Zero Waste Christmas Decorations DYIs

Christmas is just around the corner and that means Christmas decorations, snowy days, presents, hot cocoa among other typical things but, how do you have a more sustainable holiday? In this article, I will give you some ideas of sustainable decoration because the planet does not need to be harmed for us to celebrate.

Christmas tree

It is a well-known tradition, but it is not necessary to have a tree cut down in order to have this typical decoration. If you already have an artificial tree though, use it as much as you can because that will be the more sustainable choice… ALWAYS. It does not matter the material whether is plastic or something else, if you already have it, use it.

But, if you do not have a tree, try and search for these other options:

A recycled wood tree. I find this alternative a great one because is playful, no raw material was needed and is unique. Plus, if you have children, they will be happy to help you put it together. Or, if you’re keen on DIY’s you can google an existing design and cut out the pieces by yourself. It will be an unforgettable activity for your family.

An origami tree. How fun is this! I love this one because you can play with the colour of the paper, and even better, you can reuse some paper you already have at your place and make an awesome tree.

Now, what about decorations? Here are some other examples that will be both eco-friendly and seasonal.

Citrus decorations

Grab an orange or lemon, cut thin slices and let them dehydrate. After that, grab a thread and there you go! You have a DIY and biodegradable decoration. When finished, remember to compost them so they can break down and become healthy soil.  I do not recommend storing them unless the weather is cold, because otherwise, they could attract some insects.

Cloth bows

A reusable option for these kinds of decorations! You can easily repurpose an old fabric or some t-shirt that means a lot for you or your family and make bows out of it. For instance, if you have a toddler, you can pick one piece of clothing and make cute bows that will last forever and give a special meaning for your kid in the future.


Another natural, biodegradable and eco-friendly choice. Go to your local park and grab the pines that are already in the ground. You can even paint the ends for a little extra Christmas touch, which will look amazing.


Origami snowflakes

Just type these words on Google, and a ton of tutorials on how to make them will appear in front of you. And no need to buy some fancy paper, you can easily use what you got! After all, is all about creativity and using what we have. The planet will thank you for that.

Stick ornaments

It is amazing how nature provides us with the material that we need. We just need to put our imagination to work to create amazing results. Grab a bunch of sticks and make different figures out of them: reindeers, tiny Christmas trees, snowflakes, a Santa Claus face… The sky’s the limit and this option is another biodegradable one and pretty much free as well!

Salt dough ornaments

I am OBSESSED with these salt dough ornaments. They are so cute, eco-friendly and only cost a few dollars.

Here is how I made the salt dough ornaments:

  • Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. The ornaments might crack under high temperatures.

  • use 1 cup of flour+ 1/4 cup of water+ 1/2 cup of salt. Mix them well. I like dissolving the salt in the water before combining it with the flour.

  • Knead for 10 minutes or until smooth. It should feel stretchy and like you can shape it nicely.

  • Roll out the dough to about 1/2 cm thick. It really depends on how you like it, but keep in mind that thinner ornaments are baking more uniform but also break easier.

  • Cut in your fav shapes- I love hearts.

  • Make a hole with a straw, or if you are like me and you don't own a straw, use the case of a pen. It is important to have some space for the dough to move inside the pen or straw.

  • Bake for 2 hours at 200F

  • Turn the ornaments halfway through baking.

  • Air-dry for about a day

  • Add hooks or twine as hooks. I prefer using some cotton twine or thread.

  • Have fun decorating them
    The fun part is that you can spend some quality time with your family and get creative in decorating these awesome ornaments.

    I hope the salt will preserve them for next year because I LOVE how these turned out.

Baked clay ornaments

If you and your family are more on the cooking side, this decoration is perfect for you. Here’s a simple yet useful recipe I found with another blogger college:

¼ cup of cornstarch

1 cup of baking soda

¾ cup of water

Mix the 3 ingredients in a big bowl over medium hit. Once the mixture starts to thicken, remove the bowl from the heat and cover it up until cool. After you let it cool down, it should be like normal dough, and you’ll be able to manipulate it and make your desired decorations. The last step will be baking them, setting up your oven to 175 degrees and letting them cook for 1 hour.

That’s pretty much it! You can add food coloring and cookie cutters as well to be more precise with the figures but, if you do not have those, do not worry you can also make them.

Sewing and felted ornaments

Everyone knows at least someone who knits, and you can take advantage of this amazing skill and tailor your tree with your favorite characters. Plus, the ornaments will last generations and they can be reused many, many times. 

Secondhand ornaments

If you are looking for more traditional decorations or you are not in the mood to make them yourself, find your local thrift shop and take a look around. I am sure you will find interesting decorations and most importantly, you will be giving them a second chance to be used, and no raw/new materials will be needed. Plus, the prices will accessible so everybody wins!

Photos hanging

In the zero-waste lifestyle, memories are well treasured and it invites you to focus on experiences and quality time, rather than objects that will create waste. With this idea in mind, you can repurpose the photos you have around your place and hang them around your Christmas tree. You can place them chronologically or randomly but it will be a nice and authentic way to decorate your tree and celebrate your family’s life.

I hope you found this article helpful and if you do any of the ideas I presented to you, please let me know! I will love to see your zero waste and sustainable trees. Also, if you have any questions, comment below and I will respond to you as soon as I can.


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