Getting crafty with holiday left-overs

Most of us are familiar with tips and tricks for dealing with holiday dinner left-overs, but today I want to focus on the hidden holiday left-overs: torn wrapping paper, ribbon scraps, crushed bows, empty boxes, used containers, greeting cards.

All images are copyrights of their respective owners.

Instead of throwing these neglected, ignored scraps away, let’s think of creative ways we can reuse and repurpose them to make new gifts or helpful household items.

Disclaimer: I use brand-names with these ideas, but I’m not trying to promote these products and I’m not affiliated with the brands. I thought it was too cumbersome to say, for example, “tall, round stacked potato chip containers made out of cardboard with plastic lids” when I could just say “Pringles“!

* Turn M&Ms Minis® containers into catch-all bins. These round plastic containers with hinged lids are great for storing small items like quarters (perfect for  laundry days or feeding parking meters), paperclips, tacks, buttons, extra screws, toothpicks, cotton swabs, small craft supplies (like pom-poms and googly eyes), and more. Decorate them with stickers, your favorite photo, or wrapping paper. 

* Turn Pringles® containers or macadamia nut cans into carry-all cans. This idea from Better Homes and Gardens is a great way to store cookies or use as a coin bank! Clean stacked potato chip containers and lids, cover them with wrapping paper or kids artwork, and glue a ribbon around the tops and bottoms. Add ribbon or braided cord as a handle for a finishing touch. 

* Turn Tic-Tac® boxes into ribbon dispensers. Clean breath mint boxes, remove the labels, and add stickers of your own. Woman’s Day says that it works for narrow ribbons, and you can slip one end of the ribbon into the dispenser.

* Turn Altoids® tins a first aid kit, a pocket games chest, or a pocket tackle box. Use Popsicle sticks and hot glue to make dividers. Then stock the tins with supplies, like band-aids and antibacterial ointment, dice and a deck of cards, or a set of fishing hooks. Check out The Art of Manliness website for 19 more ways to reuse these curiously strong mint tins!

* Turn plastic bottle caps into fun jewelry. Find cool images from magazines, cut out 1” circles, and decoupage them to the tops of plastic bottle caps, suggest EarthyGirlOriginals. Add more decoupage and a gloss varnish over the images. Then hot-glue a colorful bead to the top to make a necklace or to the sides of the bottle cap to make a bracelet, and use hot glue near the beads to keep stretchy string in place.

* Turn gift cards into pocket-sized notebooks. It’s a great way to save those artistic and clever gift cards (you can use card-stock greeting cards too). Greenbean’s Crafterole warns that it takes some effort, because you need a good binding system to punch holes in the gift cards, copy paper cut to size, and binding coils.

How do you creatively recycle, repurpose, and reuse all those extra containers and holiday left-overs?

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2 Comments on “Getting crafty with holiday left-overs”


  1. Thank you for including my recycled plastic bottle cap craft tutorial on your blog!!


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