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11 DIY Christmas Decorations For A Homemade Holiday Season

Deidre Maene

There’s no better way to get into the festive spirit than by transforming your humble abode into a healthy Hallmark scene.

Unfortunately, most traditional decorations fa-la-la-la-la a little (okay, a lot) short of the mark.

If the thought of decking the halls conjures up visions of tangled burned out lights, wasteful ornament avalanches, and a PVC tree that will linger in landfills for decades, fear not.

We’re here to help you ditch the disposable mass-produced decor, and dive headfirst into the world of DIY Christmas decorations that are both chic and eco-friendly.

So, grab your hot glue gun, dust off your creative cap, and get ready to sleigh the holiday decor game with DIY ideas that are as unique as they are festively eco-friendly.

1. Pinecone Ornaments

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Image by lermont51

Transforming natural elements into festive ornaments is a creative and eco-friendly way to add charm to your sustainable Christmas tree.

These ornaments bring a touch of nature’s winter beauty indoors, creating a cozy, rustic look, but can also be used as DIY outdoor Christmas decorations due to their durability (that is where they come from, after all!).

To make this DIY rustic Christmas decor, gather these craft supplies:

  • Pine cones, preferably sourced sustainably (i.e. those that have already fallen, not plucked off trees)
  • Twine or ribbon for hanging
  • Optional: Earth-safe paint (like that by Natural Earth Paint) or biodegradable glitter for a festive touch

Start by collecting pinecones, ensuring they’re clean and free from bugs and pesticides. Attach a loop of twine at the top of each pinecone for hanging. 

If you want to add a dash of festive color, lightly brush them with eco-friendly paint or a sprinkle of biodegradable glitter.

However, be aware that most forms of biodegradable glitter and paints (unless made with only plant-based ingredients) are not home compostable, and thus you still won’t be able to compost the ornaments if you ever decide to move on.

2. Upcycled Christmas Cards

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Image by mediaphotos

Repurposing old Christmas cards into unique decorations is a wonderful way to recycle and add a personal touch to your DIY holiday decor. 

This project turns paper that would otherwise be discarded into charming, colorful ornaments, showcasing your creativity and commitment to sustainability.

For this upcycling project, you will need:

  • Old Christmas cards
  • Scissors
  • Glue or adhesive 
  • Any additional decorative elements like ribbons or glitter

Begin by selecting your favorite cards and cutting them into desired shapes, such as stars, trees, or circles. 

Use glue or another adhesive to attach ribbons or additional decorative elements. 

These upcycled cards can be hung on your Christmas tree, displayed on walls or mantles, or used as tags for eco-friendly gifts, adding a unique and personal flair to any type of zero waste gift wrapping.

3. Natural Wreaths

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Image by studiobarcelona

Crafting natural wreaths is a fantastic way to bring a bit of the outdoors inside for the holidays. 

These wreaths can range from simple and understated DIY farmhouse Christmas decor, to elaborate and ornate creations, depending on your taste and the materials you have at hand, such as:

  • Greenery (like fresh pine branches, holly, or eucalyptus)
  • Floral wire or a wreath base
  • Natural decorations (such as pinecones, dried flowers, dried fruit, or nuts)

To create your wreath, start by arranging your chosen greenery on the wreath base and securing it with floral wire. 

Then, add your decorative elements, positioning them around the wreath for a balanced look.

These natural wreaths not only look beautiful, but also fill your home with the delightful scents of the season. Think of this DIY Christmas home decor like extra petty potpourri!

4. Citrus Slice Ornaments

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Image by the valeriia miller collection

Speaking of scented DIY Christmas ideas…

Citrus slice ornaments are a vibrant and fragrant addition to your eco-friendly Christmas decor. These ornaments are simple to make and bring a burst of color and natural aroma to your holiday setting—without the fire hazard of sustainable candles.

You’ll need the following:

  • Oranges, lemons, or grapefruits
  • A knife and cutting board
  • Oven or dehydrator

Slice your citrus fruits thinly and evenly, and remove any seeds. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet and dry them in an oven set to the lowest temperature or in a dehydrator. 

Once dry, these citrus slices can be hung on your tree or used in garlands, adding a fresh and zesty touch to your decorations.

Not only are these incredibly easy Christmas decorations to make, but they can be tossed directly in your indoor compost bin if they start to lose their scent or look a little worse for wear.

5. Mason Jar Snow Globes

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Image by africa images

You may not be able to walk in it, but you can create your own winter wonderland.

