DIY Christmas: See How Thousands of People Made One-of-a-Kind Gifts Out of Trash

In Denmark, a pop-up shelter made of recycled wood gave visitors an eco-conscious space to make do-it-yourself holiday presents.

Photo Credit: Versta/Shutterstock

It’s typically taboo to turn your trash into a holiday present for someone else, but one artist made it a seasonal phenomenon for thousands of people in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Thomas Dambo and his team of artists constructed a cabin-like wooden house completely out of recycled materials to give visitors an eco-friendly space to create DIY Christmas gifts from tossed materials.

The “Remake Christmas” house is made of recycled scrapwood and billboards, not to mention old election posters that double as a roof cover. Inside, workshop stations are stocked with everything from recycled vinyl records and used carpets to leftover prints and tons of extra scrapwood.

The 'Remake Christmas' house in Copenhagen's Nikolaj Plads. (Photo: Facebook)

“I believe a good recycler should see possibilities where other people see trash,” Dambo told Treehugger

The artist collected all the materials from shops and trash containers along the capital’s central shopping street over a two-week period. The workshop stations also contained materials that were already in Dambo’s studio from previous Dumpster dives.

“I always loved the ‘hunt’ in the dumpsters and still love the excitement and anticipation when I’m climbing around in other people’s trash; what will I find in the next box, what will it be, and what can I do with it?” he said.

The construction project started in mid-November and took about nine days to complete. Since its opening, more than 20,000 people have visited the workshop and made more than 1,500 Christmas gifts.

Kids and adults alike created a variety of free recycled gifts, including birdhouses, personalized T-shirts, and colorful candle accessories.


Nicole Mormann is TakePart's editorial fellow. She covers a variety of topics, including social justice, entertainment, lifestyle and environment.

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