Have you noticed the range of colours plastic bags come in? I chose to recycle some red and white bags to make this “Do-Over” Decoration and it’s water resistant as well. It’s a simple craft that requires patience but is well worth the effort, and it is made mostly out of recycled materials.
Materials: 15 red bags 25 white bags
Wire clothes hanger 2 straw bells
1 straw candy cane Green metallic ribbon
2 plastic green and white flowers Glue gun Directions:
Pull the hanger into a hoop shape. Do not cut off the hanger hook at the top. Save two red bags for the ribbon and bow. Cut the remaining bags into 9×1-inch-long strips. Knot each one around the wire of the hanger. This will keep many hands busy for quite a while. Continue to push the strips tightly together until there is no more room. Fluff up the wreath, trimming any strips that stick out beyond their neighbours.
Cut at least a five-foot-long piece of ribbon. Spread the strips at the top of the wreath and tie the ribbon to the wire in a knot. Let the rest hang into the centre. Push the strips back together. Partway down the ribbon tie a strand to the top of each bell so will hang suspended in the centre. Curl the trailing ribbon. Glue the top of the bells together. If this wreath will be hung out where it could get wet, spray the bells and candy cane with several to 4 inches wide. I did mine in a series of loops, twist-tying the ends together at the back. I attached the ends of two 6-inch and two 10-inch strips – to act as the ribbon tails – to the back of the gathered loops. Then, I took another strip, 12×4 inches and folded it every inch like a fan and then glued the base together. I spread the fan and fit this in behind the looped bow. You may choose to make one large bow.
Hang the wreath up when deciding the placement of the bow. It will hang differently than when it is laying on a table. Fold the ribbon tails in half and cut from the bottom outside edge into the middle about 4 inches up.
Using hot glue, affix the candy cane to the centre of the bow and then glue the flowers on either side of the bow as in the photo.
You have now given 40 plastic bags a “do-over” and created a colourful wreath in the process. Well done!
– Dana Ramstedt is a freelance writer and preschool teacher of 18 years.