Mason jar snow globes are a charming and customizable project for the holiday season, and can even be used as DIY outdoor Christmas decor (though this is not recommended if you live in a climate that gets below freezing).

These miniature winter scenes encapsulated in jars can be as whimsical or as elegant as you like. Start with:

  • Mason jars
  • Figurines, trees, or other small decorations
  • Biodegradable glitter or sequins (white and silver makes for perfect fake snow)
  • Distilled water
  • Plant-based glycerin (to thicken the water)

Place your chosen figurines or decorations inside the jar, fill it with distilled water mixed with a bit of glycerin, and add a sprinkle of your sparkles of choice.

Screw the lid on tightly, and you have a magical snow globe that captures the wonder of winter.

6. Fabric Scrap Garland

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Image by ceri breeze

Creating a fabric scrap garland is a wonderful way to bring a splash of color and texture to your DIY xmas decorations, all while being eco-friendly.

This project is a fantastic use of leftover fabric scraps, allowing you to transform them into a unique and beautiful piece of holiday decor.

It’s an excellent opportunity to get creative with patterns and colors, turning what might have been wasted into a festive masterpiece.

To make these homemade Christmas decorations, you’ll need:

  • Fabric scraps in various colors and patterns
  • Scissors
  • String or yarn

Begin by cutting your fabric into long strips of different lengths and widths. 

You can play with color combinations and patterns to create a look that complements your holiday theme. 

Once your strips are ready, tie them along a piece of string or yarn, spacing them as desired. 

The beauty of this garland is in its versatility—go for a whimsical, multicolored look, or stick to a more uniform color scheme for elegance. 

Hang your fabric scrap garland as DIY Christmas tree decor, drape it across your mantelpiece, or use it to frame a doorway. 

Not only does it add a charming and eco-friendly touch to your decor, but it also showcases your commitment to eco-friendly crafting.

7. Cinnamon Stick Stars

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Image by hardcoreboy

Cinnamon stick stars are a scent-sational addition to any holiday decor (homemade or otherwise), combining visual appeal with the warm, inviting aroma of the holidays.

This easy project is a great way to bring a touch of natural elegance to your Christmas decorations.

The scent of cinnamon evokes memories of festive cheer, making these stars more than just ornaments—they’re an experience.

Gather these materials:

  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Glue
  • Twine or ribbon

Start by arranging the cinnamon sticks into star shapes. Use a dab of glue at each joint to hold the shape together. Allow the glue to dry thoroughly.

After the stars are set, tie a piece of twine or ribbon to one of the points for easy hanging.

These cinnamon stick stars can be hung on your Christmas tree, used to adorn a wreath, or even attached to zero waste gifts as a charming and fragrant accessory.

They also make lovely standalone DIY holiday decorations, bringing a rustic and aromatic charm to any room.

8. Recycled Paper Decorations

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Image by jordachelr
  • Turning scrap paper into festive flair or eco-friendly wrapping paper is an affordable and imaginative way to reduce waste and personalize your decor. Often scrap paper makes for recyclable wrapping paper too.
  • These cheap DIY Christmas decorations invite you to transform old magazines, newspapers, or book pages (in case you’re wondering what to do with old books) into unique and beautiful ornaments. It’s an excellent activity for families and can be adapted to suit any age or skill level.

To make this Christmas DIY room decor you’ll need:

  • Recycled paper (old magazines, newspapers, or book pages)
  • Scissors
  • Glue or tape
  • String or ribbon

Begin by cutting the recycled paper into strips or shapes, depending on the design you have in mind. You can create stars, snowflakes, or even intricate spheres. 

Fold or roll the strips and secure them with glue or tape to maintain their shape. Get creative with patterns and colors, mixing and matching different types of paper for an eclectic look. 

Once your shapes are ready, use string or ribbon to create loops for hanging, either as DIY Christmas ceiling decorations, DIY Christmas wall decor, or tree ornaments.

9. Wine Cork Figurines

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Image by olga donchuk

Wine cork reindeer or Christmas trees offer a playful twist on traditional holiday decor, bringing a sense of whimsy and resourcefulness to your festive decorations.

This DIY project is perfect for wine enthusiasts and crafters alike, turning leftover wine corks into adorable DIY Christmas tree decorations. It’s a wonderful way to upcycle and add a handmade touch.

These charming reindeer are not only cute, but also symbolize the joy and creativity of upcycling.

Materials for these homemade Christmas decorations include:

  • Upcycled wine corks
  • Twigs for antlers (if making reindeer)
  • Small beads for eyes (if making reindeer)
  • Red pom-pom or bead for the nose or ornaments (depending on design)
  • Hot glue (or superglue, if you don’t have a hot glue gun)

To assemble, attach twigs to the corks as antlers, then glue on beads for eyes and a red pom-pom or bead for the nose. 

