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Create beautiful Christmas decorations from natural materials

With half term and Halloween over for the year, it’s time to start getting ready for Christmas. If you love wrapping up warm in our surf hoodies and foraging in the woods and parks and beachcombing on the coast, then why not create some handmade natural Christmas decorations with your precious finds? Take a look at all the amazing ideas below and hopefully, you’ll feel inspired to create some fantastic homemade decorations.

Supplies

To get crafting these fantastic natural Christmas decorations, there are a few things you’re going to need:

  • An adult to help you with the fiddly bits
  • A hot glue gun and glue such as this one from Hobbycraft – Make sure an adult does the glueing part, it gets very hot!
  • Strong glue and Mod Podge, this can be bought from most craft shops and online at Hobby craft
  • Your craft materials! We recommend getting out and about to your local beach or park, you could even get involved in a charity beach clean to source everything you need to make some gorgeous coastal Christmas decorations.

Materials

Below are plenty of ideas for your very own homemade natural Christmas decorations. These materials can all be found along your local beaches, woodland, or even in your back garden! When you are collecting your materials, make sure you have a parent or adult to help you and to check for any sharp bits that could be dangerous. It’s also very important that you clean your materials when you get home before you begin to create your decorations.  

Pinecones

You should have no problem finding these lovely wintery materials! Pine cones come from trees such as conifers and firs, and you will usually see them littering the grounds of a wood or large parks. Make sure to give the pinecones a clean and check them for any little bugs that may be living in them before you start crafting!

Pinecone Garland

This fantastic creation is from Cyd at The Sweetest Occasion, check out the full tutorial here.

Image credit: Cyd Converse @ The Sweetest Occasion

This gorgeous garland is so simple to make and instantly adds a Christmassy touch to your home. Make sure to get an adult’s help when adding the screws into the pinecones and for the actual hanging of your garland.

Pom Pom Pinecones

These cute hanging pinecone decorations are from Debbie at One Little Project. Get the full tutorial here.

Image credit: Debbie Chapman @ One Little Project

These are extremely cute and are so easy to make. With supervision of a glue gun, even little ones can help to craft these natural Christmas decorations.

Pinecone Tree Centrepiece

This pinecone centrepiece from Louise and Jenni at the fantastic blog Paging Fun Mums, get the fun and easy tutorial here

Image credit: Jenni Ferguson @ Paging Fun Mums

This tutorial is for a table centrepiece for Christmas day, but you could also make a collection of these trees in varying sizes and have them in your hallway or lounge to add a festive touch, the addition of fairy lights adds a little Christmas magic!

Pinecone Fairies

How adorable are these little pinecone fairies? They require slightly more assembly than some of the other natural Christmas decorations, but the effort is worth it. Get the full tutorial from Willodel here and see the Facebook page for even more crafty projects.

Image credit: Lucinda May @ Willodel

Pinecone Wreath 

This beautiful pinecone wreath is from the awesome DIY Divas blog. Presuming you have all of the tools already, such as a glue gun and a wire coat hanger, then this Christmas craft is totally free to make!

Shells

If you love collecting shells when you’re at the beach, then these tutorials will be perfect for you. If you don’t already have a collection of shells at home, this is the perfect opportunity to get your surf gear on and head to your local beach. These homemade Christmas decorations use shells of all shapes and sizes so make sure to scour the coastlines for lots of different types of shells and make sure to leave some behind for others, there are plenty to go around!

Shell Candles

These homemade seashell candles are from Chris at the Thinly Spread blog, get the full tutorial here. These little candles give a warming glow that is perfect for Christmastime, and they also make easy and cheap Christmas presents for your friends and family. 

Image credit: Chris Mosler @ Thinly Spread

These are very easy to make but you will need the supervision of an adult as melted wax is very hot. Please remember to also never leave candles unattended and to beware of the hot flames.

If you can only find small shells, don’t worry! Crafty blogger Caroline’s tutorial is especially for tiny shells, and while they’ll burn in less time they still are a great way to use natural materials to make Christmas decorations.

Image credit: Caroline @ Burkatron

Glitter Shells

These glittery seashell Christmas ornaments add a pretty handmade touch to your tree and can be given as Christmas presents. Get the full tutorial at Mod Podge Rocks, and you can get your hands on Mod Podge from Hobbycraft

Image credit: Amy Anderson @ Mod Podge Rocks

These gorgeous glittery shells decorations would look perfect on your tree along with these seashell fairy lights:

Shell String Lights

Imagine hanging these little seashell lights all around your Christmas tree, they are the perfect way to have a coastal-inspired Christmas! To make these shell fairy lights, you will need:

  • A string of plain LED fairy lights such as these from Amazon. They must be LED as standard fairy lights get too hot.
  • LOTS of shells! Cockle or scallop shells work well as they are easy to pair up. If you are struggling to find shells or don’t live near the beach, Hobbycraft sell packs of 20 shells for £1.
  • Strong glue such as this one from Hobbycraft – an adult must supervise use of this glue as it is very strong and sticky!
Image credit: Beach Bliss Living

