Homemade Eco-Friendly Christmas Decorations

Written by Ollie Wilkinson

deck the halls

You can’t beat homemade decorations for that traditional Christmas feel. Not to mention the fun you’ll have making them and the money and plastic waste you’ll save. We’ll show you how to make DIY tree decorations and ornaments from household items and eco-friendly craft materials. Blue Peter, eat your heart out! 

Homemade Christmas Decorations

These make great festive decor, but if you’re here for the Christmas tree ornaments, we’ve got those too.

As with our guide on DIY Christmas tree ideas, some of these require basic tools and craft materials.

Paper Chains

Cut some coloured paper (the more colours, the better) into strips and glue the ends together, forming a chain as you go. Attach them to the spindles of your staircase, or something similar, with two tight loops at each end of the chain. This Christmas classic is fun to make and can go in your recycling bin on the twelfth day.

Pinecone & Cinnamon Stick Table Decorations

Take some dried pinecones and cinnamon sticks and intertwine them with silver craft wire, adding seasonal extras like holly and ribbon as you go. These decorations will make your table feel extra special and make an excellent distraction if the turkey’s a bit dry.

Festive Greenery

We’re not talking about Brussels sprouts here. We’re talking about holly and cuttings from evergreen trees tied together with twine or craft wire and pepped with pinecones, cinnamon sticks etc., to make them smell even more lovely. That may come in handy after the spouts. These decorations are perfect for the mantelpiece or can be tied to the spindles of your staircase.

Homemade Honeycomb Wreath

Upcycle your toilet and kitchen paper roll tubes into an attractive honeycomb decoration. Cut your cardboard tubes into multiple 2-inch depth rings and place them around a soup bowl to form a honeycomb shape with a circular centre. Glue the rings together to hold them in shape and remove the bowl. You can put the honeycomb on your mantelpiece and glue festive trinkets inside the rings to make it even more Christmassy.

Homemade Christmas Tree Ornaments

Ditch the plastic this Christmas and make your own eco-ornaments from recyclable and biodegradable materials.

Citrus Ornaments

Slice some large oranges across the middle into ¼-inch slices with a sharp knife. Place the slices on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake in the oven at 120°C for around three hours, turning after about 90mins. When the slices have dried, take them out of the oven and let them cool down, pierce a hole with a knitting needle, and tie a loop using twine, cotton thread or ribbon.

Wooden Bead Stars

Draw a five-point star on paper as a template for your stars. Next, cut a piece of silver craft wire a bit longer than your template, tie a loop in one end of the wire, and thread beads onto the wire, bending to the shape of your template as you go. Feed the loose end of the wire through the loop, then crimp and cut the end with a pair of pliers. Finally, tie a loop around your star with twine, cotton thread or ribbon, and hang it on your Christmas tree.

Salt Dough Ornaments

Combine 4 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 cup of salt, and 1.5 cups of warm water in a mixing bowl. Knead until the dough is firm and smooth. Roll the dough about 0.5cm thick and use festive pastry cutters to cut out your shapes. Poke a small hole near the top with a skewer or something similar for hanging. Bake in the oven at around 150°C until dry (about 1hr). Take them out, let them cool and tie a loop through the hole with cotton thread for your tree.

Note: these ornaments are not edible!

Get Twiggy With It

Pick up some nice, dried twigs from the garden or park and create festive shapes such as stars and snowflakes. Next, glue the twigs together with a glue gun and fix them with twine. Then tie a twine loop around the top to hang it on your tree. 

If you’re planning to make your own Christmas tree this year, make sure you grab some large branches whilst you’re out collecting for decorations.

More Resources for a Sustainable Christmas

We hope these ideas will inspire you to light up your homes this Christmas without the plastic waste. Here are some more practical guides on making your Christmas as eco-friendly as can be.

Sustainable Alternatives to Christmas Trees

What to Do With Your Christmas Leftovers

How to Have a Plastic Free Christmas

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