DIY: New Year's Eve Party Favors

Start 2009 off right with these little green pleasures for your New Year’s Eve bash

By Lindsay Kurz

With Christmas just a day behind you, the last thing on your mind might be looking ahead to one more day of festivities. So for this week’s DIY project we’ve kept it simple and found ways to reuse some of that crumpled wrapping paper from yesterday morning’s gift fest, creating party favors and accessories for a greener New Year’s Eve.

Project #1: Candy “Poppers”

Fried food, the Beatles, the postal system. . . all good imports from across the pond.  Here’s another British import: Holiday Poppers. While the ones we make won’t have that explosive pop, their festive, iconic shape is a fun way to package candies and send home with guests as party favors.  This is a great way to reuse old wrapping paper, gift ribbons and cardboard tubes from spent wrapping paper rolls. And as the British would say, “That’s just brill!”

- Scissors
- Tape

- Used wrapping paper or tissue paper (don’t worry if it’s wrinkled)
- Used cardboard wrapping paper tubes
- Used ribbon
- Candy

Step 1A:
Cut the cardboard tube down to four-inch tubes.  Alternatively you can use spent toilet paper tubes.

Step 1B:
Fill the tube with small candies and wrap with a piece of used gift paper that extends three inches beyond each end of the tube.  

Step 1C:
Gather and seal shut the ends of the paper and tie with ribbon.

Project #2: Decorations for Wine/Champagne Glasses
No matter how many guests you’ve invited to your party, it’s always a good idea to have some sort of system for guests to keep track of their glasses.  Minimizing the glasses to one per guest will help keep down the number of glasses you have to wash, saving both energy and water.

- Scissors
- Stapler
- A wine glass or champagne flute

- Colorful scraps of used wrapping paper or holiday cards
- Wire twist ties from food packaging
- Glitter (optional)

Step 2A:
Bend a twist tie around the stem of a wine glass, snaking it around in a spiral.  Once you have a spiral, remove the twist tie from the stem, carefully preserving the curly-cue form.

Step 2B:
Cut a small shape out of the wrapping paper scraps.  The shape should be roughly an inch in size.  Simple shapes such as flowers, leaves, stars, circles, butterflies or hearts work well.  In addition to wrapping paper, you could also use old holiday cards, magazine pages or colorful junk mail. Do not use tissue paper, (if it gets wet the ink may bleed and cause a mess).

Step 2C:
You can also layer the shape with multiple pieces of paper or embellish it with glitter.

Step 2D:
Staple the paper shape to the tip of the spiral twist tie.  

Step 2E:
Dress each of your wine or champagne glasses with a decoration.  Uncork the bubbly!

Project #3: Confetti
Don’t even think of buying premade confetti. Attack that crinkled pile of used wrapping paper with scissors and cut it up into small pieces (about 1” in size works well).  You can also use a paper hole punch to create small circular pieces.  A paper shredder also works well to quickly create a lot of confetti in a short amount of time. (And turn that stack of old office paper into confetti while you’re at it). Or if you have one, use a crafter’s hole punch that creates decorative shapes. After you ring in the New Year with a blast of homemade confetti, be sure to sweep it up and dump it in the paper recycling.


Click here to read about organic candy options.

Green Earth Office Supply sells staples made from recycled steel. Box of 5000 staples for $1.

Green Earth Office Supply offers tape made from cellulose instead of acetate. $.95 for a roll of ¾” by 1296”.