These whimsical reindeer can be proudly displayed on your dining table or hung on the tree.

Because they’re a hit with kids, they might even end up being used as eco-friendly toys—though be sure your kids are old enough to know not to put any pieces in their mouth if they fall off.

10. Sock Snowmen

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Image by gittta

Sock snowmen are a delightful and simple DIY Christmas decor project, perfect for an afternoon of crafting, especially with children. 

Utilizing spare socks, these charming creations are a great way to repurpose materials and make heartwarming additions to your holiday decor. 

Each snowman can be customized, allowing you to express creativity and bring a personal touch to these adorable winter figures.

To make this cute Christmas DIY decor, you’ll need:

  • White socks
  • Rice or cotton for stuffing
  • Rubber bands or string
  • Buttons and fabric scraps for decoration

Start by filling a sock with rice or cotton to form the snowman’s body, using rubber bands or string to separate the head and body. 

Add buttons for eyes and a fabric scrap for a scarf, along with other creative embellishments, yielding a playful and homemade charm for your festive decorations.

11. Herb Pot Centerpiece

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Image by imanolurquizu

An herb pot centerpiece is an innovative and practical addition to your DIY Christmas table decor, blending aesthetic appeal with functionality. 

Ideal for those who love cooking and gardening, this decoration uses a variety of herbs to create a fresh, natural, and easy centerpiece for your holiday table. 

The fresh greenery of the herbs not only enhances the visual appeal of your setup and adds a unique and sensory dimension, but can also be used in your holiday meals, bringing a touch of freshness and flavor to your dining room.

To make these Christmas table decorations, DIY style, you’ll need:

  • Small pots
  • A variety of herbs (like rosemary, thyme, or sage)
  • Optional: small ornaments or ribbons

Plant an assortment of herbs in small pots and creatively arrange them as a centerpiece. 

Embellish with small ornaments or tie ribbons around the pots for a festive look. 

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Why Choose DIY Holiday Decorations?

When it comes to holidays like Christmas, DIY decor goes on the SJ Santa nice list—whereas conventional plastic decor is beyond naughty.

We’ll give just a few examples to show you why.

Tinsel, a staple of festive decoration, is often made of PVC, a type of plastic notorious for its longevity in landfills and highly toxic nature.

This material can persist for decades, breaking down into smaller, non-biodegradable pieces that pose a threat to wildlife and the environment. 

Less than 1% of PVC gets recycled, making it a significant contaminant in recycling streams.

Let’s talk about lighting.

LED Christmas lights offer a more sustainable alternative. They are remarkably energy-efficient, saving between 80% to 95% of the energy used by traditional lights. 

In practical terms, a holiday display with LED bulbs might use only about 237 watts, compared to 2,800 watts with incandescent bulbs, significantly reducing electricity costs and helping you conserve energy at home.

That’s not even to speak of what happens to the cheap plastic light strings when one measly bulb goes out and ruins the whole strand.

If it were us, we’d avoid electric lights as much as possible in favor of natural lighting, like vegan candles.

That’s just a small sampling of the 12,500 tons of Christmas ornaments and decorations (not including cards and wrapping paper) that often enter landfills at the end of the holiday season.

Choosing smarter, like swapping out traditional decorations upcycled DIY Christmas decorations transforms our festive season into an eco-friendly fiesta.

Embracing DIY is more than just unleashing our creativity; it’s a strong stance against waste and an effort to protect our planet. 

It’s about saying a big ‘no’ to unnecessary plastic and a resounding ‘yes’ to mindful and meaningful celebrations.

Final Thoughts On Easy DIY Christmas Decor Crafts

This move towords DIY holiday decorations shows a commitment far beyond creativity; it’s a pledge to a greener, more caring world.

And all you need is a few ideas, a little bit of craftiness, a sprinkle of imagination, and a whole lot of holiday spirit.

But we get it; not everyone has time to DIY.

If the holiday season has you running short on time—between shopping for sustainable stocking stuffers and baking up goodies in your non-toxic bakeware—there are plenty of sustainable Christmas decor options on the market so you can still spice things up in a more sustainable way.

This season, let’s make sure we’re not just decking the halls, but decking them in a way that’s both merry and mindful. 

And as you’re humming along to “Go Tell It On The Mountain”, go tell it on the Internet by giving these DIY Christmas decorations a share.

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