The festive season is at once both full of shared experiences and references such snow, twinkling lights and crooners playing on the stereo, and deeply personal, annual traditions with families and friends. But for many of us nothing evokes the happy ghosts of Christmas past like a well-loved Christmas fairy missing a wing or tree topper crafted from gold painted pasta. Homemade Christmas decorations and design ideas will always raise a smile, and creating them is a great way to spend time together in the run up to the season. That’s why we’ve got some ideas for easy Christmas decorations to make and fake, from handmade Christmas decorations for the super crafty to the quick DIY Christmas decorations cheats that will still earn you ‘nice’ points with Santa.
Make it easy
If you’ve never considered homemade Christmas ornaments, ease yourself in gently with an effective and simple project. You can take some Christmas baubles or other Christmas decorations such as brass sleigh bells and stars and give them a new slant. These baubles, chosen in just three colours to keep the look coherent, are a great alternative to traditional Christmas decoration ideas, for those who want to avoid a tree for practical or style reasons, (like a curious toddler or desire to avoid picking up pine needles ‘til June for example). Christmas tree ornaments can also look great woven into a plain wreath, and can make a lovely gift for someone who has everything else on their list covered.
Whip up a (snow) storm
If you are a keen baker or cook, handmade Christmas tree decorations are well within your grasp. Not only do baked biscuits make ideal personalised Christmas decorations which instantly make guests and family feel welcome, they can be a great way to while away a cold afternoon. Edible Christmas biscuit decorations can be a simple mix of sugar, butter and plain flour through to a warming ginger biscuit cut out or orange biscotti; just make sure you stamp a hole in near the edge for a ribbon and cook them long enough to become firm and stable, not crumble as they hang. These also make great romantic Christmas ornaments if you are looking to catch someone’s eye with a friendly missive and show off your playful side with creative Christmas decorations.
If you want to make your own homemade Christmas decorations but don’t know one end of a glue gun from another, there are ways to do DIY Christmas ornaments without getting stuck. Try creating a seasonal entrance table with found objects such as branches, fir cones and a dusting of flour or for a steady hand, silver glitter over a light covering of spray glue. Another very easy win is buying some transparent baubles and removing the top that secures the hook; write family members name nicely onto a piece of lightweight card then place inside; if you bow the card gently with the name facing outwards it will follow the shape of the baubles curve. Add in some stars or extra wrapping ribbon and you have very festive Christmas decorations to make your tree and even table friendly; as they double as great place names for lunch.
Not just for Christmas
If the sheer process of planning how to decorate for Christmas makes you feel flat, then perhaps you’re better off considering your designs as part of a more wintry, cosy theme that you can live with seasonally, or even year round. Minimal Christmas paper decorations, or bright Christmas ornaments that add interest without looking kitsch may be more your style. Nature themes such as this bird, or felt shapes that are easy to create by cutting drawing a simplified owl or star shape will lend some simple shaker warmth to a country kitchen year round. Stuff with lavender as well as cotton wool and close the sides with a simple blanket stitch; the ideal felt Christmas decorations for children slightly older such as six years up. These Christmas ornament crafts also make nice presents for relatives that would rather have something personalised and made for them than a shop bought gift.
Smells like Christmas
If coloured Christmas baubles aren’t for you, there are other ways to create sustainable Christmas decorations that don’t call for plastic or large purchases. One of the most evocative of all the senses is smell, so harness the scents of the season and replace tired or old Christmas decorations with a sensorial delight of pine cones complimented by mandarin or cedarwood oil, sticks of cinnamon and vanilla or a handful of cloves or shaved nutmeg, and incense sticks that give off the smoky scent of amber. Are there more ethical Christmas decorations than those that leave no trace?
Simple yet effective
If you prefer simple Christmas decorations then a minimal approach to home made Christmas decorating may also appeal. Start by choosing your colour way, such as this frosty white, then gather up appropriate non-festive items that can add to your look. Here we chose a vase, candlesticks and glassware, and used recycled Christmas ornaments or recycled Christmas decorations to add a subtle festive nod to the grouping. Choosing such a wintry tone enhances the impact of all the other items but any other festive-feeling pieces could work; try red, copper or wood, and if you want to mix tones just don’t add too many different colours in or it quickly becomes cluttered rather than coherent. In front of this frosty Silhouette window blind the snowy feel is enhanced, but this approach could work equally well on a dark mantlepiece or hallway table.
Say it with flowers
Finally, you can enhance your Christmas home décor without getting too far out of your comfort zone by trying some homemade floral arrangements. Order blooms that reflect your Christmas colour themes and make a bold, bountiful display that feels abundant. The whole point of decorating at Christmas is to transform your home to a place that feels magical but also welcoming, letting guests and loved ones feel special and spoilt with the season’s good fortune. Then sit back and enjoy the fun.
Want some more ideas for festive themes? Take a look at our Christmas decoration ideas.