christmas never used to hold any special meaning to me except it being a day we had no school or work (in Malaysia we only have Christmas day off as a public holiday!), a very commercialised period of time towards the end of the year during which we spent a fortune, or whatever we could afford to buy gifts for our nearest or dearest, a time we ate far too much and partied too much until that fateful day many years ago when I made a life-changing decision and accepted Christ as my Lord and Saviour!

My whole perspective on anything related to 25 December changed dramatically from that day onward and for the first time in my life I saw the real meaning and the reason for the season! Since then there is love injected and emotions involved with my Christmas preparation including the decoration for my humble little dwelling.

Since I found my passion in upcycling a few years ago I have since made quite a few upcycled Christmas ornaments and decorations and this year it is not going to be any different as I have already had a few small projects lined up with the upcycleable materials collected over the months. Besides, I have the ambition to make my tree grander than previous year so it’s time to get going and start counting-down to Christmas!

I use an artificial tree (well, that almost comes as a natural choice for someone who lives in the tropics and is also being environmentally conscious!:P) but I must say I have not been consistent with putting the tree up these last few years as in one year I had to settle for a few twigs as an “unconventional tree” due to inflamed tendons in both hands, and last year I decided to only decorate the house minus the tree due to a lot of work commitments that kept me at work for long hours as well as with my “ill-fated” hands suffering yet again, from another health problem — carpal tunnel syndrome!

my very unconventional twig tree! (2011)

my very unconventional twig tree! (2011)

the reason for the unconventional twig tree - tendinitis on both hands (2011)! (immobilised by plastic splints to let them rest and heal!)

the reason for the unconventional twig tree – tendinitis on both hands (2011)! (immobilised by plastic splints to let them rest and heal!)

this time it was the metal splint for carpal tunnel syndrome (diagnosed in March 2014)

this time it was the metal splint for carpal tunnel syndrome (diagnosed in March 2014)

Anyway, the tendinitis was healed the following year and as for my bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome, I am still bothered by it but I just need to be mindful not to overuse/overstress my hands.

So here it is… presenting the first few projects of this season…

The main upcycled materials are the plastic rings from the caps of plastic water bottles and the ever versatile curtain rings. I use satin bias tapes a lot to wrap the rings as I find them way cheaper than ribbons and cost only RM0.80 for 3 yards/2.74 meters (at this time it is only USD0.18!!!), very easy to use and there are many colours to choose from. The other material of course is the unassuming toilet paper rolls! The principle of upcycling is existing materials are used (or “re-imagined”!) and it is cost-saving. My designs are simple as I do not like to get stressed out and discouraged by complicated designs.

Project 1 – flowers and pearls
Materials: plastic bottle rings, satin bias tape, cheap pearl and rhinestone brooches (RM2/USD0.46 for a big and a small brooches and here I only used the small ones), gold string and glue from glue gun

the materials, work-in-progress and finished product

the materials, work-in-progress and finished product

upcycled christmas ornaments

upcycled christmas ornaments

Project 2 – butterfly on golden rings
Materials: plastic rings, satin bias tape, butterflies from craft shop (RM3.80/USD 0.87 for 5), gold string and glue from glue gun
upcycled christmas ornaments

upcycled christmas ornaments

Project 3 – (a bit of) vintage look
Materials: curtain rings, plastic rings, satin bias tape, leftover trimming, gold string and glue from glue gun
upcycled christmas ornaments

upcycled christmas ornaments

back of the ornament - just to show how I assembled it

back of the ornament – just to show how I assembled it

upcycled christmas ornaments

Project 4 – glitzy ornaments
Materials: toilet paper rolls, gold spray paint, gold string and glue from glue gun

originally I planned to stick some gold beads on the ornament but in the end I decided against it when I saw that the glue covered by gold paint actually looks good (I used extra glue to ensure the ornaments do not fall apart)

originally I planned to stick some gold beads on the ornament but in the end I decided against it when I saw that the glue covered by gold paint actually looks good (I used extra glue to ensure the ornaments do not fall apart)

upcycled christmas ornaments

upcycled christmas ornaments

more to come…

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