Here are a few colorful, all-natural DIY Christmas ideas for the grownup that likes to sip a minty cocktail and get crafty! Forget the tinsely, plastic ornaments and chemical potpourris! Let’s create a recyclable, compostable, decomposable, perfectly elegant Christmas!
I spent the entire weekend drinking snowy cocktails, tying roses together, spinning yarn around paper mache, trimming eucalyptus and sewing star anise to orange slices and I feel so giddy, I can barely sleep!
I haven’t even watched a Christmas movie yet because I’m too busy staring at my flowery Christmas tree for hours on end and making Christmas cocktail party playlists!
I love using flower ornaments because at the end of the season, I don’t even have to remove them! I simply put the whole tree out on the street and neighbors take as many of the dried flowers as they want as they walk by before the tree is picked up.
My place smells like absolute heaven!
You’d figure that with the Christmas tree, all the roses, lavender, orange, clove, cinnamon, and eucalyptus, all the smells would clash or be overwhelming, but everything is so subtle, that depending on where you are in the apartment, there’s a different, beautiful fragrant Christmas ghost that follows you.
All of these decorations are so simple to make and transform your home into such a lovely, peaceful place, and nothing is synthetic, plastic or un-biodegradable.
I live in a small apartment in Brooklyn, NY, so even if I wanted to buy seasonal decorations, I wouldn’t have anywhere to store them for next year. I literally have a tiny box that holds nothing but Christmas lights, my Christmas tree stand and a few glass ornaments. That’s all I can fit.
So all-natural, floral decorations can just be put in the compost on January 1st, and that’s that.
1. Homemade Flower Ornaments
I used different color roses and lavender to make these pretty flower ornaments! I simply dried a whole bunch (6 dozen bunches to be exact) for 3 weeks and tied them up in pretty bouquets. Then, I tied them to my tree with little strings. I’ve never had a tree more colorful!
Then I put baby’s breath all over the tree that looks just like snow! The lights look SO shiny behind it! And the best thing about these flowers is that they’ll look beautiful all season on your tree!
If you’d like to know exactly which flowers are the very best for Christmas trees, take a look at my post on how to create your own DIY dry-flower Christmas tree!
2. Dried Citrus Ornaments
The flowers, alone, were very pretty, but I still wanted to hang Christmas ornaments from my tree. So I sliced some oranges, baked them and sewed little star anise to the centers to make these beautiful dried citrus ornaments!
They look like pretty stained glass when they’re hung in front of a Christmas light, especially when the room is dark!
3. A Eucalyptus and Rose Mantle
I always love garlands and pine greenery on a Christmas mantle, but it dies so quickly and just looks wilted. Eucalyptus, on the other hand, dries much prettier and smells divine!
I simply trimmed 2 bunches of eucalyptus and placed it around my mantle decorations, added a few roses and a little baby’s breath, and it looked so fresh and colorful! I also added a lovely vase of eucalyptus and ilex to make it brighter.
Although I’m a practicing Buddhist, Christmas is my very favorite holiday. A time for peace and joy and loving one another. Everything Christianity and Buddhism are about.
I place my favorite Guan Yin (known as the “female buddha,” Bodhisattva or Goddess of Compassion), and the beautiful Madonna my grandmother gave me on my Christmas mantle. I would sing and talk to this statue when I was very little, so my grandmother left it to me. It always makes me think of her… that’s her in the wedding dress 😉
4. Yarn Christmas Tree Decorations
These soft, snowy Christmas tree decorations are so, so easy to make and require just a bit of yarn, paper mache cones, a few snowball pompoms and a little bit of glue. They turn any Christmas mantle into a winter wonderland!
5. Clove Oranges
Let’s make our place smell even more delicious! For me, the smell of Christmas is clove and orange. You simply pierce them all over with cloves, and the cloves preserve the orange so it doesn’t go bad.
It smells TRULY divine, and they look so pretty in a basket with holly or pine cones, in a bowl in the kitchen or bathroom, or simply placed under the Christmas tree!
6. Natural Place Settings
And when you’re setting your dinner table for Christmas Eve, take a look at these 10 gorgeous all-natural Christmas place-setting ideas! Lots of baby’s breath, eucalyptus, sage and red berries to make your Christmas table look festively, naturally, lovely.
I hope you have a magical natural Christmas this year! From my heart to yours, Merry Christmas and have a lovely holiday!
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I absolutely LOVE this idea!!😍 Even shared it to my Facebook page!!🙌 I’m not a “practicing” anything but definitely interested in learning more about Buddhism!! I just love and appreciate how this can suit any/all religions/beliefs! Beautiful back story btw!! My Mom always did the clove oranges and we used them as closet air fresheners way back in the 70s! JUST found your site and I will definitely be following you! Thanks for posting!!😁
Awww, thank you, Christy! What a lovely comment. And yes, as a practicing Buddhist, I find the traditions of Christmas suit my spirituality perfectly. It’s a time to connect with myself and the people I love, greet both difficult and wonderful feelings with openness, take time to sit and wish that all beings be peaceful, happy and live with ease. I try to do this all year round, but the holidays really help make it a priority. And the process of putting together a lovely space with flowers and gentle, pretty-smelling objects turns my home into a temple, in a way, to invite my friends to, to offer them something I made with love, and to just be in, sweetly and gently. Thank you for following and reposting. It always means a lot to me!
Wow, where is your blessed mother statue from?
It was a gift from my grandmother, so sadly I can’t say where it was originally from. It may have been purchased in Ireland, but sadly, I’m not sure.
Normally I don’t much care for the flavor text in these sorts of things, I come for ideas and go along my merry way, but your story about your grandma is so sweet.
Coincidentally I’m also a practicing Buddhist who loves Christmas. Who can’t get behind a holiday of light and and love, spending time with family and giving them gifts and baked goods.
Lovely article, thanks for all the ideas.
Aww, thank you so much! I completely agree. It’s a time of year to love people and make things beautiful for me, and no matter whether you’re a christian, jew, muslim, Buddhist, and/or atheist, everyone can appreciate the food, the color, the light and togetherness. I’ll always celebrate Christmas as a Buddhist… the meditation also helps with the more stressful times of the Christmas season 😉
Absolutely beautiful. Such a soft and gentle feeling. I have always wanted a natural tree. I think I’ll do it this year. I have dried roses and hydrangea that I can use along with baby’s breath and dried oranges. So lovely! Thanks for sharing!
So happy you liked it, Carol! If you do, take a picture and tag me on instagram! I always love to see!
Love this! How nice!
Hi Again Genevieve!
Your Madonna and child white statue is the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. So unique – I’d be surprised if there is another one out there like it. What a lovely memory to carry throughout your family history. *** I just looked at your fondue party. My Mom used to have fondue parties in the 70’s. I have an electric fondue pot she bought an a garage sale for $7 that she would put oil in and everyone cooked raw meats and vegetables. I like your idea of roasting the vegetables for the cheese pot. ** Like you a work full-time and I’ve had trouble getting my blog up – but I got laid off (I’m a mortgage underwriter) in early November and I’m hoping to employ some help to get started after the holidays. *** I used dried roses to create the decor for my “Hauntingly Elegant Wine Club” this fall. You can see my photos on Pinterest board & group Facebook page “S I P [Social Interactions and Parties]. I posted your Madonna on my Facebook page. Happy Holidays!
Thank you very much! It’s been a very crafty season so far. I’m sorry to hear about your employment situation. That’s never easy. Hopefully you can use some time to get inspired and work on projects you care about for your blog. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas 🙂