Reuse, Recycle, Reduce, Rejoice this Christmas

Maybe it’s because my own niblings are too old for glueing cotton wool to a stick and calling it a sheep, but I can’t help but notice a distinct lack of well-meaning, unintentionally abstract tat decomposing on the fridge doors of my friends and family. 

In my day (she says with one hand firmly on hip while wagging the other’s pointer), making crap and believing it constituted a gift that someone would actually want was a weekly occurrence. Going to a party, a relly’s house, or even one time our greengrocer (remember them, kids?!), almost always meant pulling out the ole How Do You Do? craft book and cursing the distinct lack of pipe cleaners in this country.

Grown-ups seemed to have an unquenchable thirst for painted loo rolls that our generation seem to have sadly sated. 

Well, I say no more! No more of this nonsense. No more of accepting our friends’ kids into our homes to eat our custard creams without first being handed a moist “paperweight” or a pen holder that’s been made from something that definitely has pee-splash on it.

Let’s bring back the days of kids making things nobody wants (but actually they really love) and being told it’s fecking amazing. Let’s encourage the reuse mentality that turned washing up liquid bottles into rocketships and egg cartons into literally ANYTHING!

Got kids? Please, please, please put them to work this Christmas. Here are some ideas, I’ll take any. And I won’t hold it against your wee uns if they had to use wool instead of pipe cleaners. 

Here are five suggestions of suitably rubbish kids crafts that would melt the cockles of even the grinchiest of Grinches. It’s not a sweatshop if nobody’s being paid, right?

  1. Santa face.

Look, Santa is a damn icon and that beard and using cotton wool to create a homage is a damn rite of passage.

  1. Christmas trees.

Or should I say “Christmas Trees”? Cut out a triangle, wrap it in wool, haphazardly throw on some stickers and wait for granny’s deafening applause. That, my friend, is what being a kid is all about.

  1. Sock snowmen.

Of course, they don’t have to be clean, they don’t even have to be white. Stink would be nice though.


  1. Acorn Christmas tree. 

It’s a law of nature that kids can’t walk past an acorn without pocketing it like a found tenner. The only way to get them back out of the house is something like this.



  1. Toilet roll characters. 

Now we’re talking. Apparently creches don’t use toilet roll cardboards anymore. Something to do with things that have definitely met strangers’ wee not being a great idea for a group of people who need to mouth everything. Soooo….it’s kind of your duty to make sure they’re doing it at home.

P.S. Are there kids in your life that deserve a really great gift? How about these bad boys?











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  • I love this post! I have your back Tara. We literally have to sneak rubbish into the recycle bin in this house. Junk art is alive and well in the real capital. Also washing out all the kids yogurt cartons in the junior infant class I work in for their art creations.

    Shelley on

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