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Talk to More Th>n about reusing everyday items to make Christmas a little easier - £240 voucher to be won! NOW CLOSED

(104 Posts)
MichelleMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 16-Dec-13 16:22:39

More Th>n want to talk to Mumsnetters about Christmas and the their top tips on using everyday items in an imaginative way for making it a little easier.

Here's what More Th>n have to say, "Life can be full of little frustrations. At MORE TH>N we want to help, and that's why we love collecting and sharing all sorts of tips and tricks that make life that little bit easier. We like to think of them as 'helping hands', those clever ideas you never knew you needed to know. We're always on the look-out for more great hints to share, so if you've got a top tip, let us know and Merry Christmas!"

For inspiration, watch the video clip below and then share your own tips on this thread.

So, what do you think of the tips given in the video? Have you used any of these ideas this year in the run up to Christmas? Have you got any more to add? Perhaps you keep your presents in a locked suitcase to make sure prying eyes don't spoil any surprises? Or maybe you keep small Christmas ornaments in old biscuit tins to keep them safe and together in one place? Whatever it is we'd love to hear about it.

Everyone who adds their thoughts to this thread will be entered into a prize draw to win a £240 Amazon voucher.

Thanks and good luck,


MrJollyLivesNextDoor Tue 31-Dec-13 11:13:07

That's amazing, what a great NYE surprise! Thank you so much x

MichelleMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 31-Dec-13 10:41:09

Thank you everyone for adding your thoughts and suggestions! Congratulations to MrJollyLivesNextDoor who has won the prize draw! We'll be in touch soon!

Monty27 Mon 30-Dec-13 00:38:58

If you change the colour theme of your tree, use the previous ones by bunching up half a dozen or so by their threads and hang them around other parts of the house over picture hooks if you have them or a drawing pin and ribbon. Worked for me. smile

custardcream1000 Mon 30-Dec-13 00:25:08

There are some great tips in the video - I will be using the toilet roll idea next year as it drives me mad when they unravel.

We made xmas decorations this year using items around the house and from nature (garden string, pinecones, gold glitter, felt etc); they looked lovely and traditional, and it was a nice activity for me and my children.

Next year we also plan on collecting all the wrapping paper after the presents have been torn open and making christmas collages. We will also add christmas photos to them once they have been developed. I am hoping they will make nice keepsakes for my boys.

unquietmind Sun 29-Dec-13 21:55:42

Like the egg idea as people have already said.

I charity shop a lot. Sometimes you can get brand new gift items but often I'm looking for baskets, display items or fillers. Sometimes you can get good christmas decs for next year that people have got rid of. Sometimes you find stationary gift items and allsorts.

I also save postage packing gift bags bubble wrap and tissue. A little marker pen initial in the corner of presents helps identify if you haven't got the tags yet.

Clubcard vouchers for big purchases on clubcard boost

Checking money advice forums for top saving tips, price offers etc.

Looking on auction sites.for desired items that finish in the middle of the night as well as doing broad searches as not everyone lists clearly

Bargaining with older kids; pool their money for a bigger gift like an Xbox or buy used items from preowned shops to give more value.

Using unwanted gifts and prizes as gifts as said above.

Photos from facebook and other medias are great things to access to make personalised gifts

Ill have to be careful or my tips will become cheap skate beyond all measure

Punkatheart Sun 29-Dec-13 12:33:56

Buy early. Pay teenager to wrap things and encourage her to use her creativity. Make up hampers with bits and pieces collected (and won) over the latter end of the year.

scripsi Sun 29-Dec-13 02:20:52

DCs like to use old Christmas cards, gift tags etc to decorate plain paper bags to turn into gift bags. We all seek out and save appropriate bags from shopping during the year.

Jinty64 Sat 28-Dec-13 22:06:37

Ds3 (7) made his own gift bags this year using plain brown paper bags and Christmas stencils.

mindingalongtime Sat 28-Dec-13 16:09:32

It's actually just as cheap to go away as stay at home if you end up feeding 12 people for 3 days, adding up all the bills and incidentals came to over £1000. Next year I'm off away!

MillyDLA Thu 26-Dec-13 23:10:36

Hopefully a link that works!

MillyDLA Thu 26-Dec-13 23:09:01

CaterpillarCara - i used this company for tissue - 50 sheets - £3.97. Asssorted colours, tho I think 'gold' was more expensive.

Same company sells gift bags.

MillyDLA Thu 26-Dec-13 10:27:45

Happy Christmas everyone!
Having 5 boys between us, we wrap each 'set' of gifts in a different wrap for each child and keep a corner of each piece with the name on the back. Amazing how easy it is to forget which wrap is for which child!

I also use the cardboard tube idea for wrap, but using a full, long gift wrap tube, i collect all the off-cuts and smaller pieces of wrap, roll them together and store them by pushing them into the inside of the tube. Keeps all the smaller pieces together and stored with no creases or tatty edges.

