Last year, we had our “Lantern Made of Recycled Materials Contest”, this year we were looking forward for another Christmas Decoration Making Contest out of recycled materials. This is one of the Environmental Enhancement activities/projects of our department. The decision to push through with the contest came in a little bit late because of budget issues. But it didn’t hinder us to create what we can make out of the used/recycled materials we can find at home or in the office.
The recycled soft drink bottles didn’t bring us to the final 4 entries last year, thus, this year we decided to make more use of papers, magazines, calendars found at the office. But making the Christmas tree structure is really one tough job. As much as we want to pay and have it made, we opted not, and asked my husband’s help to make the tree structure out of the recycled rolled paper tube (used to roll floor mats/linoleum), a broken plastic hula-hoop, some wire insulators and wrap them with papers. Galvanized wires were used to hold the layers in place. For, there is a height requirement of 5ft to 6ft, ours stands 5ft with an allowance of 1 foot for the star.
With structure partially ready, with a few more adjustments to make, we started brainstorming as to how the tree should be decorated using paper as our main material. First, we tried making daffodil flowers assembled few and assessed the appearance, but we’re not really satisfied with the result.
If you are going to type “Christmas Tree out of Paper” and hit search, the first to pop-up are those made of large paper cones, which I think is very common (actually there were two groups who made the same). Instead of making large paper cones we decided to go for smaller ones from round paper with approximately 2.75 inches in diameter. The idea came from a paper cone wreath that I have found here.
The process is very tedious, but since we decided on it, we will do our best to make it work. Every time we’re done with our tasks/reports the team started cutting papers/magazines and make hundreds to thousand paper cones, while, Riz and I assembled a wreath-like base where the small cones to be attached, LED lights also wrapped on it. Our tree has five layers meaning, we need to make 5 wreaths of different sizes.
Five days later, the four wreaths are almost done, the tree structure already had minor upgrades, with LED lights already in place.
Here comes Saturday (while LPA Onyok, pouring rain in this part of the country), 3 days before the judging day. I brought home with me the materials for the Christmas ornaments, a choir of angels.
Using cracked table tennis/ping-pong balls (those that we played with during break time) as the angel’s head with individual battery operated light that we found at a thrift store @ P10 (approximately $.25) each, an old desktop calendar for the cone-like body, milk silver foil pack for the wings, galvanized wire for the halo and UTP wires for hanging, then, drew eyes and mouth using black Sharpie pen.
On Sunday (the sun is up again after the rain), we went to the office to assemble the tree. We only have 2 days left before judging and we were pretty sure that we have a lot of tasks/reports to make on Monday, and will have lesser time to work on our tree.
After a few hours, the tree is almost complete, with the star on top made by folding milk aluminium foil, purposely showing the milk brand as evidence that it’s recycled. J
Monday, a day before judging, we still had blank spaces in between the angels, and the ideal things to decorate are dry twigs that I picked up in the backyard, with paper butterflies and leaves out of old calendars.
Monday evening, finally, our “Fairyland inspired Christmas Tree” is ready to take the stage. We took out our Christmas tree from our working area and displayed it in the lobby, the judging venue. We were the 2nd group to finish and waiting for the judging time the following day.
Tuesday, December 22, 2015 is the day. Everyone is excited, many had appreciated our unique tree, mystical, enchanting that’s how we describe it after all, we made it, and we really love our work. But we don’t expect that much, battling to be in the best four out of 10 entries is not easy. They also did their Best Christmas Trees they can think of. And besides, we don’t want to experience that epic episode like what had happened in the 2015 Ms. Universe Pageant.
Here are the 10 entries.
The announcement of the winners was made in the afternoon.
4th Place - Entry # 7
3rd Place - Entry # 2
2nd Place - Entry # 6
1st Place - Entry # 3
Luckily, our tree made it to top 4 and won 3rd prize. We were really right not to expect, because the beautiful Christmas Tree for us probably not that beautiful for the judges (invited judges from other external offices).
Nevertheless, our group is still happy to make it on the top 3. The fruit of our labor did pay off. And we are happy to congratulate the winning entries and the rest of the participants.
Indeed a very Merry Christmas for our Group and whole Department.
Until Next Year!