How to have a sustainable Christmas: DIY and eco-friendly decorations

The most wonderful time of the year is upon us. But is it so wonderful for the planet and our bank accounts? It can be. Let’s ditch overconsumption and traditional habits. This year, let’s choose to invest in eco-friendly Christmas decorations and even give our creative skills a go.

DIY Christmas decorations 

Check out these simple DIY Christmas decorations that are kind to the planet and fun to make by yourself or with the family.

Christmas foliage bottle table decoration

If you have an old wine bottle lying around, don’t throw them away. Instead, repurpose them as festive decorations for your table. Wash your bottle out and add a snipping from your Christmas tree, garden or local woods. If you don’t have access to any outdoor foliage, eucalyptus or rosemary would work well too (and add some delicious scent). Place a candle or some tiny fairy lights inside to create a cosy atmosphere. Super simplistic and elegant.

Dried orange slice Christmas garland

Add some colour and scent to your home with this homemade dried orange garland. It would look brilliant trailing along your fireplace, beams or bannister. The best thing about this is that you can reuse the dried oranges each year if you keep them in an airtight container afterwards.

The process begins by cutting, cooking and drying your oranges. Warning: the citrus scent will waft through your home and feel like magic. Using a needle and string, you can place your orange along it and tie each end with a knot. You can find the full method from House of Jade Interiors. 


Make your own Christmas stocking

Filled with presents on Christmas morning, stockings are one of the most traditional decorations. Making your own stocking adds that personal touch for your family. And the best part? You can make a whole bunch of them in one afternoon. Read our step-by-step guide here. 

Colourful pom pom Christmas tree 

If you’re not a fan of traditional Christmas decorations, this colourful homemade tree made of pom poms is the solution! You’ll need a range of different size sticks from your garden or local woods (it’s best if they’ve already fallen on the floor) and position them from shortest to longest in a Christmas tree shape. Use some yarn to make the cords that tie them together.

Next, it’s time for the fun part! Choose your favourite coloured yarn and make the pom poms. Hang them from your sticks, ensuring they are balanced and not lop-sided. They don’t have to be super neat, the more rustic the better. For the full tutorial, check out Dora Does’ blog. 


Christmas toy terrarium for children

Are any Nutella lovers in the house? We’ve found a way to reuse them this Christmas. Find some toy figurines that your children love such as dinosaurs, tractors or fairies and spray paint them gold. Cut up some wood in the shape of a coaster (a little larger than the Nutella jar) and find some pinecones and paint them green.

Cover your wood slice in fake snow and place your items inside to create your own Christmas scene. Add your empty Nutella jar upside down over the top and now your children have their own terrariums. Except, there’s no need to worry about keeping anything alive over winter! Find the full method from Pillar Box Blue. 

Homemade origami Christmas baubles

There’s nothing more rewarding than homemade baubles hanging proudly from your Christmas tree. Origami is a fun project you can spend the afternoon doing, with no skills necessary. There are tons of tutorials online for different shapes and sizes but we love this one from Paperchase. All you need is colourful origami paper (or any kind of thin paper), scissors, glue and ribbon.


DIY plastic-free advent calendar

Typical advent calendars from your supermarket contain more plastic than chocolate. Creating your own is way more special and better for the planet. Using a wooden ladder, transform it into a festive centrepiece. Decorate your ladder with festive decor like ribbon, tinsel, fake snow and baubles. Then, hang little muslin bags filled with chocolate from the bars. You can reuse this next year too.

Homemade Christmas wreath

This rewarding project for your green fingers will create something unique for all of your neighbours to admire. Using elements from the Earth that can be returned to the Earth afterwards, it’s way easier than you might expect. All you need is gloves, wire cutters, a wreath ring, gardening wire, green twine, foliage and natural decorations. Find our full tutorial here.  


Tips for buying eco-friendly decorations

If DIY isn’t for you, that doesn’t mean your options are limited. Anything you traditionally buy for Christmas can be swapped for eco. Check out our top tips for buying eco-friendly decorations.

Go second hand

Thrifting may once have held a negative stigma but today, it’s considered more ethical, thoughtful and unique. We’re big advocates! And Christmas shopping is no different. Whether it’s your local charity, eBay or Facebook Marketplace, you can find some real pre-loved treasures for far cheaper than high street shops.

Search on Etsy

If you are going to purchase new decorations, opt for sustainable, ethical or handmade decorations from the likes of Etsy. They tend to be more authentic, beautiful and unique – perfect for sparking conversation and adding a personal touch to your home. We love supporting small businesses at Christmas to aid the local community and let the big corporations know that we support ethics and transparency.


Choose FSC-certified decorations

Christmas crackers are one of the worst culprits for waste: an estimated 40 million get binned at the end of the day. To go sustainable, choose FSC-certified crackers or make your own. Rather than the plastic gifts that get lost amidst all the fun, you can fill them with chocolate or personal gifts like earrings or shower gel. Don’t forget about choosing an eco-friendly Christmas tree and FSC-certified Christmas cards and wrapping paper too.

Opt for LED Christmas tree lights

Decorating your Christmas tree or adding some cosy fairy lights to your home? LED lights will last you for many Christmases to come and they require a lot less energy to run. They’re also safer around plastic trees, pets and children as they don’t get hot like traditional bulbs.

If you host an epic outdoor display, solar Christmas lights will help reduce your carbon footprint and your electricity bills. Soaking up the sunlight all day, they’ll light up your home in the evening.

Choose decor that last

One of our worsts traits at Christmas is overconsumption. Rather than buying single-use or poor-quality decorations each year, invest in decorations that you love and that will last you for years to come. The great thing about Christmas is that nothing goes out of style.


Avoid glitter

Glitter is basically a microplastic and it gets everywhere – which can be a disaster! If you want to add some sparkle to your Christmas, opt for biodegradable glitter that is made from natural elements and decomposes back into earthly matter.

Jingle bells, Jingle bells, Eco all the way… 

Have you got the eco-bug this Christmas? Check out our eco-friendly Christmas gift guide – all of our favourite gifts for your loved ones. From sustainable bags for shopping lovers, loveable dog toys for pet parents or zero-waste travel cups for coffee lovers, we have you covered.


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