How To Make Natural Christmas Ornaments & Decorations

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The holiday season is a great time to create beautiful and easy to make crafts with family and friends, while decorating your home and having some fun. If you enjoy incorporating natural décor into your home’s holiday design theme, try some of these simple, natural Christmas crafts.

Accessorized Natural Décor

One of the easiest ways to give ordinary, natural materials a makeover for Christmas decorating is with the use of paint and/or accessories.

  • For pinecones, berries, walnuts, leaves and other natural décor pieces, try spray-painting them gold, silver, bronze, white or blue, depending on your preferred holiday color scheme.
  • For larger natural décor ornaments made of materials like pinecones or leaves, use only one piece rather than bunching many. After the piece has been painted (and has dried), attach a natural loop made of twine or a thin strip of burlap to the top. This will allow the ornament to be hung around your home, or on a Christmas tree.
  • To add an extra Christmas accessory to your natural décor, tie small bells to the décor piece, looped through the twine or burlap on the top.
  • For smaller items like berries and walnuts, tie several together with twine or burlap for a festive, “jingling” ornament or décor piece. If you paint them, do so separately, allow to dry, then tie together and add accessories if desired.

Cranberry Wreaths

For a natural twist on traditionally green wreaths, make your own cranberry wreath for a pop of deep red color. Use your cranberry wreath to decorate the front door, walls around your home, the fireplace mantel or even on a table to create a centerpiece.

  • Purchase a bag of real or faux cranberries. While natural cranberries are preferable for natural Christmas decorations, they may also go bad and lose their shape, requiring the wreaths to be remade each year.
  • Use a foam wreath base purchased at your local craft store. Stick one end of a small toothpick into a cranberry (not piercing it all the way through), then stick the other end into the wreath base. You can cover the end of the toothpick with glue to further secure it to the wreath base.
  • Repeat this process until the entire wreath base is covered with cranberries.
  • For a thinner cranberry wreath, use stiff but thin wire (or wire coat hanger) rather than a foam wreath base.
  • Bend the wire into a circle, leaving at least one inch open between the ends. The longer the wire, the larger your wreath will be.
  • Push the cranberries onto the wire until it is completely covered. Then use pliers to bend and twist the ends of the wire together, closing the circle so the cranberries cannot fall off.

Pinecone Trees

Making your own tabletop Christmas trees is easier than you’d think. The shape of a pinecone perfectly recreates that of a small pine tree, making these plentiful winter décor pieces a great choice for DIY decorations. If you live in an area with pine trees, simply go outside and gather as many pinecones as you’ll need. If you can’t find pinecones in your neighborhood, many craft stores sell bags of them between $5 and $10.

  • For completely natural pinecone trees, leave them brown, and top with a small star (like a Christmas tree topper), and set on tables or shelves around your home.
  • Paint the pinecones green for more of a “tree-like” look, and add small dots of red, gold or silver to mimic the look of ornaments. Top with a small star.
  • For a lightly snow covered look, place glue on the tips of a brown or green pinecone, then sprinkle with white glitter or Epsom salt. Shake off the extra glitter or salt.
  • For a completely snow covered look, paint the pinecone white, then top with a star and add glitter or salt for extra snow texture if desired.
  • If you want to use the pinecone tree as an ornament, affix a ribbon, twine or wire loop to the top with glue, then allow to dry before hanging.

Pinecone Garlands

For a natural alternative to store bought garlands, try making your own pinecone garland.

  • Gather or buy enough pinecones to reach across the mantel, doorway or stair railing you wish to place the garland on, with one to three inches between each pinecone.
  • Using twine or ribbon, attach the pinecones by winding the twine/ribbon around their tops.
  • Loop the twine/ribbon around each pinecone several times to ensure it is thoroughly attached and twisted around the pinecone’s scales.

Cranberry Garlands

For the perfect pairing with a natural cranberry wreath, make your own cranberry garland as well. This DIY decoration only needs cranberries, a needle and thin wire or string.

  • Tie the string or thin wire to a large needle. Pierce the cranberries with the needle, and thread them onto the string or wire, until your desired garland length is completed.
  • Tie knots at the ends of the string or wire to prevent the berries from falling off. Hang around your home over doorways, along staircase railings, on your fireplace mantel, or around your front door.
Last Updated: November 29, 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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