Looking for Family Festive activities to do with your little ones this Christmas? Why not have a go at making some natural, environmentally friendly Christmas decorations?
We’re big fans of Christmas here at My Expedition Rocks, but not so big fans of plastic decor. So we thought we’d put together our top tips for making some beautiful decorations all with things you can find out in your garden or with items from your local shop.
Pine Cone Baubles
Get outside into your nearest woodland and find yourself some pine cones. The bigger the better in our opinion. Once collected, leave to dry for a day or so next to a warm radiator so they open up. Thread a piece of string or twine around the top into a loop to be able to hand from your tree. Now it’s time to get creative. Have a look at our and inspiration below or dream up your own Christmassy crafts.
To make reindeer simply paint on some eyes and a red nose, and glue on two twigs for antlers.
To make a snowman, paint white then glue on a ribbon for a scarf, some olds buttons or pebbles, and a stick or berry for a carrot nose.
Wood and Twine Tree Decorations
For this one you’ll need a hand saw so the parents may want to do this bit if you have one. Find a branch about the thickness of your wrist from a healthy looking tree such as a hazel, willow or laurel. Saw the branch and then from the thick end saw a thin disc. Use a hand drill to make a hole near the edge but far enough away that it doesn’t split. Decorate the disc however you like!
Salt Dough Ornaments
Add 250g flour to a mixing bowl with 125g of salt. Mix in 125ml of water to make your salt dough until it comes together into a ball. Roll out on to a floured surface and cut out whatever shapes that you’d like. If you’re planning to use as tree ornaments, remember to make a hole in your shapes with a skewer/pencil to be able to thread a string through. Transfer on to baking paper and bake in the oven on its lowest setting for a few hours until hard. Once baked, decorate your dough with paint. Thread your string and tie in a knot before hanging on your tree.
We recommend digging out the gardening gloves for this one. Find some bendy sticks about the thickness of your little finger and as long as you can find (over 50cm works best). Use secateurs to cut. Bend the stick into a circle and feed the short end in and out so that it secures itself into a ring. Feed other bendy sticks around this twisting in and out to make a thicker circle. Find and cut some holly sprigs and feed these into the gaps between the sticks to secure them. Add other natural decorations like berries or pine cones and finish with a ribbon to be able to hang on your door.
Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees. Slice your oranges in to 1cm thick slices and spread on to baking paper. Pat away the moisture with kitchen roll and put into the oven to bake until dry (this usually takes a good few hours). Use a skewer or nail to poke holes in to your dried fruits and then evenly space on some twine or recycled ribbon. Feeling adventurous? Why not try a mix of citrus fruits or use other natural foods to decorate like cloves or bunches of cinnamon.
The simplest of them all. Head outside and collect 4 straight sticks. We like to go for two longer sticks and two slightly shorter sticks, but we’ll leave the creativity up to you. Start by lashing two of the sticks together with string or twine to make a cross. Do the same with the other two sticks. Overlap your crosses to make a snowflake shape and lash both together. Finish off the snowy look by painting your sticks white. You can make these in all different shapes and sizes or even try other shapes like stars!