Alternative & Minimalist: DIY Cardboard Christmas Tree

Alternative & Minimalist: DIY Cardboard Christmas Tree | By YaansoonChristmas trees and recycling can meet under one roof! This cardboard Christmas tree is the perfect example. All you need is a corrugated cardboard box (used in packaging large appliances or furniture), a ruler,  X-acto knife, and some white paint!

Whether your home is space-challenged, or if you don’t like the idea of a plastic tree standing in the corner of your Eco-friendly home, then it’s probably time to explore new and alternative Christmas tree ideas for your home.

Alternative & Minimalist: DIY Cardboard Christmas Tree | By YaansoonCorrugated cardboard is a great material to work with to create this minimalist Christmas tree. I personally like it’s earthy tone, and the fact I can add an instant ginger-bread/snow-mountain effect to it by adding a layer of white paint to its top. You can also go more creative by adding white dots to the edges of the tree, and maybe some gold foil dots splashed across its center.

Alternative & Minimalist: DIY Cardboard Christmas Tree | By YaansoonTo decorate this kind of tree all you need is cute little clothespins and light-weight ornaments. In the picture above you can see an old light bulb that I have turned into a Christmas ornament, by adding some twine and ribbon and embellishing it with gold and white using permanent felt-tip markers.

Alternative & Minimalist: DIY Cardboard Christmas Tree | By YaansoonNeedless to say, the inspiration to make this tree came from Pinterest. I have a board called Celebrate | Xmas, where I gather inspiration for the perfect minimalist Christmas.

Here are a few of our favorite unconventional, DIY, minimalist, space-saving, and contemporary Christmas trees (please check end of post for image credits).

Peg dolls Winter Wonderland

Peg Dolls Winter Wonderland / diy cardboard toy templates / Mr Printables | Via YaansoonDIY Modern Wooden Christmas Tree Set

DIY Modern Wooden Christmas Tree Set - By Curbly | Via YaansoonMinimalist Wooden Christmas Tree

Minimalist wooden Christmas Tree - By Varpunen | Via YaansoonMini Balsa Wood Christmas Trees

Mini Balsa Wood Christmas Trees - By A Cup of Thuy | Via YaansoonMini Balsa Wood Christmas Trees - By A Cup of Thuy | Via Yaansoon

Image Credits:

Pictures 1, 2, 3, and 4 | By Yaansoon, Peg dolls Winter Wonderland | By Mr. Printables, DIY Modern Wooden Christmas Tree Set | By Curbly, Minimalist wooden Christmas Tree | By Varpunen, Mini Balsa Wood Christmas Trees | By A Cup of Thuy





Gold leaf necklace with a dash of gilded inspiration

Gold Leaf Necklace, Gold Lead Jewelry, Wood Jewelry, Minimalist Wood Jewelry, Handmade Jewellery, Etsy shop I wanted to experiment with combining two extremes: Natural wood which is earthy, organic and minimalist – and glamorous  gold leaf, a shiny and bold material. I then added a brass chain to give my tree-branch pendants a vintage nostalgic twist, before adding them last night to my Etsy shop.

What I love about these handmade rope necklaces (see images at the bottom of this post) is how they draw together more than one style in an interesting way; a little bit of hipster, a little bit of boho, a little bit of vintage, and a sprinkle of organic minimalism.

What can you pair this handmade gold leaf necklace with? I thought of this beautiful Channel Cuff from Anthropologie, made from golden brass (98$). I love its porous look, lending it its organic appeal.

Anthro Channel Cuff - anthropologie.comI’ve been a gold leaf fan for a few years now. Before falling in love with gold leaf, I had a cold relationship with gold. I used to prefer silver, until gold leaf came along and changed all that. Let me share with you some of my gold leaf (and gold) favorites from a board I have on Pinterest.

Gold with mint? It’s the ultimate combination. I think it’s because mint is very close to the color of patina, that’s why it looks so good with gold leaf, reminding us of ancient gilded statues made of metals like brass and bronze.


Gold shines in a minimalist, organic-looking product, and no one does that better than INKKIT. They take organic style to a whole new level with there stylish decor and stationery.5eb257755fc1c071d2ec830e7fbc33343b956a46e7766589949e7b6d4ae6744e

A minimalist wooden tray with gold leaf, like this one, reminds us of Scandinavian decor, like this tray from The Vintage Vogue Story.

il_fullxfull.547296881_n212 Image Credits: Painted Bias Armchair via Anthropologie, gold sequins via inkkit on Etsy, metallic gold doilies via inkkit, gold leaf tray by thevintagevoguestory on Etsy.

