top of page

What’s Old is New Again: Sustainable Stocking Stuffers

The gifts that go under the Christmas tree seem to get all of the attention, but what about the gifts that fill the stockings, hung by the chimney with care? Stocking stuffers are small, but with a little bit of attention and care, they can be just as exciting as the wrapped boxes around the tree. This year, instead of shopping for last-minute tokens that hold hardly any value, try creating your own stocking stuffers out of recycled items.

Why recycle, you say? Well, not only do gifts that are repurposed and made into something new do a great deal of good for the environment, they also hold a bit more sentimental value than those cheap, store-bought items that are often tossed in the shopping cart as an after-thought.

Let the ones you love know how much they mean to you this Christmas season by spending the time creating special stocking stuffers for them out of recycled items.

Rainbow Crayons

Image Courtesy of ShutterStock

Since all kids love to color, crayons would make such a hit at Christmas. Instead of buying them this year to fill your child’s stocking, make your own! You’ll need:

  1. worn-down crayons

  2. a muffin tin

  3. cupcake liners

Begin by preheating your oven to 250 degrees. Next, remove the paper from the old crayons and crush them up, leaving mostly medium-sized pieces. Line your muffin tin with the cupcake liners and place the crushed crayons into the muffin tin. Place the crayons in the oven for about twenty minutes, or until they have completely melted. Remove the tin and once cool, take out the crayons from each section and peel off the cupcake liners.

This craft is simple and is a great way to reuse the bits of crayons that your kids disregard anyway. With the circular shape and rainbow colors, your kids will love their new crayons.

Homemade Hand Warmers

Keep your loved ones warm this winter homemade hand warmer stocking stuffers, which are much cuter than the ones in the store and use up items laying around your home. Gather:

  1. pieces of fabric, such as old t-shirts

  2. scissors

  3. a needle

  4. thread

  5. corn kernels

Start by gathering some pieces of fabric – an old t-shirt works best. Cut the fabric into whatever shape you desire, such as a heart or a star. Cut two pieces of fabric out of the same size and sew them together, creating a sort of a pocket. Leave a small section of the ‘pocket’ open and fill it with the corn kernels. Finish by sewing the small section shut and you’re left with a nifty hand warmer.

When it’s ready to be used, just toss it in the microwave for a few seconds to warm up the corn kernels. Although the sewing aspect may seem daunting, these hand warmers aren’t difficult at all and you can use up old items of clothing that you planned to throw away.

Mini Chalkboards

This recycled stocking stuffer idea is perfect for loved ones of all ages and adds a creative touch to a home. You will need some tiles and chalkboard paint to create them.

If you have some tiles lying around the house, use them. If not, head to a home improvement store – it’s likely they have tile remnants lying around which they’ll gladly let you take off their hands. To turn the tiles into chalkboards, simply paint the smooth side with chalkboard paint and let them dry. Once dry, stack the chalkboards together, place a box of chalk on top, and tie it all together with a piece of twine.

Kids can use this stocking stuffer to draw pictures on; adults can use them as personalized coasters (they’ll never misplace a drink again!)

Button Magnets

Image Courtesy of ShutterStock

If you’re like most people, you probably have a collection of unused buttons lying around. Turn these buttons into cute magnets to give as stocking stuffers. Simply gather:

  1. buttons

  2. magnets

  3. a hot glue gun

Gather the buttons you have laying around and lay them out. You can buy circular magnets to go on the back of your buttons, which will save you from having to cut out small pieces of magnet. Apply hot glue to the back of your button and attach the magnet. That’s all it takes! In five minutes, you have cute button magnets that are perfect for displaying pictures and notes – and you won’t have anymore loose buttons hanging around your home.

Doing your part to recycle, no matter how small, helps the earth out in immense ways. With these upcycled stocking stuffer ideas, not only will you be helping out Mother Nature, you will also be giving more heart-felt and meaningful gifts that your loved ones will truly appreciate.

Naomi Shaw is a freelance writer in Southern California. With three kids of her own, she is always on the lookout for creative stocking stuffers and loves how eco-friendly these are. She contributes content to the blog at, where you can find more of her work.


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page