It's that time of year again ~

Time to get into the Christmas spirit and start decorating your home ready for the festive season.
Instead of running out to stock up on new decorations, why not get the kids involved and use natural materials you have or can discover in nature?

Did you know? Each year, the average household spends £185 on Christmas decorations and 12,500 tonnes of Christmas decorations are discarded in landfills, totalling £1.2m* - that’s a lot of waste. Natural Christmas decorations are a great way to educate your kids about sustainability and the great outdoors, all while having fun in the process.

In this blog post, we will share our 5 favourite ideas for natural homemade Christmas decorations that you can make at home with your children. These decorations are easy to make and will add a festive touch to your home this holiday season

Compostable Christmas Garland

This is so simple whilst achieving the perfect look for Christmas. 

Dry orange slices in a warm oven (around 60c) for 2 hours, checking to make sure they are not getting too sunburnt!)

Cut velvet ribbon and tie into little bows.
Measure and cut a length of twine to fit the desired space. 

Make a little hole in the top of each orange slice and hang a dried slice or orange and a velvet bow at intervals of around 3 inches along your twine. 

Ta-da ~ so simple yet so impactful. Provided you have used a natural twine, you can compost this along with your orange slices and store the bows for next year. 

Paper Snowflakes Christmas Decorations

This is a classic DIY Christmas decoration that kids will love to help make.

All you need is some paper, scissors and a little bit of creativity. Use old newspapers, magazines or any other existing paper you have around to reduce waste.

How To Make:
  1. Cut the paper in to a square shape
  2. Fold the paper into a triangular shape
  3. Design your snowflake - draw in pencil first and cut along the lines
  4. Hang them up in your home using string or ribbon
  5. At the end of the festive season - recycle with other paper
    Festive Painted Rocks

    Festive Painted Rocks

    Do you have any pebbles in the garden? If so, get creative with this fun and festive painted rock activity. Need some inspiration for designs? Try some of our favourite simple ideas: Christmas Tree, Stocking, Bell, Holly, Present, Star. If you're looking for a mess-free alternative to paint, poster pens are a great way to get creative without the clean up afterwards. 

    You Will Need:
    1. Flat Surface Rocks or Pebbles
    2. Acrylic Paint (Like these from HobbyCraft)
    3. Small Acrylic Paint Brushes
      How To Make:
      1. Wash the rocks and let them dry completely before painting.
      2. Protect the table top surface with sheet of old newspaper.
      3. Allow paint to fully dry between steps and when changing to a new colour.
      4. Repeat each step as needed for additional coverage
      Decorative DIY Glittery Pine Cones

      DIY Glittery Pine Cone Decorations
      These decorative glittery pine cones are great to encourage your children to go on an outdoor adventure to find some pine cones and is a fun activity for when you get home. It's likely you'll already have everything else you need for this at home. Want visual guidance to show your kids? Watch this quick how-to video. Make sure your glitter is plastic-free and sustainable, like these from Hobby Craft.

      You Will Need:
        How To Make:
        1. Brush each pine cone tip with enough glute to catch and hold the glitter in place 
        2. Place the glued pine cone in a bowl to catch excess glitter
        3. Sprinkle the glitter over the pine cone, tilting in each direction until all of the glue is covered by glitter. 
        4. If you’d like to hang the pine cones, use either an ornament hook, or a small length of ribbon (Wrap it around the upper levels of your pine cone and leave enough length on either end to tie a bow so that you can hang it on a tree.)
        Homemade Dried Fruit Hanging Decorations

        Add a fragrant touch of fruit to your decorations this year. This activity works with oranges, apples, grapefruit and chilies, so you can mix and match with whatever you have at home. Make sure any fruit cutting is done by adults to protect tiny hands and fingers!  

        How To Dry The Fruit
        1. Chop the orange into slices about 1/2cm thick.
        2. Place on a lined baking tray.
        3. Into an oven at 100C.
        4. After 2 hours turn the orange slices.
        5. Leave for a further 2 hours in the oven.
        6. Check and turn.
        7. If they are still very flexible you may need to return them for another hour or two. This will vary with your oven and the thickness of the orange slices.
        How To Hang Your Dried Fruit
        1. Once your fruit is fully dried, pierce a small hole in the centre star of the fruit and loop a piece of string or ribbon through 
        2. You could also stack the fruit by layering several different dried fruits, chillies or anything else on to your string. 
        Christmas Tree Twig Ornament 

        This simple festive ornament is a great one to get the kids stuck into. Forage for a range of tree twigs in your local park or forest - or even at home if you have trees nearby. To reduce waste, use leftover cardboard such as a cereal box for the backing.  

        You Will Need:
        • A selection of thin tree twigs (pencil-sized diameter works well)
        • Cardboard 
        • Glue (A hot glue gun or very sticky strong hold craft glue both work well)
        • Pipe cleaners or ribbons (for hanging the decorations)
        How To Make: 
        1. Firstly, make sure all of the twigs are thoroughly dried before starting (drying out in a warm airing cabinet works well) 
        2. Cut cardboard pieces 6″ x 1″
        3. Take a push pin and make a hole 3/4″ down from the top of the backing strip.
        4. Take a pencil and poke through the hole.
        5. Cut a range of twigs from 4 inches to 1 inch long, slightly shorter each time 
        6. Glue them onto the cardboard backing in a Christmas Tree shape - getting shorter as they go up, stopping just below the hole 
        7. Loop the pipe cleaner or ribbon through the hole to act as a hanger
        We hope you have enjoyed our 5 natural Christmas decoration ideas and are able to use these activities to educate your children on sustainability in a fun way over the festive season.

        If you decide to try any of these decorations this year, we would love to see pictures! Share them with us on Instagram by tagging us @ToastieKids 

        Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, from the team at Töastie.


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