And now the fun part! Here’s how to make the lights, and make sure that the lights are not plugged in whilst you are making them:

  1. If you are using shells from the beach, wash and dry your shells thoroughly before using them.
  2. Working with approximately 2-foot sections of the fairy lights at a time, tape a section in a straight line onto a flat surface – make sure to cover the surface in case of glue spillages.
  3. Apply a small blob of glue to the inside of the shell at the base and press it into the base of a lightbulb, and wait for it to dry.
  4. Repeat this with another shell on the same bulb, leaving a pea-sized gap so that the light can shine through. TIP: placing a small bead or pebble between the two shells helps to create a good-sized gap. Again, wait for this to dry, then repeat for the rest of the section.
  5. Leave this section to dry for 5 minutes, and repeat for the rest of the string

Seashell Baubles

These pretty baubles are the genius idea of Kristen at the Busy Kids Happy Mom blog, check out her tutorial here and make them for yourself!

Image Credit: Kristen Elise @ Busy Kids Happy Mom

Seashell and Sand Bauble

This beautiful bauble is the creation of ornament expert Staci Ann Lowry. Staci creates gorgeous handmade ornaments as well as tutorials to make your own, follow her blog over at The Ornament Girl for detailed instructions on how to make this pretty decoration.

Image Credit: Staci Ann @ The Ornament Girl

String

Bits of string and rope are easy to find when you are walking along the beach, they come from washed up fishing nets and pieces of rope that have fallen from boats. Collect lots of different colours and sizes, and make sure to wash it thoroughly when you get home before you begin crafting with it.

Glitter String baubles

These baubles are so easy to make and this fantastic step by step tutorial from Lauren at the Thinking Closet is super helpful and easy to follow. 

Image credit: Lauren Lanker @ The Thinking Closet

If you can’t find any string or rope along the beach, or you don’t live near the seaside, don’t worry as you can pick up jute twine from Hobbycraft for £3 for 300 metres! 

Dried Fruits on String

These tasty decorations from Jodie May at A Handmade Cottage look almost good enough to eat! 

Image credit: Jodie May @ A handmade Cottage

Jodie has used ribbon to hang up her decorations but you can use string or rope that you find along the beach. Cinnamon sticks are available from most craft shops and supermarkets, and from Hobbycraft.  

Leaves

Autumn is well and truly here and beautiful brown leaves are already starting to fall. If you have any leaves in your garden or in your local park, you can collect the best ones and take them home for craft projects. Make sure to check that they are clean and there aren’t any little bugs living on them before you take them home.

Leaf Fairy Lights

These leaf fairy lights are so pretty and incredibly easy to make. Follow Aimee’s helpful step by step tutorial over at her blog, Wallflower Kitchen

Image credit: Aimee Ryan @ Wallflower Kitchen

Make sure to use LED fairy lights for this project as standard fairy lights can get too hot. Also, never leave your fairy lights turned on unattended.

Giant Christmas Wreath

This giant Christmas wreath tutorial uses both string and leaves as natural decorations. Follow Megan’s blog for the full tutorial.

Image credit: Megan Kapple @ Homemade Ginger

You can use spare branches from your Christmas tree to give this wreath an even more festive feel.

Driftwood

Driftwood is the ultimate beachcombing find and is used far and wide in arts and crafts projects. On many beaches, driftwood is considered a nuisance as it can wash ashore in large volumes, causing a large build-up along the seafront. However, make sure that you when you’re out collecting driftwood, that you leave enough for other crafters, there’s plenty to go around. Here are some of our favourite driftwood Christmas projects from around the internet.

Coastal Driftwood Tree

This project requires an adult helper as it can be quite tricky to perfect. Amanda makes it look so easy in her tutorial but even she admits she had a few mishaps when putting this together! Read the full tutorial to make your own here.

Image credit: Amanda Formaro @ Crafts By Amanda

This project is great for using up different sized pieces of driftwood. Make sure you clean and dry any pieces you find so that they are ready for crafting with.

Driftwood Orb

This stunning driftwood orb doesn’t need to just be for Christmas but makes the most beautiful handmade natural decoration all year round. You could even weave fairy lights around it to make it into a bedside lamp.

Image credit: Zoe Feast @ Creative in Chicago

For the simple and easy to follow tutorial, check out Zoe's blog at Creative in Chicago.

Pallets

Pallets are a great material to craft from and are relatively easy to get hold of – you may even come across pallets being washed up on your local beach! Many businesses have a supply of pallets that they need to recycle, get in touch with any businesses near you that take deliveries from lorries and enquire as to whether you can take a spare pallet, then you’re ready to begin creating your natural Christmas decorations!

Pallet Light up Tree

This is the only decoration in our collection that can be used outside! If you are going to keep your pallet tree outside, make sure to use outdoor fairy lights so that they are weatherproof. 

Image credit: Melanie Muszynski @ Making it in the Mitten
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