Christmas decoration is not always going the way we want. We are used to buy everything but either it gets lost in the moving boxes or we never have enough as it gets quickly expensive. While you are waiting next year to complete your selection, why not improvise and recycle a bit to complete your dreamy Chritmas atmosphere ? You will soon realise you don’t need to buy so much…
Nature provides so many things which can be used as Christmas decorations : pinecones, red berry branches, holy, pinetree, twigs, tree bark,…
Here’s my ritual every year. It doesn’t matter if it’s cold or if there’s snow outside, I’m out in the garden looking around for material and inspiration. Twigs are the one I prefer (and the ones I find more easily). Shapes are always different, you can choose the size you want, you can give them a small touch of gold paint, put them together to create stars or any sculptural shapes. For the most flexible woods, it’s easy to turn them in a wreath for your door or a center piece on your dinner table.
Possibilities are infinite.
If you don’t want to go out in the cold or are missing some inspiration, do not hesitate to « borrow » some branches on your christmas tree ! The ones at the bottom will disappear without anyone noticing. For small pieces, you can even pick them here and there carefully.
Once you have enough materials, pinecones and twigs for example, mix them with some candles (watch out) and some of the christmas decorations you will discover below.
We all have spared paper at home. White or colored. Plain, with drawings or writings on it. Large or small.
Paper can be cutted out, glued or folded. Origami is the ancestral art which will help you create stars of all kind. With a string and simple geometric shapes, you will create a trendy garland. And if you feel like using your own imagination, create a round shape, draw a landscape, an animal or anything you want and cut it out.
Again, a lot of possibilities thanks to the many techniques and tutorials shown on internet. You can decorate all your christmas tree and Chritmas table using only paper.
You can upgrade this a bit by buying quality paper with gold color or patterns if it matches your tastes better. In any case, take a look at my Christmas Pinterest board for some inspiration.
Food is one of the main subject for Christmas so why not use it for decoration too ?
Cinnamon stick, star anise, dried orange slices, orange with cloves, colorful exotic fruits, chocolate wrapped in golden paper and my favourite : home-made biscuits.
Maybe there’s even more choices but as for now, you have enough possibilities to decorate wreath, centerpiece, candles, and plates.
Take a ribbon and attach several cinnamon sticks vertically around a candle. Glue star anise and dried orange slices on a wreath made out of twigs for your door. Display several kind of fruits and chocolates in a plate in a beautiful composition to create an effect of abundance like a horn of plenty (doesn’t have to be huge though, multiple colors and shapes will do)
As for biscuits, that’s simple, you can create any shapes you want for any use you want. They can be suspended to the Christmas tree with a small ribbon, they can be placed one by one in your guests’ plate as a decorative item as much as a warm welcoming present. And there’s of course the well-known Gingerbread house, even though not so many people risk it as it takes quite a lot of time...
Let’s take inspiration in the scandinavian traditions and create an Himmeli.
Maybe you don’t know the name but you’ve probably already seen one as it’s so fashionable in design these years. A himmeli is a geometrical structure you suspend from the ceiling. It’s a Christmas tradition around the baltic sea, to attract prosperity for the year to come. If today you can choose to suspend it where you want, traditionnally, it’s above the dinner table.
Surely, the traditional himmeli is made from rye straws but it’s not so easy to find and it’s not easy to manipulate either (trust me!) The good news is that you can use classic plastic straws to get the same result.
Do not panic when looking for tutorials on internet, Himmelis can become really intricate, huge and impressive ! But small and simple geometric shapes are possible too.
I’ve already mentioned the ribbon as a simple tool to suspend or attach other items. But it’s also great to use it on it’s own, tied on your Christmas tree or wreath in a beautiful bow. Choose one, maximum two colors and you will see that its satiny aspect will bring a festive atmosphere really easily.
With a different aspect, if you are familiar with working yarn, you can finally put your always-remaining yarns to a use. You can crochet and knit stars, snowflakes or any shapes you want. Even more easy : pompoms ! Never throw away, always recycle when possible, specially yarn which is so trendy now !
And, as a final touch in your christmas decoration, Make a strong impresion on your guests by folding the napkins in an artistic way. It doesn’t have to be extremely complicated to bring a luxury feeling on your table. Any folding will catch more attention than a basic square-shaped napkin. Use this trick specially if you don’t have much decoration on the rest of your table.
Did these suggestions awake your creativity to the fullest ? I hope so ! Christmas is the best time to be creative. And if it helps avoiding buying too much « made in Taïwan » products, that’s even better.
Maybe you will think that you don’t have time or you’re not able to do any of this but give it a try. Don’t be to ambitious, take 2 hours on your time and you will see how satisfying and relaxing it is (that’s when the « not too ambitious » is important). And if you have kids, organise a DIY activity with them, they will be so proud of their art.
Pick ideas in my Pinterest Christmas board. More than just pictures, you can find some tutorials in there.