Make your own DIY Christmas decorations

Christmas decorations - stick people covered in tinsel
Use natural items like sticks to create homemade Christmas decorations (Photo: Dan Lee/WTML)

December’s here and the Christmas countdown has begun, so it’s time to get creative with our fab festive decorations made with natural objects.

Christmassy twig tree

You will need:

  • an assortment of thin twigs
  • cardboard
  • craft glue
  • string or wool
  • spray glitter/little silver balls used for cake decoration

1. Cut a tree shape out of the cardboard (a simple triangle with a small trunk).

2. Stick the twigs onto the tree shape horizontally, the longest across the bottom and getting shorter as you work your way up. (You’ll probably need to trim them to the right length, so ask a grown-up to help you).

3. Stick the twigs to both sides of the card if you’re planning to hang it in your tree. It’s best to let one side dry before you do the other.

4. Make a hole in the cardboard right at the tip and thread through a loop of string or wool to hang.

5. Decorate your twig tree with glitter, or stick on some small cake decorations.

Sparkly seed heads

Some plants have beautiful seed heads that are left behind after they’ve produced their autumn seeds. See what you can find on your next woodland walk, or in your garden or local park.

You just need to let them dry out for a few days at home and then spray them with festive paint – they look gorgeous in gold or silver. You don’t need to hang them in your tree as they’ll just sit in the branches.

Christmas gift tags

Dress up your presents with these super-cute Rudolph-inspired reindeer tags!

You will need:

  • a bag of peanuts in their shells
  • card cut to gift tag size (about 5cm x 8cm is probably about right) – ask a grown-up to help with the cutting
  • craft glue
  • a brown and a red felt tip, or paint
  • hole punch to make a neat hole
  • narrow ribbon or wool

1. Write your ‘To’ and ‘From’ and Christmas message on one side of the tag (it will be hard to write on once it’s finished).

2. Punch a hole at the top of the tag.

3. Find a nut shell that’s a good shape for a reindeer’s head. Crack it in half very carefully. You might as well eat the nut at this point!

4. Dip the edges of the half shell in glue and stick them on the tag. Leave enough space above it for the antlers.

4. Once the glue is dry, use the brown felt tip or paint to draw on the eyes and antlers. Use the red to give him a bright Rudolph nose!

For other things to make, check out our twig star, winter wreath and pine cone baubles, or look on our blog for more natural Christmas decoration ideas.

Don’t forget to share your own ideas on our Facebook page, or on Instagram or Twitter using #NatureDetectives too.

Christmas tree facts

Here are a few Christmas tree facts to mull over while you’re decorating:

  • Evergreen trees like the fir have been used to celebrate winter festivals for thousands of years.
  • The Christmas tree is a German tradition brought to the UK in 1800 by Queen Charlotte, the German wife of King George III.
  • Since 1947, the huge tree in London’s Trafalgar Square has been an annual gift from Oslo in Norway to say thank you for Britain’s help during World War II.
  • The most popular type of Christmas tree, the Nordmann fir, takes about eight years to grow to six feet tall.
  • Real trees are more eco-friendly than artificial ones as they produce oxygen, and provide a home for wildlife as they grow. Plus, they can be recycled.

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