Ideas to recycle unwanted Christmas gifts

by Charlotte.Barnes on January 17, 2012

recycling giftsEvery year at Christmas, we are inundated with gifts of all shapes and sizes. Most of these were on our Christmas lists and some were unexpected surprises; but there’s always one that ends up left in a cupboard – unwanted and unused.

Don’t let these cool gifts go to waste though. In these tough times everything has it use somewhere and so we’ve put together this guide to help you clear your home of unwanted clutter and maybe make someone’s 2012 a bit better as well.

Alternative uses

So, you’ve been given a decorative bowl that is far too big to fit in any of your kitchen cupboards. Don’t give up and chuck it away, why not find an alternative use for it? Filling it with decorative glass beads or decorative pine cones like these turns a simple bowl into a stunning table centrepiece, or add some fresh flowers and create your very own floral display to stand in your window. With a little imagination, you can make any gift work for you in your home.

painted pine cones in a bowl

{Max California}

Emergency gifts

Your unused Christmas gifts can also be stored away for the year ahead, providing an emergency stash when you discover you’ve forgotten to get a gift for her or an anniversary surprise. Use a new bit of wrapping paper, a label and voilà – you’ve got the perfect last-minute cool gift without the hassle of shopping. Just remember not to give the same present back to the person who bought it for you!

gift giving recycling{Judwick}


The leftovers from special occasions  seems to take over our homes sometimes and we’re not always sure what to do with it all. There are many recycling schemes available these days that will handle all your paper, card and assorted recyclable waste, so don’t just throw it in your regular bin. They can be used again or turned into unusual gifts, such as these fantastic bags made from recycled items.

bag made from recycling{Firebox}


We try and do our bit for charity throughout the year but sometimes it feels like we could do more to help out our fellow human beings. Donating Christmas gifts is a great way to help others who are less fortunate than you. Visit your local charity shop or shelter for more information and help someone out with a much appreciated gift in 2012.

giving gifts{Pepinilla}

Raising money

Following on from donating to charity is fundraising – another worthy activity that can go on your New Year’s resolution list. If you’ve been given a great gift this year that you just don’t need, why not raffle it off or donate it to a charity so they can raise money for their cause. Not only will you help people reach a much-needed target, but you also get that warm, fuzzy feeling that comes from helping others.

thumbs up{Fred Goldstein}

Trading in

Helping others is all well and good but after draining your bank account on Christmas luxuries, why not recoup some of your hard-earned cash by trading in your unwanted gifts? Companies such as eBay and MusicMagpie will take your items and offer you cash for them, and it can all be completed online to save you time and effort.

money trading in{Dennis Owusu-ansah}

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Charlotte Barnes

Post category: Christmas  

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