While tracking down decorative treasures may be fun, nothing can beat the exhilaration of crafting your own decorative delights. With a little ingenuity, anyone can transform trash or old junk into an appealing decoration for the home. Here are a few ideas:


Children especially love creating things. It gives them a sense of esteem and pride. Colorful candles are a cinch to make and are sure to please the little ones. Using empty bathroom tissue tubes, cover them with colorful wrapping paper or simply paint them festive colors.

While the paint is drying, cut out flame shapes from colored construction paper. When the paint has dried, suspend the flames inside the tissue tubes with tape. Then, using the same color or material you decorated the outside of the candle with, cut a small circular piece to cover the top. Cut a slit to fit over the flame and glue the top.

CD Case Picture Frames

These are great gift items and easy to make. Simply remove the insert from a standard CD case that contains an insert with broken insert spokes. On one inside panel, facing outward, tape a favorite family photo. On the opposite panel, tape a scene from a Christmas card, image facing out.

String a length of durable string or fishing line from one wall to another close to the ceiling. Reinforce the line to the ceiling at a few places with tiny pushpins pushed through a knot or loop in the line. Take a length of line long enough to suspend from the main line and close the CD case over the line so that a few inches of line hangs out the bottom. Affix a small piece of cheap jewelry to the end hanging. Breezes will spin the cases, creating a fun, festive effect.

Cardboard Boxes

Get some empty boxes with compartments from the grocery store or from your storage unit, like those offered by Bermuda Dunes CA storage. Cut them down to a few inches. Spray paint or cover with decorative shelf paper, wallpaper or wrapping paper. They make excellent desk accessories or shadow boxes for the wall.

Empty Candle Jars & Tops

Put the burned candle jars in the freezer. When frozen, the remaining candle wax remnants will easily chip out with an icepick or butter knife. The cleaned jars make excellent candy jars or cookie jar gifts for visiting grandchildren and kids parties.

If you’d like to use the tops separately, remove the plastic insert if there is one. Take a small treasured photo and put it inside pressed against the top so you can see the image through the clear top. Reinsert the plastic insert and the photo will be well preserved. If no insert exists, stuff a piece of Styrofoam behind the photo. The result is a delightful paperweight that can be given as a gift or used as a decoration.

Using a little creativity and a few arts and crafts items, you can turn junk items into wonderful decorations or gifts. Try to think outside the box!