Trash to Treasure

What’s the secret to keeping your Christmas tree green?

It’s not having the chemically perfect ratio of sugar to water in the tree stand pan, or copping out and buying a fake one.

To keep your tannenbaum truly evergreen, try decorating it with ornaments made from office and household materials you can easily recycle into cute handmade creations.

The architects at Philip K White & Associates clean their office every December and use what they’d otherwise toss to create fun and crafty ornaments for the office tree. We asked them to give us a quick how-to.

Want to see more detailed directions? Catch Living Lei Chic, our regular segment on Hawaii News Now’s Sunrise morning show, tomorrow, Thursday, at 6:40 a.m. We’ll show you step by step how to make one.

Lei ChicKeyboard Wreath or Tree
You’ll Need:
An old computer keyboard, a hot-glue gun or super glue, leftover wrapping ribbon or garland, beads (for wreath).
Directions: Pop keys off keyboard. Stack into tree shape or arrange in circle. Dot keys with hot glue, hold to set them together. Add ribbon bows, beads, or garlands for decorations. Tie a piece of ribbon in a loop, glue one end to back of ornament. Hang on tree.

Lei ChicLightbulb Reindeer
Materials: Burned-out lightbulb, brown paper bag, small mixiing bowl, Elmer’s glue, water, pipe cleaners, hole punch and colored paper, scissors.
Directions: Cut brown paper bag into small strips. Mix glue with water to form a thin liquid. Soak paper strips in diluted glue until they are completely soaking wet. Wrap wet strips around bulb to cover. Let dry about an hour. Wrap pipe cleaners around base of lightbulb to form antlers and tree hook. Glue hole-punched paper and pipe cleaners on bulb end to form face. Hang on tree.

Lei ChicComputer Mouse Snowman
You'll Need: Old computer mouse, a hot-glue gun or super glue, fabric or wrapping paper scraps, ribbon, hole punch, paper, old golf tees.
Directions: Using fabric or ribbon scraps, tie a scarf around mouse, then use a circle-shaped scrap to make a hat. Glue ribbon around edge to make trim. Use ribbon to cinch top of hat around mouse cord. Make face using old golf tee for nose (glue tee end down) and hole-punched paper (colored with marker) for eyes. Tie mouse cord into loop. Hang on tree.

Lei ChicMagazine Tree
You'll Need: An old magazine or catalog, leftover ribbon or garland, stapler or glue
Directions: Tear off the magazine/catalog covers if they are thicker paper. Fold each page three times (see steps below): top right corner down, then the diagonal folded edge into the seam, then fold the bottom edge up to make it even with bottom of rest of pages. Repeat for every page in magazine or catalog. Staple or glue first and last pages together to make the rounded shape. Decorate with ribbon or garland. Set on table or shelf. Try using different size magazines or catalogs to create a "family" of trees.

Lei Chic