Slow living: Christmas decorations

This year I’m not buying any new Christmas decorations as part of my decision to try to make it a more sustainable celebration. I wanted to make the most of the decorations I already owned and see what I could make from supplies I had or could forage. Here’s what I’ve made this year:

A star garland

I had a few sheets of black card in my craft supply and a ball of twine and an image for a star garland to string across the wall by our dining table. I used my cricut machine to cut out some large and smaller stars from the black card (you can always just use a template and a pair of scissors or scalpel), sellotaped them to a long stretch of twine and then tied loops into each end of the twine. For the hooks I’ve used command hooks - they’re really simple to put up and you can take them down without leaving a mark on the wall. The garland hangs nicely between the two hooks and has a rustic Scandi look that I love. 

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Upcycling glass jars

Over the year I’ve held on to glass jars from things like jams and chutneys that had interesting shapes or look like they’d hold a candle well. I’ve tied a little twine around the tops to give them a more rustic look and placed pieces of holly through these to give them a natural touch. Now they can hold tea lights or sprigs of foliage for decorating the table shelves around the house. 


A Scandi centrepiece

I wanted a tall centrepiece for the table this year so I collected a bunch of branches from the woods to put into this tall vase. You need branches that have plenty of parts going off at different angles so that you can hang decorations from them. Two years ago I made these tiny stars out of white clay and I bought these glass baubles last year when I went to the Bath Christmas Markets all of which hang perfectly on the branches. I love the Scandi combo of the white, glass and wood.

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Other ideas for decorations

There are so many other ideas out there for making your own decorations. I’ve limited myself to just a few this year - it keeps the month enjoyable rather than feeling overloaded - but here are some things you could do:

  1. make a wreath - this is something I’d love to do as it looks so much fun. There are so many styles of wreath out there from traditional through to simple eucalyptus wreaths and then on to contemporary ones where metal rings play centre stage with simple stars and sprays of foliage on parts of them.

  2. Clay decorations: you get a little messy but making these is really enjoyable and so easy. You can pick up air dry clay from a craft shop and then all you have to do is start shaping it how you want. Leave them to dry for the required time and you have a clay decoration. I found that adding a little water to the clay helped to mould it and stop it from drying out too quickly. I also used cookie cutters to get the star shape and then used a pencil to create the hole at the top of the star to thread ribbon or string through. I made some stars without the hole and I use these as scatter decorations but you could also add them to your gift wrapping.

  3. Bring greenery into the house. Holly lasts really well without a water supply so you can use it to decorate the house; on mantlepieces, shelving or as long ribbons down the length of the dining table, perhaps with fairy lights weaved through it to give a little sparkle. I also love the idea thats popped up all over Pinterest where you fill a glass bottle with cooled boiling water and herbs like rosemary - it makes the simplest display but really pretty.

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