Christmas is upon us and for many people that means pulling out the plastic Christmas tree, decorating it with tinsel and other trinkets before packing it all up ready for the following year.

Kirsty and Jess have been getting creative in the past weeks with recycled materials to try to create sustainable and upcycled, yet awesome, decorations.

They are all quite easy to make and provide hours of fun for kids now that school holidays have started. We have just shared the photos with a brief description but if you would like instructions just google the name and you should be able to find step by step instructions. If not, contact us and we will gladly help you out!

1. Recycled paper trees

Jess used mandalas that guests had coloured in but left around the retreat together with a small cutting of a branch to make these adorable Christmas tree decorations.

2. Toilet paper roll star

Kirsty recycled old toiler paper roll (actually this one was paper towel roll) to make star tree toppers. They are really simple to make. Just cut the roll into strips and then glue them together (she sprayed hers with gold paint and glued a little glitter on). For the centrepiece you could use any seed, bead or anything else you have laying around really! Kirsty used a bead on this one and gum nuts on others.

3. Recycled card Christmas tree baubles 

Jess cut up an old greeting card that we had laying around the office to make these beautiful Christmas baubles for the small tree we have in the office.She even cut out some presents and a star.

4. Recycled material bauble

Kirsty scoured the local op-shop to find the materials for this one. Underneath is a foam ball (it cost 10 cents), covered with old Christmas fabric and bordered with a string of beads. She had an old jewellery pendant in her craft box which created the perfect ring to hang it from.

5. Christmas shakers

Okay, maybe not so much a decoration (but could be used to present gifts) but Jess made these Christmas shakers to hand out at our staff Christmas party. She collected old seed pods from around the retreat, popped them in recycled jars from the kitchen and then added some Jess pizzazz to the jars and lids. A favourite with the kids for sure!

6. Hanging stick Christmas tree

There is one thing that there is no shortage of at Billabong; STICKS. Kirsty and Jess foraged for some sticks around the retreat which Kirsty took home and created this tree to hang on the wall. She decorated it using foraged dry fern leaves and cut some baubles etc from old paper in her craft box. The tree is tied together with twine and then one of the earlier mentioned stars is on top!

7. Handmade Christmas cards

Christmas cards seem to be a thing from the past but there is something special about receiving a well thought out card. Kirsty used recycled fabric for two of them, old paper for another and the fourth one she drew wth a marker and then coloured in with watercolour paint. There is endless inspiration for handmade Christmas cards online!


About the Authors



Our receptionist Jess’ smiling face is probably the first face you will see when you arrive at Billabong.

She is a big creative at heart with a passion for dancing, singing and experiencing new cultures.