At Christmas time, we often bring the outside into our homes. The Christmas tree is an obvious example! We bring it indoors, cover it in baubles and tinsel, and put carefully wrapped presents underneath it. For many, it is a true symbol of Christmas.
But why not make the outside a theme this year? You’ve already got a tree in your living room, so go all the way and decorate your home with the best of nature’s offerings at this time of year.
The Holly and the Ivy… Christmas Bunting
Holly leaves may be prickly but, if you are careful, you can create some really festive bunting using them. Or you could just buy some fake holly! With the red berries, it looks really cheerful and merry in the home at Christmas.
You could also entwine the holly with some ivy to create long strands to hang up. Alternatively, you can wrap it around a length of brown string for a more rustic feel. Just remember to be careful if you have kids around. Wearing gloves can stop their hands getting scratched if they are still keen to help.
With decorations using outdoor plants, it is best to make them as close to Christmas day as possible. Another good tip is to store them in a cool place, such as a conservatory, to help keep them fresher for longer.
Twinkle, Twinkle… Glitter Pinecone!
There’s nothing like a bit of sparkle at Christmas time. We already cover our Christmas trees with tinsel and glittering decorations, so why not add a touch of glitter to other outside items too?
It’s really quick and simple to turn an ordinary-looking pinecone into a glittering decoration. All you need is some glue that dries clear, and some glitter in a colour of your choice! This also looks really effective on acorns too. You can thread them with string to hang them from your tree or around the house. Or you can make a nice feature on a fireplace by piling them in a wicker basket.
Remember to use a kitchen tray when you are handling the glitter, as this minimises the area that might get covered in it.
A Hand-Made Wreath for Your Front Door
Making a wreath to hang on your front door is a lovely welcoming gesture at Christmas.
Why not have a go yourself? It’s really easy!
1. Begin by wrapping a combination of holly, ivy, pine sprigs and mistletoe around a flexible wire frame.
2. Then shape this around an overturned bowl. That will ensure your wreath has a nice, even circular shape.
3. Next, arrange berries, twigs and pinecones amongst the leaves before securing them together with glue and small ties of string/wire.
4. If you fancy it, add a touch of sparkle or some snowflake shaped sequins amongst the leaves.
5. Using red or gold ribbon to hang it up, this can even be hung inside the house on the back of any door.
Fruity Festive Decorations
A great way to make sure you don’t waste any of the fruit you used for your mulled wine is to make decorations out of them.
They are really easy to make, and look really pretty! Slice up your oranges and/or lemons so they are about 1cm thick and place on a baking tray lined with grease proof paper. Bake on a low setting (75°c) for around an hour on one side, then an hour on the other. This will dry them out so they are still slightly flexible. It also makes your house smell festive without having to go to too much trouble.
After you have allowed them to cool you can coat them in clear-drying glue. From there you can stick glitter, sequin and beads on them to make individual decorations. Loop some ribbon through and hang them near a source of light to see them shine.
Bringing the beauty of the outdoors into your home at Christmas is a really nice way to decorate. You can create some truly unique decorations, which add a personal touch, and will be sure to impress you visitors!
For more inspiration on festive arts and crafts, check out our ideas for activities you can do with your kids.