By Diane Small
Most of us have Christmas decorations that have been passed down through the generations. But if you don’t, there’s no need to go out and buy some this Christmas: there’s plenty you can do to make the simplest materials look glamorous! From creatively displaying evergreen branches to making your own Playdough (which can be molded into tree ornament shapes and baked to last), we’ve found some unique, natural DIY Christmas Decoration Ideas to make your home look just that little bit warmer and more inviting over the holidays season. These also make a lovely gift to bring to dinner party hosts over the season, and we’ve added a few little DIY gift ideas at the end, too!
For the tree
In our opinion, garish tinsel and shiny baubles just make a tree look gauche. Keep it simple with these organic basics!
Either buy or make simple gingerbread cookies, shaped into stars or ‘men’. If you make them yourself, poke a little hole into the head or tip of the star before baking to allow a string to be threaded through for hanging. If you bought them ready made, just balance them on branches.
2. Popcorn strings
Either pop a batch of your own, or buy ready made. Take a needle and thread and string kernels through to make a ‘popcorn rope’. If you’d like to add a bit of colour, add cranberries every now and then. See how to do it here.
This is a more expensive option than the popcorn alone, but with a needle and lots of thread and some dried cranberries, you can make ropes of glistening berries and wrap them around the tree. You can also save money by adding some popcorn (see above) mixed in with the cranberries.
4. Pine Cones
Tied with lush ribbons, these make a simple, natural, tree decoration.
5. Adorable ground nut ‘men’
Making these guys with little groundnut ‘hats’ glued onto their heads are easy: just paint groundnuts white, add faces on with a black felt tip marker and if you wish, tie some wool thread ‘scarves’ around their necks. To hang, cut off the tip of another ground nut, glue it onto the head, and poke a needle and thread through the hat. Tie the thread into a loop, and voila!
6. Simple candy canes
When hooked over branches, every day, run of the mill candy canes look chic and festive.
7. Dried oranges
They look great, and the smell is wonderful! Slit the sides of an orange just as in the photo below, and bake on a very low heat for 2 hours. Loop some string through the top and tie to the tree. The house will smell great for days to come. This works perfectly with lemons and limes, too.
8. Pine planters
Take some cuttings from your Christmas tree, and plant them into some soil in some washed out tins. If you wish, glue some natural burlap fabric around each tin, or paint them white to add to the festive theme.
9. Candle Branch
If you’re handy with tools, drill some tea-candle sized holes into a long log, and fill them with soy based tea candles. Surround the log with pinecones and greenery trimmed from your tree. Makes an excellent centrepiece for dinners!
10. Candy Cane Cups
Take any white vessel: mug, bowl, cup–fill with candy canes, or drape them over the side. Add some greenery from the tree, and put these in the centre of the table. Eat afterwards, of course, dipped in some hot chocolate…mmm!
11. White Candles
Simple white candles always look classy. Use whatever you have on hand, and arrange several candles in a circle. Surround it with a rounded pine, eucalyptus or cedar branch. Simply elegant.
12. Simple branches+recycled bottles
When combined, these make elegant Christmas centrepieces. To preserve the festive season, find evergreen branches, or some with red berries.
13. Mason Jar Lanterns
Best when filled with a Christmas scented candle. You can make these yourself for the table, but filling old jars up with dried white beans and candles, or for the fancier hanging version, visit www.thecountrybarrel.etsy.com
Easy DIY Christmas Gifts
14. Bath bombs
These are great for the skin, and are a welcome gift for anyone of any age. These easy-to-make at home versions allow for you to add any essential oils you like. Find the recipe here.
15. Homemade lemon honey body scrub
This helps slough off rough skin, and looks great gifted in a simple Mason jar, with a painted lid and decorated with a bit of string or ribbon. Want to give it a go? Find the recipe here.
16. Homemade lip balm
Yet another winter favourite, and it doesn’t take long to make at all. Add a few drops of essential oil to personalise the scent. Find the recipe here.
17. Decorative Spice Jars
These are a great gift for the cook in your life. Find some spice mix recipes here, then add them in pretty layers to an interestingly shaped, clear glass jar, and tie with a bit of ribbon. Alternatively, make your own tea blend, using green or black tea and a mix of dried fruits.
18. Safe, non-toxic homemade ‘PlayDough‘
This is a great gift for the kiddies, and best of all, you can add your own scent. Find the recipe here. You can also use this recipe to make your own Christmas tree decorations: just cut out shapes with a cookie cutter, punch a hole at the top of each piece so you can tie a string in it, bake at a low heat for an hour, and you’re done!
19. A Blackboard Mug
Got some old mugs lying around? Recycle them! Use some black chalkboard paint to cover up the old design, then write a sweet message on them with simple chalk! Or, just use simple black paint and a white or silver paint pen to customise your message.
20. Don’t Forget the Wrapping!
Christmas wrapping can be seriously wasteful. It’s downright depressing when you see the bags and bags of waste after all the presents are open. Instead, recycle newsprint to make some beautiful wrapping – embellish with natural evergreen boughs or ribbons, brooches, hair jewellery or other objects that will be re-used, not trashed.
See more ideas and find more home-made gift ideas on Etsy.