A handmade Christmas is a good way to get everyone involved in the celebration. A family outing is the perfect time to gather some of the natural materials you'll need. The time spent together reminiscing about past holidays and working on your Christmas decorations can help create enduring memories. These are just a few suggestions of Earth-friendly and economical ways to decorate your home with natural Christmas decorations.
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Start collecting materials early. During walks, look for bird's nests, dried flowers, berries, nuts, pine cones and herbs. As the seasons change, you'll have a selection of different colours and textures from which to choose. Collecting all during the year gives you the opportunity to stockpile a variety of materials to make your Christmas decorations.
Think about a fresh cut Christmas tree or a potted tree that you can plant after the holidays. Start a family tradition and make a special day out of looking for the perfect tree. If you don't have live evergreen trees or shrubs to clip branches from, buy a tree that's a little too large and trim some of the branches to use for wreaths or garland.
Design a wreath from greenery in your yard. Evergreen tress and shrubs grow in most areas. Take a few clippings to make a wreath and decorate it with nuts, pine cones, dried flowers, herbs or a small bird's nest. Make a simple wreath by laying one strand of greenery down and then laying another on top so the bottom of the second strand overlaps the top of the first one. Join them together with twine and continue around until it's the right size and then overlap the ends to make a circle. To make garland, don't make a circle, but continue until it's the length you want. A glue gun makes quick work of attaching your natural decorations in place.
Create a centerpiece by making a mini wreath and placing a tall pillar candle in the middle. Add a little sparkle by spraying silver paint on the tips of pine cones or use white paint, to look like a powdering of snow.
Set baskets of assorted pine cones on the hearth or use it as a centerpiece. Tuck greenery into the arrangement to add a touch of color and texture. Fresh citrus or pomegranates make beautiful additions to a centerpiece. Pomegranates have a rich beautiful color and can last for weeks at room temperature.
Make natural ornaments to decorate your tree. Place sliced citrus fruits on a cookie sheet and allow them to dry in a warm area of the house. Placing them over a heating vent speeds up the process, but the oven may be a little harsh, causing them to become dark and brittle. Large nuts and interesting looking seedpods painted gold or silver can add a little glitter to a tree. Just use a sharp needle to thread some ribbon or heavy to make a hanger.
Thread a needle with some heavy-duty thread and make popcorn or cranberry garlands for your tree. Stale popcorn is less likely to crumble than fresh and using a plastic needle keeps the cranberries from turning brown as quickly. String them together to make it more interesting.
Tips and warnings
- If pine cones have lost their fresh smell, add a few drops of evergreen oil, which can be found in the craft section.
- Evergreen branches dry out very quickly when brought in to a dry, warm house. Try to pick the live greenery closer to the holidays so they won't dry out before Christmas arrives, and use caution when you use candles or lights around them .