How To Decorate A Natural Christmas Tree

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If you enjoy the beauty of nature more than traditional Christmas decorations, use the colors and materials found in winter landscapes to decorate your Christmas tree this year. Because many of these items can be found in your own home or yard, you may even save a little cash before the big holiday arrives. Try some of these simple and beautiful ideas for creating your own natural Christmas tree.


  • When you begin decorating your natural Christmas tree, you'll want to start with string lights first. This makes them easier to wrap around the tree without knocking off ornaments, garlands or ribbons.
  • Always start stringing lights at the tree's base, beginning as close to the outlet the lights are plugged into as possible. This will help hide the wire.
  • Wrap the lights near the trunk of the tree to help keep the wire concealed. Especially with a naturally decorated Christmas tree, no wires or electrical parts should be visible, with only the glow of the light bulbs showing through.
  • For natural Christmas trees, select warm or cool white LED string lights, or regular white lights on a green wire. White wires will not blend in, and do not fit with the natural theme.
  • As you string your lights around the tree, remember the closer each layer of lights is, the brighter the tree should be. Natural Christmas trees typically do not have many lights, and should not have more than one string. The goal is to create a simple, beautiful tree, decorated with natural elements and slight ornamentation and glow from the lights.


While traditional and elegant Christmas trees may feature pine or tinsel garlands, this is not an appropriate choice for a natural Christmas tree.

  • Try using garlands made of natural materials in neutral colors.
  • While not a traditional Christmas color, brown is often featured in natural Christmas displays. Try using a twig garland, or one made of twine. Again, a natural tree is not heavily decorated, and is meant to accentuate the beauty of nature.

Ready for Planting


You can use ornaments on your natural Christmas tree, if you are mindful of the materials and colors used to make them.

  • To create your own natural ornaments, remove the top of a clear, round ornament. Fill with Epsom salt (to appear like snow), cranberries and a small pine branch, then replace the top and hang on your tree.
  • If you would like traditional ornaments, use clear, gold or even brown to maintain a natural color scheme.
  • Use twine to hang ornaments on your tree rather than wire for an added natural touch.

Extra Decorations

Birds: Many craft stores sell small, replica birds, especially around Christmas time. Purchase one, or several, and place on your tree. The birds create a beautiful, natural feel, making the tree appear more like a wild forest pine than an in-home Christmas tree.

Pinecones: Pinecones are an easy and free way to decorate your natural Christmas tree. To get kids involved, have them scour your yard for fallen pinecones, then clean them off. To add the look of snow, lightly dab the tips of the pinecone with glue, then sprinkle on white glitter. Once the glue has dried, the pinecone will appear to be lightly dusted with snow. Glue on a piece of twine, forming a loop, then hang on your Christmas tree.

Berries: Cranberries are another very popular choice for natural trees. Use faux branches with berries to stick in the tree, adding bright pops of red, or fill clear ornaments with loose berries for beautiful and natural red ornaments.

Fruit: Purchase faux fruit from a craft store, and use as ornaments. Pears are a common addition to Christmas décor, and fit nicely with the natural theme.

Twine bows: While many traditionally decorated trees feature large bows, try altering this common design touch with a natural twist. Use twine rather than ribbon to tie bows around several branches. For a larger bow, braid three pieces of twine together, then tie in a bow.

Finished Product

Ocean Theme

Though it may sound odd, many people celebrate Christmas along the coast. Particularly suited for Cape Cod style homes, natural Christmas trees can also be decorated with an ocean theme. Try these fun and easy ideas for an ocean themed tree:

  • Use faux starfish in place of bows.
  • Fill clear ornaments with sand and small seashells.
  • Use blue lights instead of white.
  • Fill clear ornaments with blue stones.
  • Look at a craft store for twigs that resemble coral. Place them in the tree, protruding just beyond branches.
  • Use a faux starfish as a tree topper.
  • Very carefully drill small holes in seashells, and hang as ornaments.
  • Search home décor and craft stores for wooden ornaments in the shape of fish and boats.
Last Updated: December 5, 2012
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About Alexandra Kerr Through Ideal Home Garden, Alexandra covers topics ranging from interior design to home improvement, gardening and cuisine. Having a passion for cooking and entertaining in her own life, she hopes to communicate her love of home design and decorating with her readers. 

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