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Natural Christmas Decorations for the Entire Home

December 7, 2018 (Last Updated: November 5, 2020)

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!

A colorful Christmas tree decorated with flowers and dry orange ornaments.

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.

Flowers, scissors and a ball of string on a marble table.

A colorful Christmas tree decorated with flowers and dried orange slices.

My place smells like absolute heaven!

You’d figure that with the Christmas tree, all the roses, lavender, orange, clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and simmering bone broth (for my favorite soup – French onion soup!) all the smells would clash or be overwhelming, but everything is so subtle, that depending where you are in the apartment, there’s a different, beautiful fragrant Christmas ghost that follows you.

Dry orange slices and star anise piled on a white marble table.

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. 

Floral Christmas decorations and trees made of yarn on a mantle.

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!

A small bouquet of roses and lavender tied to a Christmas tree bough.

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!

Flowers in a 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!

A dried orange slice with star anise in the center hanging on a Christmas tree.

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.

Floral Christmas decorations and trees made of yarn on a mantle.

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 is about.

A Buddha statue on a mantle surrounded by flowers, tree decoration and a white jug of berries with leaves.

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 😉

A small madonna statue next to a picture frame of a vintage marriage, with dry flowers below.

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!A small christmas tree made of yarn on a mantle decorated with dry roses and eucalyptus.

5. Clove Oranges

Lastly, 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!

An orange with cloves stuck evenly into it on a tray, surrounded by 2 more oranges and 2 orange slices.

I hope you have a magical natural Christmas this year! From my heart to yours, Merry Christmas and have a lovely holiday!

For more inspiration, follow me on INSTAGRAM @shekeepsalovelyhome, on PINTEREST and FACEBOOK! And if you make any of these natural Christmas decorations, or any of my tasty drinks or treats, take a picture and tag me. I want to see!

A book cover with a title that says “Elegant Appetizers,” beside a title that says “Don’t forget your free ebook! Subscribe.”

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  • Reply
    December 13, 2019 at 2:55 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      Genevieve Morrison
      December 13, 2019 at 9:40 pm

      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 😉

    • Reply
      Carol D
      November 10, 2020 at 2:11 pm

      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!

      • Reply
        Genevieve Morrison
        November 10, 2020 at 2:51 pm

        So happy you liked it, Carol! If you do, take a picture and tag me on instagram! I always love to see!

  • Reply
    December 8, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    Love this! How nice!

  • Reply
    Lorilyn Darce
    December 8, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    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!

    • Reply
      Genevieve Morrison
      December 10, 2018 at 6:16 pm

      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 🙂

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