Tree Dressing Day: 10 eco friendly decorations to make

The first weekend of December is Tree Dressing Day, so we are sharing some ideas for eco friendly decorations the whole family can make.

Christmas can feel like a tidal wave of plastic and making your own decorations is one way around the problem. Crafting at Christmas is also great for mental health because it’s stress-relieving and mood-boosting.

So, grab yourselves a hot chocolate, and get crafting together!

Orange garland

This decoration will make your Christmas tree smell wonderful. All you need are two oranges, string, greaseproof paper, cocktail sticks (or a skewer) and tea towels.

  1. Preheat the oven to 1200C (fan).
  2. Cut two large oranges into thin slices (as thin as you can so they remain strong and don’t fall apart).
  3. Arrange the orange slices in rows on a tea towel. Place another tea towel on top and gently press to squeeze out some of the juice.
  4. Using a cocktail stick (or a skewer), make a little hole in the centre of each orange. Make sure the hole is big enough to thread string through (don’t thread string through just yet though).
  5. Cover a baking tray with greaseproof paper and arrange your orange slices on the tray.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes, turn the slices over and then bake for another 20 minutes (or until the oranges have dried out but are not brown).
  7. Remove the oranges from the oven and leave to cool.
  8. Once cool, thread string through the orange slices to make a garland.

Salt dough decorations

For these decorations you simply roll out salt dough and cut it into Christmassy shapes to hang from your tree.

You need salt dough ingredients (250g plain flour, 125g salt, 125ml water), a Christmas-themed biscuit cutter (star, angel, Santa etc.), greaseproof paper, a skewer or cocktail stick to make a hole in the top of your shapes, string or ribbon for threading, and paint or felt-tipped pens for decorating.

  1. Preheat the oven to 1500C (fan)
  2. Mix the flour and salt together and gradually add water until you can make the mixture into a ball with your hands.
  3. Roll out the dough on a floured surface.
  4. Cut our shapes with your Christmassy biscuit cutter(s).
  5. Place the shapes on a baking tray covered with greaseproof paper.
  6. Make a hole in the top of each shape with a skewer. Make sure your string will go through the hole once the shapes are baked and cooled.
  7. Bake your shapes in the oven for about an hour, or until they have dried out.
  8. Remove your shapes from the oven and leave for a couple of hours to cool.
  9. Decorate your shapes by painting or colouring them with felt-tips.
  10. Thread your decorations with string and hang them from your tree.

Pom-pom reindeer

This is a great craft for relaxation and keeping children busy!

You need brown wool, cardboard (a cereal box will do), hot glue or glue dots, felt tipped pens and paints.

  1. Simply make a pom-pom from brown wool (there are lots of pom-pom making instructions available online if you need them).
  2. Cut out antler shapes, a nose shape and some circles for eyes from card.
  3. Paint the antlers brown, and the nose red, and use felt-tipped pens to draw the eyes.
  4. Glue the antlers, nose and eyes onto your pom-pom with a hot glue gun or sticky glue dots.
  5. Nestle your reindeer amongst the branches of your tree.

You can make all sorts of Christmas characters from pom-poms. Why not try making Santa or a snowman next?

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