This year I ordered gift bags and tissue from a trade supplier. Worked out to be 50p per bag, but can be reused. Saved so much time wrapping especially the awkward presents and they look great.

Over the years i have bought each child a christmas bauble each year - can be something 'sentimental' - such as from a place we have visited, or something 'topical' - one year it was all 'vintage' in our house so i bought a vintage bauble each from ebay. These are stored in a large box and are lovely to open each year. A huge contrast to my 'grown up matching dec tree'! The boys have their own tree full of memories and homemade/school made decs. Hopefully something they will take with them to their own families one day!

Each Christmas Eve, every year, I have given each child a Christmas book. Some kind of Christmas theme. We have moved from 'The Jolly Christmas Postman' through to 'Christmas Drinks' as the eldest is 18 this time around. The book is wrapped and left on their pillow for bedtime. Stockings are put up, books are opened and shared, perfect for a sleepy bedtime.
Each year we get down the box of Christmas books as part of the Christmas decorations and leave then for us all to browse. Great fun re reading the 'Jolly Christmas Postman' with our teenagers!

VirtuallyThere Wed 25-Dec-13 23:07:18

Some great tips in the video. I also cut up my cards for the following year as gift tags.

Also for anyone who has room in their garden I recommend growing a potted Xmas tree. Every Xmas we bring the pot in and decorate for the festive period, after Xmas it goes back outside for the year. Very easy and convenient (and quite exciting to see it grow over the years).

Phoebe47 Tue 24-Dec-13 22:59:24

I recycle the boxes gifts come in and use them for packing gifts next year. Store them under my bed so out of the way but indoors and don't get damp like they might in the shed.

CaptainSinker Tue 24-Dec-13 10:01:24

Tried a new one today! Cut out old Christmas cards into christmas tree shapes. DD is decorating/colouring in the backs and we will thread them together and hang them up.

LegoCaltrops Tue 24-Dec-13 07:18:45

We live in a rented house, can't put any pins etc in the walls. We display our Christmas cards on the DVD & bookshelf by sliding the back of the card in between the books, so the fronts are nicely visible.

I cut up last years cards to make tags for presents.

I do save ribbon - some ladies' tops, the kind with very wide / deep scoop neckline have long ribbon attached when you buy it (to keep it on the hanger). I always cut it off as it pokes out, it's good for small presents.

Amazon delivery boxes are a good size for storing jars of homemade preserves, keeps them nice & clean & you can stack a couple if you're short of space.

Genius idea about the toilet paper roll, I'll definitely use that!

Supermam Tue 24-Dec-13 00:08:19

I like the loo roll idea. I also like someone's advent box idea to find before the Xmas stuff. I keep my Christmas decorations in bubble wrap inside shoe boxes. I wind the lights & some hanging decorations around pieces of cardboard to prevent tangles. I NEVER pay full price for cards, wrapping paper and really nice decorations which are often up to 70% off in January. I buy them & put them away with all the Christmas boxes & it's a lovely surprise the following December when I find the "new" decorations!

awaywego1 Mon 23-Dec-13 21:24:29

Reuse scraps of old material \
/old clothes to make lovely material 'paper' chains or bunting. Also charity shops have loads of Christmas decorations in December. Use samples/unwanted gift sets to fill diy Christmas xcrackers and old ribbons make brown paper look lovely.

Tyranasaurus Sun 22-Dec-13 16:16:18

use leftover bits of candles as fire lighters

collect pinecones for decorations

CaterpillarCara Sun 22-Dec-13 15:56:31

Gin - where do you buy your tissue paper? I often find it really expensive.

Remembered another tip though (involving tissue paper!). Buy really cheap tumblers, glue round Christmassy tissue paper. Add tea lights and voila - really lovely Christmas candles for a fraction of the price.

gin33333 Sun 22-Dec-13 12:50:22

there is some great tips in the ad never used any of these might think about using them though i usually keep all my christmas decorations together in a big shopping bag they usually keep safe in there as i have a tradional tree with lots of different bauble designs

gin33333 Sun 22-Dec-13 12:45:13

For a cheaper alternative to wrapping paper is using tissue paper which is a great touch and in some lovely colours and designs

oadcb Sun 22-Dec-13 10:04:04

Self storage for storing presents

starlight36 Sun 22-Dec-13 09:58:05

We re-use any glass / shiny baubles which have lost their hanging ribbons get arranged in large glasses or small vases as table decorations.

Like everyone else any strong paper, bags and ribbons which have survived the frenzy of parcel opening get recycled. Similarly the cards get reused as tags, although next year we may borrow the 'Christmas postcard' trick.

Anyexcuse Sun 22-Dec-13 08:44:39

Some great ideas here. In the past I've used brown wrapping paper with red ribbon and have always been thrilled with the results but this year we've inherited my mother in law's Christmas box and I think we'll be working our way through her collection for a couple of years yet.
Always use cards as tags.
Am sending fewer cards tbh and definitely think there are fewer coming in too. Just sending now to people we don't see every day or those friends with whom it's the only contact!

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