Lifestyle

Homemade Christmas Craft Ideas

By Fiona Cartmel
23.11.18

Create a sustainable festive home with our homemade Christmas decor ideas:

 

For some, the best part of Christmas might be the food or the presents, but here at Eco-Age our favourite part of the festive season is the Christmas crafting in the run up to December 25th - especially making homemade decorations.

If, like us, you’re feeling uneasy about the amount of glitter and plastic that seems to go hand-in-hand with shop-bought decorations and cards, but you still want to give your home some festive cheer - try making some DIY Christmas decor to fill your home with. 

Not only can you create some beautiful, sustainable Christmas decorations, but you can also bring people together to create them.  So pour yourself a glass of mulled wine, or a big mug of hot chocolate, gather your friends and family and host a craft day where you can try out some of our Christmas craft ideas:

Scented Dried Fruit

Nothing says Christmas like the smell of cinnamon, cloves and oranges, and our favourite way to fill the house with this Christmassy scent is by making dried fruit garlands.  Not only do they provide a glorious aroma, but they also add a splash of colour to any room.

You will need:

  • Organic, loose oranges
  • Organic satsumas or clementine
  • Organic loose limes
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Strong thread or twine
  • Scraps of ribbon

How to make it:

  • Heat your oven to its lowest setting (try to keep it below 110C).
  • Slice the oranges 1cm thick.
  • Slash the sides of each of your clementines or satsumas and limes, being sure not to slice all the way through, leaving the very top and bottom intact.
  • Pat all your fruit dry with a reusable cloth or recycled kitchen towel, trying to remove as much juice as possible.
  • If you’re planning on hanging your dried fruit slices in a garland, poke a hole through each slice so that you can thread them through later.  (Alternatively you could display them loose in a glass vase.)
  • Place all the fruit directly on the wire racks in the oven. For the orange slices, leave for about 3-4 hours, and for the whole fruits it could take up to 15 hours. The fruit needs to completely dry out, so the timings can vary.
  • Remove from the oven and leave to cool - it should now be nice and dry.
  • To make the garland, thread the twine through the fruit slices and cinnamon sticks, tying on festive ribbons or trims to add some extra colours and textures.

Twig Christmas tree

If you’ve read our Christmas tree buying guide and have decided that you want to try something different this year, this very easy to make twig tree is really effective, and is something that the whole family can get involved with. 

You will need:

  • Foraged twigs and branches
  • Twine or ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Saw
  • Decorations and LED fairy lights

How to make it:

  • First you’ll need to forage for some twigs and branches in your garden or local woodland (chose ones that have fallen off the tree naturally and read the Woodland Trust’s foraging guide first). Try to find twigs of all of different lengths but that have a similar thickness and are as straight as possible.
  • Arrange your branches / twigs in length order with the shortest at the top and the longest at the base. You want to try to create a triangular ‘tree’ shape, with the twigs getting progressively longer as you go down. If you need to, saw some of the branches to the correct length. Don’t worry if it is not perfect!
  • Next, starting at the top - tie the twine or ribbon to each of the branches two inches from the ends, leaving enough to create a loop at the top to hang the tree off. Work your way down one side, leaving about 10 cm between each branch. Repeat this on the other side, making sure that the gaps are even on each side so that your branches hang straight. Ensure that you’ve secured each branch well and that they are hanging firmly.
  • Choose a strong hook and, using the loop you left at the top, hang the tree on the wall.
  • To finish off your tree, have some fun and decorate it with fairy lights and any homemade decorations so it is festive and colourful.
  • If you’re feeling extra creative, create a star out of left-over twigs to hang at the top of the tree.

DIY Christmas Wreath 


Welcome your guests at Christmas with a beautiful homemade wreath hanging on your front door. 

You will need:

  • A wreath base, or old metal coat hanger, or an old embroidery hoop
  • Twigs, foliage, string, scissors/wire cutters, scraps of ribbons

How to make it:

Wreaths can come in many shapes and sizes, and the design is totally up to you. Head to your local florist and ask for a wreath base, or upcycle an old metal coat hanger by bending it into a hoop.

Try a fresh flower wreath with a flourish of eucalyptus, or forage for some holly and greenery (see the Woodland Trust’s guide to foraging). You could even add some of the dried fruit slices, berries and cinnamon sticks to add extra pops of colour.

Alternatively create a festive fabric wreath, tying strips of old fabric to your hoop to create a colourful wreath that you can bring out year after year.

Depending on your chosen design, there are plenty of tutorials available on YouTube, like this one by Farmhouse on Boone: 

 

Alternatively, many independent and local florists offer Christmas wreath-making workshops throughout December, where you’ll be guided step-by-step through the process.

Scrap Fabric Christmas Decorations

If you’re anything like us, you’re a fabric hoarder. This is the perfect way to use up your fabric scraps and create lasting tree decorations too. 

You will need:

  • Recycled or old wadding
  • Corozo buttons or repurposed buttons from an old shirt
  • Old ribbons
  • Scrap fabric 

How to make it: 

  • Delve into your cupboards and root out all of those scraps of unused fabrics. If you need extra, then take yourself down to your local scrap store or haberdashery and buy some sustainable materials (e.g. organic cotton or recycled woolen felt) and some recycled wadding. 
  • Cut the fabric into equal sized squares
  • Sandwich your fabric around the wadding and pin together.
  • Draw on the shape of choice, such as a tree, star, heart, reindeer or angel.
  • Topstitch around the outline.
  • Closely trim around the edge of your stitching. 
  • Finish off your decorations with a festive ribbon and button so you can hang them from the tree. Alternatively, thread them onto a long piece of ribbon to create festive bunting. 

 

For more festive inspiration, see DIY and Refillable Christmas advent calendars and eco-friendly Christmas Tree buying guide.

Homemade Christmas Craft Ideas