Deck the Halls With Upcycled Diabetes Supplies

Ever since my son Mason was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was little, we’ve always liked to jazz up our diabetes bags and supplies. There are also a lot of great ways to reuse these items that keep us alive. Since we love creating, we found a cute way to turn some of them into a sweet little bunting banner to add to our holidays sparkle!


What You'll Need

  • Used pump pods (cannula snipped off)
  • Brown and black acrylic paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Black fine-tip permanent marker
  • Lancet caps
  • Hot glue gun
  • Tan and green felt
  • Scissors
  • Small twigs
  • Twine
  • Paper flowers
  • Fabric mini leaf wreath
  • Empty insulin vials (washed, labels removed)
  • Large wooden beads
  • White glue
  • Glitter
  • 1 insulin box paper insert
  • Brown craft paper
  • Single-hole punch

How To Make It

  1. holiday decoration made from diabetes supplies; step 1

    To make the deer: Paint used pump pods with the brown acrylic paint. Let dry.

  2. holiday decoration made from diabetes supplies; step 2

    Draw eyelashes using the black permanent marker. Use glue gun to hot-glue a lancet cap below the eyelashes as the nose. Snip twigs to your liking and hot-glue them to the flat end of the pods in the shape of antlers. Cut ear shapes from the tan felt and hot-glue in front of the antlers. Cut a 1-inch piece of twine and hot-glue it into a loop behind the pod near the antlers.

  3. holiday decoration made from diabetes supplies; step 3

    Using a small dot of hot glue attach the fabric leaves and paper flowers in between the antlers.

  4. holiday decoration made from diabetes supplies; step 4

    To make the elves: Hot-glue the wooden bead on top of the empty insulin vial. Cut green felt into a triangle and trim off the top point. Trim the bottom edge into a curve. Fold around your finger and use a small line of hot glue to stick the two sides together, forming a cone-shaped hat. Hot-glue the hat on top of the wooden bead. Hot-glue a lancet cap to either side of the wood bead to create warm little earmuffs for your jolly elf!

  5. Next, use the end of a paintbrush to dab black acrylic paint on the bead for the elf’s eyes. Cut a length of twine and wrap it around the bottom third of the vial, securing it with hot glue. Brush a thin coat of white glue around the middle third of the vial, sprinkle with glitter, and shake off the excess.

  6. holiday decoration made from diabetes supplies; step 6

    Cut two 3-inch pieces from the remaining twine. Using a small bead of hot glue on the back of the neck of the vial to secure it, wrap the twine pieces around the neck like a scarf, finishing with another dot of hot-glue in front. Untwist the twine a bit at the ends to give a fuller scarf look. Use scissors to make a small snip on each side of the hat for stringing the elf onto the banner. Use hot glue and paper flowers to decorate your elf’s hat.

  7. holiday decoration made from diabetes supplies; step 7

    To make the bunting: Cut paper insert into small curved shapes. (You can also use scalloped craft scissors for a decorative effect.) Cut brown craft paper into pieces the same shape but smaller. Stick the smaller pieces over the larger ones with white glue. Decorate with paper flowers and glitter to your liking. Use a hole punch to make holes at each corner.

  8. holiday decoration made from diabetes supplies; step 8

    String all of the pieces onto a length of twine, alternating between the deer, elves, and paper bunting.

Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the "typical" experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring.