Mini (Light-Up!) Christmas House Ornaments Made From Recycled Boxes

I made some teeny Christmas-y house ornaments out of recycled boxes for Bluprint and we shot this fun video together! Recycled materials are my FAVORITE craft material for many reasons. Keeping things out of landfills is great, of course. But I also love when making stuff teaches kids to look at everything around them differently, to see all the possibilities of what boxes and bottle caps and newspaper can become! (Ps- Isn’t this little pink tinsel tree so cute?!)


Toothpaste and spaghetti boxes make especially good tall buildings! Watch the video to see all the steps. The houses are illuminated with small LED balloon lights! (TIP: save the little tabs if you want to turn them on and off. But they last forever….weeks and weeks! Striped paper straws and metallic silver pipe cleaners serve as house trimmings. To make the wreaths, I wound pipe cleaners around a pen and snipped it into tiny rings.


Here are some larger recycled carton buildings I made for Flow Magazine! The trees are made from water balloons (inflated with air) resting on toilet tube trunks!


I lined these with wax paper just like the mini house ornaments. These can also be lit from within using battery-operated tea lights.


And here are some recycled carton houses that I made with my boys when they were little. These were lit with a string of lights. I cut out a notch on the bottom back sides of the houses to allow for the wire and tucked a few twinkle lights inside each house. Place some bottle brush trees in front of the wire to hide it!
I hope you’ll try this fun craft. Happy Holidays!