Gold Leaf Necklace, Gold Lead Jewelry, Wood Jewelry, Minimalist Wood Jewelry, Handmade Jewellery, Etsy shopImage Credits for handmade items: Gold Leaf Necklace by Yaansoon on Etsy, Gilded Tree Branch Pendant by Yaansoon on Etsy.

Gold Leaf Necklace, Gold Lead Jewelry, Wood Jewelry, Minimalist Wood Jewelry, Handmade Jewellery, Etsy shop

When you do things from your soul…

Yaansoon _ When you do things from your soul I’ve been reflecting today on the joy of making handmade objects and designs, on your own, and with basic materials. Nothing beats that.

The state of mind (and being) when you make handcrafted items is completely different from writing a report, or coming up with a presentation. In my last job I was a director of PR and I often put together presentations to pitch new businesses and clients.

I remember thinking to myself one day that my presentations have become more ‘skilled’ after I took up crafting. My attention to detail jumped to a whole new level, and my ability to multi-task quadrupled.

It’s because working with one’s hands and creating something original requires searching deep within yourself for skills you didn’t know you had in you. That’s what happened with me and my husband. Ever since we started Yaansoon, we have been surprising ourselves with ideas and creations we never knew were part of our consciousness.

I think working with hands requires putting aside your ego and walking into ‘the zone.’

Athletes know what I’m talking about.

‘The zone’ is a selfless place where you forget about everything and concentrate on applying your best to the piece you are working on. It’s the ultimate form of devotion. It’s very much a form of worship – because you are not doing it to please people, nor to look good, nor to become famous… you perfect your craft because there is no other way but to pour your soul into it.

And while you are hand-printing those textiles or making those jewelry pieces, your soul can now express herself freely without the distracting whining of the ego. This is when joy is born!

{Recycle & Upcycle} 3 daily habits to save energy

Yaansoon - Earth DayYaansoon would like to wish you all a happy belated earth day. We’ve been so busy with the launch of our Etsy shop we sort of let this post slip through, but I guess it’s never too late to celebrate our love for the green planet. We know some folk like to remind us of the “gloomy future” of the planet on this day, but we would like to take a different approach to the whole earth-friendliness scenario.

Earth Day is a time to remember that little actions can make a great difference.

We are not purists here at Yaansoon when it comes to the environment (we are guilty of the odd plastic tupperware and the polyester-blend sweater), but since one of us is a former environmental reporter and the other is an organic-food enthusiast, we often make conscious choices to be kind to our planet, believing that every small action counts.

Our handcrafts, for instance, are all about using natural materials whenever we can. We apply recycling and upcycling techniques whenever appropriate, and always look at new ways to align our goods with Eco-friendly practices.

Earth Day 2015Here are the 3 small actions we take on a daily bases to save energy:

  • We recycle kitchen water used for cleaning veggies and fruits, for the sake of watering our plants.
  • We turn off the water tap when not in use; we don’t keep it running endlessly while brushing our teeth or picking up something from the shelf. Did you know you can save up to 8 gallons of water every day by turning the tap off while brushing your teeth?
  • Ever since we read Martha Stewart’s 10 Ways to Save Energy at Home,” we have been giving small appliances a break whenever they’re not in use – by unplugging them. We also unplug all our cell phone and mobile chargers when not in use.

Here is another quick article by BHG with 10 Easy Ways to Go Green.” We love the point about supporting local farmers. We are actually the happy sponsors of a local farmers market; we do all their branding for them and the design for all their posters, Facebook posts, and even their logo.

What small actions do you take to save energy? Please feel free to share in the comments section below…

{Show & Tell} Handmade pebbles necklace

Pebbles Necklace by YaansoonWe’re still on the “Recycling Nature” theme, and it has taken us to wire-wrapping 3 pebbles and turning them into a wearable necklace.

I love pebbles so much! They are such imaginative little objects of nature; somehow they have managed to find a role for themselves beyond being a member of the gravel.

Yaansoon - at The Farmers' Market Jordan | Recycling old book pages into artSee the first picture above and in this post? That’s an old folk recreational mathematics boardgame, called Mankala or Mankaleh in certain parts of the Levant, however it seems to be known to more than one culture, as evident in this post. In Africa, Mankala is known as Oware.

We use Mankala as a jewelry display stand. Funny enough, people who pass by our table at craft fairs always end up striking up a conversation about it. Mankala is known to the elderly over here, especially in the city of Salt, and so if a grandmother is strolling by our table with her daughter and grandchildren, that’s when a nice conversation happens!

Before leaving you, here is reminder to take a look at our “Recycle & Upcycle” work, here.

Thank you for stopping by!