Eco-friendly Christmas decorations

Christmas is one of our favourite times of year, and the best season to plan on spending time indoors, doing inventive crafts while the weather is cold! Even better, it is a great opportunity to teach your kids some lessons about caring for the environment by making eco-friendly decorations!

 

Wreaths

A beautiful wreath on the door, the wall, or the dining table will transform any house into a Yuletide paradise and they are even better when hand-made. Make a base for your wreath by bending old coat hangers into a circle, tape or tie together, and – once you have made sure there are no spiky bits or jagged edges – away you go! Teach your little ones about the value of recycling by making a quirky wreath out of materials you already have.

 

Recycled cloth

Old pyjamas, worn out shirts, sheets with a rip in them? All of these will do wonderfully! Cut into strips and tie onto the base, or weave through it. Keep building up in layers until you have a beautiful, full wreath. Only got boring materials lying around? Jazz them up by dyeing them (or even tie-dying them!) with food colouring.

 

Recycled paper

For this you can use newspaper, old wrapping paper, and even old Christmas cards! And you can make the paper into any shape you like – cut it into leaf-shapes, twist it into cones, make flowers from it – whatever you want! Either use a hole punch and tie each one of your shapes to your frame or simply glue it! Stiffer paper is better for holding the wreath shape, so stabilise flimsy paper by gluing several layers together.

 

Branches and twigs

Bring a little of the outdoors, indoors with this fun, foraged wreath! Bring home branches, twigs, and any other foliage you find on a romp through the woods and use that to make your wreath. You can even substitute the wire frame for a twig frame, bound together with strong string!

 

Foraged decorations

And, speaking of foraging, nothing could be more environmentally-friendly than using what Nature has left to decorate your home this season. Bundle up warm and head out for a walk, scavenging for craft supplies as you go, before bringing them home and adding a little Christmas glitz.

 

Pinecone Reindeers

These are super-easy to make. All you need is some strong glue, some googly eyes, pompoms, and twigs. Glue twigs into the top of the pinecone to act as antlers, attach a red pompom as a nose (or paint it on), give Rudolph some googly eyes, and there you have it! Tie a string to the top of the cone to hang it on your tree, or simply dot your pinecone reindeers around the house.

Of course, you could always go more traditional and simply paint your pinecones and cover them in glitter.

 

Twig snowflakes

A lovely, simple craft that even little kids can do. Simply gather up some twigs, lay them down in a star-shape and bind them together with some gardening twine or brown string. Then they are ready to paint, or hang up as they are.

 

Garlands

Step away from the tinsel this season, and get creative making your own beautiful garlands to hang through the house. You may have to be in charge of making the holes in whatever you choose to use on your garland, but bigger kids can probably use a blunt needle, with supervision.

 

Dried orange slices

Not only will these look beautiful, especially with the light shining through them, but they will also smell wonderful. You can even boost the sweet, Christmassy smell by alternating orange slices with dried cinnamon sticks.

 

Discs of colourful paper

Another fun, colourful way to recycle. These can be made of painted newspaper, circles from old gift bags, or even old cereal boxes. Use a hole punch to make a hole in the top and then kids can have fun matching colours together.

 

Popcorn

Take a tip from the Americans and alternate popcorn and dried cranberries to hang in your house or even wind around your Christmas tree. Even better, use plain popcorn, and you can put it out for the birds to eat post-Christmastime.

 

Bake your decorations

The little ones will have fun at every stage of this – not only can they get good and messy making the dough, but they can then personalise each decoration by choosing what cookie cutter to use and how to paint them. Even better, once these are hardened and painted, they can be used again and again – a real Christmas tradition.

 

Method

Make a thick dough using plain flour and water

Cut into shapes, with a hole in the top

Bake until hard

Paint and decorate

 

So there you have it, all sorts of ideas for keeping the kids busy, enhancing their creativity, teaching them about the environment, and – with any luck – you will also have a beautifully Christmassy house by the end of it too!

 

We want to see how you are decorating your house this festive season, so tag us in your Instagram pictures @little_woodpecker and we will share our favourites!