Why Should you make plastic free homemade christmas decorations?
I love Christmas but I don’t love the amount of unnecessary waste it creates. And, I don’t want to add to the plastic waste problem so that’s why I love making my own plastic free homemade Christmas decorations.
These are some statistics on the waste generated each year in the UK at Christmas:
- Royal Mail delivers around 150 million cards and packets during the pre-Christmas period. It’s estimated that 1 billion Christmas cards could end up in the bin after December 25th.
- 83 square kilometres of wrapping paper will be thrown out or burnt – enough to gift-wrap the island of Jersey!
- 125,000 tonnes of plastic packaging will be thrown out, rather than recycled.
- Six million trees are thrown out after Christmas, creating more than 9,000 tonnes of additional waste. That’s about five times the weight of the London Eye! (independent.co.uk)
- Not even your beloved turkey is safe from scary waste stats. This Christmas we’ll cook around 6,711 tonnes of fresh turkey, and 12,472 tonnes of frozen turkey. That’s almost 20,000 tonnes of meat!
And of course, the turkey needs wrapping too – around 4,200 tonnes of aluminium foil gets thrown away every Christmas in the UK.
And, when it comes to Christmas decorations the best option is to reuse the ones you already have. Although, if you have lots of decorations covered in glitter you may want to try and find a way of sealing the glitter as once it starts to come off it’s most likely to end up in the water system where it wont break down.
Friends of the Earth say that you don’t need to worry too much about normal Christmas fairy lights as they don’t use that much energy, especially if they are LED lights as they use less energy than conventional Christmas lights.
However, if you don’t have any decorations or you need some new ones rather than going out and buying them why not have a go at making your plastic free homemade Christmas decorations.
Here are some of my favourite ones:
Paper chains have been made to decorate the house at Christmas since Victorian times and they are so easy and fun to make.
Traditionally they have been made from strips of colourful paper but you can use whatever you have. I love using old newspapers and magazines.
- Cut the paper into strips around 15cms long
- Take one strip and make a loop, securing in place with glue (you can make your own glue or buy an eco friendly natural glue)
- Thread another strip through the first loop and make another loop.
- Continue until you have a chain the length you want.
Twig stars are super easy to make and totally plastic free.
It’s also fun going out for a walk to collect the twigs to make the stars.
If you’d like to try making them you can find my step by step guide on How to Make a Christmas Twig Star
Christmas Door Wreath
A natural homemade wreath is a lovely festive addition to your Front Door.
Here’s a quick guide on how you can make one.
You will need :
- A wreath ring – make sure to keep it to use next year at the end of Christmas
- Scissors, green twine, florist wire and moss.
- Evergreen foliage and things to decorate your wreath with. You can use whatever you want to decorate it but cinnamon sticks, fir cones, dried fruit slices and berries all look lovely.
How to make it:
- Tie a handful of moss to the top of the wreath ring, fixing it tightly with the green twine.
- Continue adding handfuls of moss to the wreath, securing it as you go until the whole wreath ring is covered with an equal amount of moss all the way around.
- Attach a loop of the green twine on the top (back) of the wreath to hang it up from when you’re finished.
- Get small bunches of the foliage and fix these to the moss ring with the green twine, overlapping as you go to avoid gaps.
- Attach bunches of foliage around the whole ring until it is fully covered. Make sure you have a nice even shape and trim if necessary.
- Now you’re ready to add any finishing touches by adding bundles of cinnamon twigs, dried fruit slices, cones etc to the wreath with the florists wire.
- Add an bow and hang on your Front Door.
Dried Fruit Slices
Dried slices of fruit including oranges, lemons, grapefruits and apples look lovely when they’ve been dried and make gorgeous decorations.
Thinly slice the fruit, you can either air dry; I pop mine on top of our radiators; or slowly dry in a warm oven.
To dry them in the oven lay the thin slices of fruit on some baking paper and place in a warm oven 120C (250F) for a couple of hours. Check the fruit slices regularly.
Once they’re dried you can put some string through the top to hang them up as decorations or use them to decorate your Christmas wreaths.
There are around 150,000 Christmas Crackers pulled in the UK each year. Most are filled with small bits of plastic that will end up in landfill. That’s a lot of plastic waste !
You don’t have to boycott the Crackers as you can make your own – they are simple to make and you can fill them with your own gifts. Socks, small tins of lip balm, hankies, gift vouchers, reusable tea bags, flower seeds, small soaps all make good gifts. If you want to try it here’s the link How to make Plastic Free Christmas Crackers
Salt Dough Decorations
Salt dough decorations look so pretty and they can be used as gift tags as well as tree ornaments.
Again, they are very easy to make.
You will need :
- 250g Flour
- 125g Salt
- 225ml (approx.) lukewarm water
How to make it:
- Mix together the flour and salt. Slowly mix in the lukewarm water to form a dough and knead for a short time to create a smooth ball of dough. If the dough is too wet just add some more flour.
- Roll out your dough to about 1/2 cm thick on a lightly floured surface.
- Use a cookie cutters to create the shapes you want.
- Use a metal skewer to punch a small hole in the shape to allow you to thread some string to hang them with.
- You can decorate them with a clean stamp or write on them with the end of a metal skewer before you leave them to dry (or you can decorate them after they have dried with an ink stamp).
- Place on some baking paper and leave to air dry in a warm place for a couple of days, turning occasionally. You can also dry in the oven on a low heat but they wont be quite as white.
- Your finished decorations will last for many years.
I hope that’s given you some ideas. And, I’d love to know what your favourite Christmas decorations are.
8 thoughts on “Plastic Free Homemade Christmas Decorations”
Your wreath looks really lovely! Interesting I didn’t know that about fairy lights. I love making paper chains – such a tradition!
Wow lots of really helpful ideas here! I forgot about paper chains – an absolute classic and plastic free too 🙂
Apart from paper chains I have never really attempted to make a reef. This is something I would like to try!
I really like the wreath. I’ve always wanted one for our house.
I’m going to a wreathe-making class next week – really excited but bit worried that my effort will look silly on our front foor!
The Zero Waste shop that is local to us has some lovely plastic free crackers, they have wooden things inside and I really want to get some. You have some great ideas here.
We made a natural Advent wreath this year, and I’m also making our own Christmas crackers. I did write Christmas cards again this year, for the first time in years, about two dozen of them. But I actually wrote a proper letter inside, not just a short greeting. I sat in a cafe for two hours to do it, so I wouldn’t get distracted. It was a really lovely and mindful start to Advent.
This is great, we always look to save on waste when we can. There are some fab ideas here A plastic free home is deffo the way forward to sure. xx