15 Simple Eco-Friendly and Upcycled Ideas for Christmas Decorations

15 Simple Eco-Friendly and Upcycled Ideas for Christmas Decorations

Do you celebrate the Christmas holidays but still haven’t decorated your place yet? Spent lots on ethical and sustainable gifts and don’t have the budget to splash on Christmas decorations? Not to worry. We’ve curated this list of simple, D-I-Y and eco-friendly Christmas decoration ideas to liven your home this festive season.

1. Toilet paper packaging as gift wrapping

If you use tree-free or recycled toilet paper from eco-friendly toilet paper companies such as How We Roll and have a heap of packaging saved from each roll, use these to wrap your Christmas gifts instead of buying Christmas gift wrapping.

Gift wrapped with How We Roll toilet paper packaging. Photo: Ben McGuire.

2. Old newspapers or old packaging as gift wrapping

Don’t use eco-friendly toilet paper that comes in fun packaging? You can still wrap Christmas gifts in old newspapers or old packaging saved from online purchases such as boxes and recycled paper.

3. Rustic twig decorations

A cheap and easy way to decorate your home is to use natural twigs. All you need to do is go outside with a basket, collect as many as you need and then pop them into vases for a simple decorative or you can get crafty and use them for candle decorations, table decorations or even for your DIY Christmas tree.

3. Homemade dried citrus ornaments

If you have citrus trees growing in your backyard and have plenty of oranges or grapefruits to use up, why not make festive ornaments with them? Watch this YouTube video to learn how.

Photo: Tamás Csaba Kádár.

5. Upcycled toilet paper rolls as gift tags

Forgo the gift tag stickers or store bought gift tag cards and make your own by upcycling toilet paper rolls. Use a pair of scissors to cut the roll in half and then cut out the size you want, fold it and then you can write a quick note in the card. You can also use these for a DIY advent calendar if you into those.

6. Buy second-hand tableware, candle holders and vases.

If you’re hosting Christmas at your place this year and don’t have enough place settings or decorations and need more, go second-hand shopping instead of hitting the usual retail outlets. You can find second-hand tableware, candle holders, vases and unique ceramics to decorate your home. It’s a bonus if you find matching plates, glasses and napkin rings, but if you don’t, your table setting can still look beautiful and charming with mismatched items.

Simple and eco-friendly Christmas table setting. Photo: cottonbro.

7. Thrifted basket as gift hamper

If you’re giving homemade gifts such as jams, sauces and cookies, use a thrifted basket to store gifts and give as a Christmas hamper. You’re bound to find a wide selection of second-hand baskets at your local op-shop or thrift store. Second-hand shopping is gaining popularity as people strive to save money and the planet, so if you’ll need to be quick before they’re all taken and become harder to find second-hand.

8. Reuse scrap ribbons and string

If you’ve set aside ribbons and string over the year, this is the time to get them out and make use of them. Old ribbons can be used to wrap gifts and that old string or twine from your greenhouse can be used to hang Christmas ornaments or decorations.

9. DIY Christmas decorations

There are so many ways to make Christmas decorations; you can use twigs, string, sisal fibres and even cardboard paper. Head to YouTube to search for ideas. We’re loving this tutorial for making paper star ornaments; just use old packaging, brown paper bags and even old newspapers instead of buying a ream of paper.

10. Reuse glass bottles and jars

If you’ve got some bottles and jars saved, you can use these to store your homemade edible gifts or use as simple table decorations. You can use old jars as glassware for a quirky effect.

11. Use rubber bands as an alternative to sticky tape

Instead of using single-use plastic sticky tape, secure gift wrapping or decorations with rubber bands you’ve saved over the year. If you want to hide the look of them, you can always cover it with old twine or ribbon.

12. DIY wall Christmas tree made with sticks

For wow factor, why not make your own Christmas tree with branches and sticks? It’s super easy to do and super cheap to make– all you need is a little time and some motivation. Check out this YouTube tutorial if you’re keen to make your own. For extra effect, make your own natural decorations to hang up on your DIY wall Christmas tree.

DIY wall Christmas tree made with branches. Photo: Pascal Claivaz.

13. Leafy branches as table runner

Live on a tree-filled farm or have trees on your property? Make a table runner with some leafy branches. At HQ, we have a heap of pine trees so we just popped outside and cut a few little branches with some beautiful foliage, strategically placed the branches running down the centre of the dining table and voila, an eye-catching all-natural Christmas table runner.

14. Decorate with plants

Plants are a practical and beautiful way to green your home, decorate your indoor spaces this festive season and make the ideal gifts. Take some cuttings from your pothos plants and pop in old bottles to add a splash of green on mantles, shelves and other flat surfaces. Succulents make ideal Secret Santa gifts. Air plants in glass baubles make cute Christmas decorations. Purchase plants with red, green and white flowers or leavesfor extra festive vibes such as poinsettias.

15. Seed pod wreaths

Make a Christmas wreath using seed pods. Some of the best seed pods to include in your DIY Christmas wreath: Crows Ash seed pods, pine cones, lotus pods, banksia seed pods, sweet gum seed pods and Australian bottle tree seed pods. Remember that not all of these seed pods will be available to you as many native plants only grow in certain locations and it’s best to use what grows naturally and abundantly in your neck of the woods, so to speak.

15 Simple Eco-Friendly and Upcycled Ideas for Christmas Decorations
Photo: cottonbro

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Cover image via cottonbro/Pexels.

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