Green Your Life: Homemade Gift Guide for the Holidays

| 12/20/2010 10:03:33 AM

Even before Thanksgiving I was being bombarded by commercials about buying gifts for the ones I love, and now that Christmas is practically upon us, that number just keeps growing. “Buy, buy, buy!” they urge me, but this year I’m chanting back: “Make, make, make!” Making—especially out of repurposed items—instead of buying is a way to give green and unique gifts while lightening your impact on the planet and saving money at the same time.  

Give Glass 

My romance with cutting glass at home started innocently enough, but it has grown into a bit of an obsession. I’ve cut dozens of bottles since that first one, and it’s really gotten my creative juices flowing. I recommend Ephrem’s Bottle Cutter Kit to anyone interested in transforming old bottles into useful items and unique gifts. 

homemade beer glasses 
You can cut bottles with well-known labels already on them (on right), or you can choose to embellish them yourself (on left). I used Mod Podge to decoupage art, photos and comics to the glasses I decorated for my friends. Because Mod Podge isn’t water-proof, though, I would suggest washing them carefully (without getting the Mod Podge wet), or else using them to hold pens or art supplies. Photo By Dani Hurst. 

homemade candle holders 
Candle holders can be tall or short, and you can make them out of beer or wine bottles. You can also decorate these, just make sure to stick art on the outside so the glue doesn’t melt. Photo By Dani Hurst. 

Helpful tip: To remove sticky label residue from wine and beer bottles, rub some vinegar on the exposed glue, wait a few minutes, then rub a vinegar-soaked cotton ball on the affected area until the glue sloughs off. 

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