DIY Zero Waste Christmas Decorations

Here are seven DIY zero waste Christmas decorations that I’ve personally made for us and our home that I hope to use year after year. They made our home a little bit more special last year and I can’t wait to put them up again.

A couple of years ago, whilst preparing to move countries we gave away a lot of our plastic Christmas decorations, including the tree, to families who wanted them and who will use them, as we were trying to minimise the amount of boxes we were storing.

Since then, I have been making a few natural replacements that I really love and I wanted to share them with you. I really value the importance of bringing the outside in, to keep us connected to nature, and using what we have around us and what is available. These decorations honour that idea.

If you still have plastic decorations then please don’t throw them out. Reuse them as much as you can. If you don’t like them anymore give them away to someone else who will use them. We used FB marketplace and local gifting groups to give our items away.

Six slices of orange are layered in a row on a wooden chopping board. A large silver knife is parallel. There is a plate in the background with more slices on it and 3 full oranges to the right.

Orange slices

Of course natural, dried orange slices are top of the list. They’re easy to make, oranges are in season, they smell amazing and add some colour which I love! They can be used every year if you make sure to dry them thoroughly and keep them separate from your other decorations, wrapped in paper.

Last year I made a garland of oranges to hang across the mantlepiece (which you can see one of the photos below) and also hung a few separately from the banister. Here are the instructions for how to make a dried orange slice garland.

Bringing The Outside In

As already mentioned, I love the idea of connecting with nature during Christmas and bringing items in from the outside helps me do that. At the moment we don’t have room for a fallen branch but that is what I would love to use as a replacement for a tree. Last year I brought in some pine cones and dried red berries but there is so much out there that we could use. Aim for anything that has already fallen, that is local to your area or that you are growing outside. Some ideas are acorns, conkers, holly, conifer leaves and herbs likes lavender and rosemary.

A dark wooden banister with white metal railings has the natural coloured eco friendly tinsel wrapped around it. The photo is taken from the bottom of the steps looking up along the banister. It also has pine cones & mini xmas trees hanging from it.

Eco Friendly Christmas Tinsel

I really wanted to make something that was like tinsel but not so environmentally damaging so I designed my own eco friendly Christmas tinsel using hemp yarn. It looks pretty similar to standard tinsel but natural and I love how it drapes across the chimney breast and wraps around the banister. Combine it with some hung pine cones and lights it looks really wonderful.

There is a dark grey marble mantlepiece with an off white chimney breast. It has the circular wreath sat in the centre with pine cones and orange slices to the left and right. There is an orange slice garland hanging from the each corner.

Natural Circular Wreath

Last year I made a Christmas wreath using what I have available from the garden and I absolutely loved the process of choosing the plants, collecting all the foliage I wanted to use and putting it together. I used dried rosemary stems bent into shape and tied together with hemp yarn to make the circle and then tied all the leaves and flowers to the base. I think next time I will collect more and make it a bit fuller.

A natural coloured crocheted snowflake with 8 points is sat on a light wooden board. Each point has a triangular open space below it which leads onto a central flower shape with 8 petals. There is a small hole in the centre.

Crocheted Snowflakes

This snowflake pattern is a favourite of mine and I’m hoping to make more when I can. It was designed by Petals To Picots and I used sport weight hemp yarn to make them. They look lovely hanging from a tree or a branch or even along the mantelpiece. They go really well with my other natural decorations from outside. I use a lace weight piece of hemp yarn to hang them up with and that piece is hardly visible.

A Hunch (Hanging Bunch)

If you’re not keen on a wreath or just don’t have anything to make the base with you could opt for a hunch instead. Simply put, it’s a bouquet of whatever you like, hung upside down. So simple but so gorgeous. I chose dried fallen pine needles to add some rust colour, some lavender cuttings and some lavender-cotton leaves and flowers. It was perfect!

Two crocheted Christmas trees stand against a white background. They have three skirts stacked on top of each other to make the tree & a loop at the top. There are some small red berries along the right hand side & a ball of yarn in the top left.

Crocheted Christmas Trees

These cute little trees are one of the first Christmas decorations I made and they’re still just as lovely as when I first made them. I sit them on top of the mantlepiece and hang a few from the banister too. You could even make them without the loop and place a few in the centre of the dinner table or anywhere you want some Christmas spirit. The pattern is by Yarn Society and of course I used hemp yarn to make them too.

Do you have any DIY zero waste Christmas decorations that you love making and love using? Let us know in the comments so that we can inspire each other to create alternatives to the norm.


How to Make a Dried Orange Slice Garland


How to Hold Yarn or Wool When Crocheting - Tutorial Three