How to make an up-cycled Christmas wreath decoration

Christmas is always a time when I struggle with the onslaught of consumerism, I find it very depressing seeing the piles of Christmas decorations and plastic toys in high street shops and supermarkets which are destined only for landfill. As a family we have decided to focus our Christmas celebrations on spending time together, making gifts for each other and making homemade decorations for our Christmas tree.

This year we decided my make an up-cycled Christmas wreath using materials from our recycling bin.


  • Cardboard
  • Bottle tops
  • Pipe cleaners or string
  • Wooden beads
  • Paint
  • Scissors


Begin by cutting a large circle from the cardboard to make the base of your wreath. Ours was approximately 30cm wide. Punch holes around the circle so you can attach your decorations.

Cardboard base for an up-cycled Chistmas wreath decoration

We painted sheets of cardboard (from old packing boxes) with festive colour paint splatters. This part was lots of messy process art fun for my little one to enjoy. Once the paint is dry cut out lots of leaf and circle shapes of different sizes. Then punch a hole in each shape.

cut cardboard leaves to make a Christmas wreath

Thread a bead onto a pipe cleaner and fold it in half, then thread on circles and leaf shapes to make a flower. If you wanted to be even more environmentally conscious and make your wreath compostable, use cotton string to attach the flowers instead of pipe cleaners.

How to make a recycled Christmas wreath decoration

Thread one end of the pipe cleaner through a hole on your base and then twist ends together at the back to secure. Repeat the process until you have filled your wreath with pretty flowers. Once you have finished add a loop of string at the top so you can hang your wreath on your door.

How to make a cardboard Christmas wreath decoration

making a cardboard Christmas wreath decoration

red and green cardboard Christmas wreath decoration

We also made another less 'traditional' wreath using bright colours and plastic bottle tops.

Up-cycled plastic bottle top Christmas wreath decorations

Recycled plastic bottle top Christmas wreath decorations

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