A recycled Christmas

I can’t bear to throw good things away. Yes, my son David reminds me  there’s a TV show about that but I like to think I’m not a Hoarder with a capital H just yet.

It has always bugged me to throw yogurt containers away. They are good plastic and they hold stuff, therefore they should have a use. When they had plastic lids I kept them for taking salad dressing to work or freezing small bits of tomato sauce. It also worked to send gravy leftovers home with my brother Mark.

Now they are topped with foil and that doesn’t work.

But I still kept collecting them.

I teach a craft class with children during junior worship at church and help with crafts at Vacation Bible School so I am always looking for inexpensive, OK cheap,bell_blog ideas.

That’s how I decided to turn my 30-plus yogurt containers into bells.

You can’t decorate them with images of strawberries and key lime sticking out, so I had to cover them. My students are ages K-4th grade, so I knew I had to get a jump on the craft.

 My husband punched holes in each of them with a drill.

 Last Saturday I put them on the table and tried to cover them with gold wrapping paper. Didn’t work. They’re round and the paper isn’t. It bunches at corners unless you cut it just right.

Tried painting them, but my husband, who promised to help, said it would take too long. Translated: “I didn’t want to help that much. I wanted to go out hunting.”

 He said I shouldn’t start with gold paint, but use a primer.

 So I thought about regular aluminum foil. A 6-inch piece worked, but I hated it. It was bunched up and looked awful.

 I brought out small bottles of craft paint again and the sponge brush. Here’s what I came up with, and yes, you can do this at home.

 Cover yogurt container with two coats of white paint. Let each dry for an hour before applying the next coat. You don’t have to paint the top (bottom) because that’s already white.

 Wrap your brush in a plastic bag in between coats, to keep it from drying out. You can actually store it that way for days.


Add two coats of gold paint. You can just dab the paint on the top once it’s setting down on the newspaper. Oh, newspaper. Almost forgot that important step. Cover your table with it, unless you’re trying a new decorating strategy. You will make a mess.

Allow kids to decorate. I used rickrack around the top and then added puffy stickers from the dollar store. You could dim the rim in glitter if you don’t mind cleaning up. We have outlawed glitter at church.

 I started with one jingle bell (purchased at a craft store), but realized we could make more noise with two. Using curling ribbon, weave through the top of one bell, knot, and then through another. Make a big knot about an inch away to keep the jingles dangling in the bell, instead of the ribbon sliding through the top.

The hard part is feeding the ribbon back through the hole in the top. You can put tape on the end to make it stiff, or try to grab it with a tweezers. Little hands fit into the cup, but they aren’t always coordinated enough to get it through.

Tie a bow and you have a gift for grandma.

 Note: If you don’t have yogurt containers, or aren’t crazy like me, you can buy red or gold plastic cups at a party store.

Now onto all those pine cones I gathered in the yard. I’m turning them into angel ornaments. We’ll add wings, a head, perhaps some hair and a halo. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? So did the bell. And that took five hours to paint.

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