10 Ways To Transform Unwanted Christmas Presents Into Something Special
Christmas is a wonderful time of year, where generosity triumphs over greed and love is present in every single detail. It's a magical time, where happiness is not limited and the days blissfully blur by.
In fact, it is such a joyous time, that it is not until you have cleared away the Christmas decorations, finished off the last of the chocolates and signed up to the gym as part of your "New Year, New Me" plan that you realize what really happened throughout the festive period.
Did I really eat that much? Did I really spend THAT much? Did my mom really give me that as a gift? Why did my husband think I needed another vacuum? Did my kids really eat that much sugar?
By January, you realize that you were utterly conned by Christmas.
Now you find yourself a few pounds heavier, several dollars lighter and surrounded by unwanted gifts that you don't have the heart to get rid of. Whilst the former two issues will eventually sort themselves out, the latter is an everlasting problem. What do you do with all the odd gifts you've accumulated? The gift drawer is now overflowing and you know you can't keep another year's worth of unappreciated presents.
So, why not upcycle them? You can transform even the most bizarre gift into something you'll genuinely get joy from if you really get creative. Take these ideas for example...
You fed your work colleague's cat whilst she went on a winter break, and in return, she brings you back a novelty mug to say thank you. Your cupboard is already overflowing with similar mugs that have been gifted to you over the years and you know you'll never use it.
Well, whilst you may never use it for its intended purpose, there are plenty of other things you can do with that mug. Here are just a few ideas:
Turn your mug into a plant pot. It's a simple idea that has stunning results. If the mug is too unsightly to be displayed prominently in your home (an 'I
If you are very organized, you can even upcycle all your old mugs into mini planters and give them as gifts at Christmas!
Alternatively, you can transform your mug into a candle. All you'll need is some wax and a wick, plus some fragrance oil and you're away! Again, these would make fantastic affordable gifts and you can personalize each one for the intended receiver!
2. Christmas Jumper
So, your granny knitted you another jumper. You'll wear it once on Christmas Day to make her happy, but after that, it'll get thrown to the back of your closet where it'll likely stay for eternity. But, that needn't be the case...
Rather than waste an unwanted jumper, use it to make a festive stocking instead. Stockings in the store can be very expensive, and rather cheaply made. Instead, you can make your own at very little cost and marvel at your own brilliance every year as you hang it on the mantelpiece.
Again, you can even make stockings as a gift - particularly for those younger members of your family who are still caught up in the excitement of Christmas.
Giving socks as a gift at Christmas has long been mocked. However, that hasn't stopped your aunt from giving you a pair every year without fail. Your sock drawer is now overflowing and you simply cannot accommodate another pair. So, you start to think...what can I do with them?
Well, if you have neglected to get your pet a Christmas present, this is the perfect time to make amends. You can easily turn your unwanted socks into a toy to keep your cats occupied for hours. If you have kids, you could even make this a craft project to keep them quiet over Christmas.
You can go your entire life without wearing a scarf, but regardless of this fact, somebody will buy you one for Christmas.
It seems a shame to get rid of it, and you've already taken so many scarves to the charity shop, so what could you do?
Well, pashmina scarves make excellent pillow covers. You don't even need to be too skilled at sewing to make them work!
Alternatively, if you have a small gift, you can always wrap it in an unwanted silk scarf. This way the receiver of your gift gets a little added extra at no additional cost or effort to you.
This method also makes it look as though a lot more thought went into your gift than it actually did!
It is inevitable that at Christmas you will have plenty of leftovers. From cake to bread, roast potatoes to vegetables. Rather than throw it all away, why not think of those who could benefit from the fact that your eyes are bigger than your stomach.
During the winter months, birds and other garden creatures, find it particularly difficult to acquire food. Every little helps as far as they are concerned. So mash up your leftovers into a nice edible block for them and put it on your bird tray. Scatter bread and cake crumbs and watch the wildlife come to visit!
(Be sure to do your research to make sure none of the food you're handing out will be harmful to the creatures, like chocolate.)
Buying books for people can be difficult as everyone has a very specific taste when it comes to their reading material. Unless they have specifically asked for a certain title, or you know they already collect that author's works, it's a risky move to buy a person a book.
But there are plenty of people who take the risk. Every year, you are almost guaranteed to get one book. Rather than shoving it on your bookshelf to collect dust, why not try one of the following crafts...
You can make great bookmarks out of unwanted books. You can cut the cover as well as the pages themselves, and if you laminate them, they make for a very practical item.
Alternatively, you could tear apart your book and use the pages for different craft projects. Maybe you have an old photo frame that needs an update? Or a lampshade?
Your friend bought you a lovely necklace for Christmas because she saw it and it reminded her of you. But if truth be told, it's not remotely 'you' at all.
Rather than hurt your friend's feelings, you can use the offending object to make an eye-catching bookmark that'll no doubt give you much greater pleasure.
CDs are very 2004, but your uncle keeps insisting on buying you an album every Christmas. You don't have the heart to tell him that you don't listen to CDs any longer, so you graciously accept and in the meantime wonder what on Earth you'll do with it.
Some people may be inclined to string up the CD to deter birds from entering their vegetable garden. Meanwhile, others may prefer to use the CD as a makeshift mirror whilst in their car stuck in traffic on the highway.
But truly smart people use an unwanted CD to turn it into something entirely new. For example, you could use an old CD to make a picture frame, plate or a bauble for next year's Christmas tree!
9. Bath products
Bath products are cheap to buy and often already pre-wrapped, so they make for an easy gift to give somebody. Thus, it's normally your aged-granny that gives them to you.
Whilst it's a nice gesture - who doesn't want to smell nice? - you still have last year's bath set completely untouched. What are you going to do with another one?!
Well, there are actually a lot of different uses for these products. Here are some ideas:
- If the set contains mini lotion bottles, then remember to use these when you next travel. Or, refill them with shampoo and conditioner rather than buying travel pots from the store.
- You can also use shampoo and body wash to handwash many delicate garments, such as lingerie and silk.
- Conditioner makes a great alternative to shaving cream if you happen to run out of the latter.
- A bar of soap in a drawer with your clothes will keep them smelling fresh at all times!
These soap crafts are fun for all the family to make...
- You can also melt the soap down and then add natural coloring to make into bathtime paints for your child. Children love to use them to draw on tiles!
- Use lip balm as cuticle cream.
- You can also donate your unwanted toiletries to a local homeless shelter who'd be grateful to receive them.
10. Nail polish
There is always one color in a nail polish set that just doesn't float your boat. It may be a set you have bought for yourself, or one that somebody gifted you. Rather than wasting that color or throwing it away, why not give it as a gift.
You can make your own 'Manicure Kit' very cheaply with items purchased from the dollar store, then just add the nail polish color you no longer want (make sure it hasn't been opened first!).