Holiday Decorating With Medical Waste

by Leighann on December 7, 2009

Alternate title: How to turn your used OmniPod’s into Christmas tree ornaments.

OmniPod Ornament
Daily care of diabetes creates a ton of waste. Between test strips, lancets, syringes, empty vials, and more, I think a diabetic could fill a landfill in her lifetime. Hardly any of these items can be recycled and it’s even difficult to responsibly dispose of used items, particularly syringes. (Our local hospital recently began a free program to provide sharps containers and collect them for disposal.)

Now that we are using the OmniPod insulin pump, our medical waste has changed, yet there is still a lot of stuff to get rid of.

We have a box of used pods. What to do, what to do?

I was inspired when I saw what Lorraine, the author of This is Caleb, did last Christmas with some of her son’s used pods: she made tree ornaments!

Since my daughter is always in the mood for crafting, I asked if this is something she would like to do. She said she would like to decorate the little tree that adorns her room with pod decorations.

Anything to make diabetes fun, right?

I spent $8.08 at the craft store on supplies, but honestly, this could be done for less. Maybe even for free if you have appropriate supplies laying around the house.

OmniPod Tree Ornaments

Used pods
Adhesive-backed felt or foam

1. Remove the adhesive and snip the cannula from the back of the pods.
2. Trace the outline of the pod on the felt or foam, which will be used for backing. Cut them out just inside the lines you’ve traced. I found it easier to use a thin Sharpie and trace the felt side (not the adhesive side).
3. Cut equal lengths of ribbon, loop the ribbons to create an ornament hanger, and use a small piece of tape to hold in place.
4. Cover the back of the pod, including the ribbon, with the adhesive-backed felt.
5. Decorate the front of the pods with festive stickers.
6. Hang on your tree and admire.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lady M December 8, 2009 at 3:18 am

So clever!


2 Rachel December 8, 2009 at 5:00 am

Ha ha, really cool!!!


3 mayberry December 8, 2009 at 6:56 am

That's adorable. I am a fan of ornaments that symbolize something about a family member's personality, life, hobbies, etc. so this is perfect.


4 Major Bedhead December 8, 2009 at 7:07 am

Cute! A couple of years ago, I strung used insulin bottles onto a set of super miniature lights – the battery operated kind – and put them on the tree.


5 Leighann of D-Mom Blog December 10, 2009 at 4:03 am

Lady M & Rachel- I was totally inspired by Lorraine. Wish I could take credit!

Mayberry- Yes, it's so easy to decorate the tree w/ meaningless (but beautiful) ornaments. We try to buy a few each year that suit what ever it is that we are interested in. She had fun making them and wants to make more. I'm already thinking about Valentine's Day ideas for them.

Bedhead- Your string of insulin bottle lights sounds great! Maybe next year we can do that too.


6 Condo Blues December 11, 2009 at 3:16 pm

Those are such cute ornaments, I didn't realize that they are medical waste until you wrote your tute. What a great way to make a postitive out of a negative.

Our drugstore decorated their tree with medicine bottles. They made joke labels for meds for Santa and his reindeer. A "script" for hoof and mouth meds, cold medicine for Rundolph's red nose, etc.


7 Lee Ann Thill December 12, 2009 at 11:25 am

Those are totally fabulous! I love them! Thanks so much for tweeting the link to me (I just started setting up Google Reader, and haven't gotten into the swing of it yet so I miss stuff…)


8 Amy October 11, 2010 at 9:05 pm

Thanks for pointing this out to me…a perfect craft for Fall Break! You are amazing!!


9 Linda December 8, 2010 at 8:06 pm

Very cute! We will be decorating the insets and assembling them into snowmen! I will email you the pics upon completion!!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: