For many, trimming the tree is among the most highly anticipated holiday rituals, ranking somewhere in between singing carols while getting giddy on eggnog and unwrapping gifts that actually made the list. If you’re looking for a way to squeeze even more joy out of your holiday season, consider adding a new tradition to your celebratory line-up: adorning your tree with natural ornaments.
No. We’re not talking about ornaments you can buy in a store. We’re referring to the ones you’ll make yourself in the company of family and friends. You’ll cherish the quality time spent with loved ones while crafting these organic baubles—and the fabulous (and sometimes fragrant) end results!
Ready to make some homemade bling for your balsam fir? Following are five au natural ideas to get you started:
1. Salt dough ornaments
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In bowl, combine flour and salt and gradually stir in water using large spoon. Finish mixing the ingredients by hand and knead the dough until soft and malleable.
- Roll dough onto floured surface until approximately 1/8-inch thick. Use cookie cutter or knife to create desired shapes and place onto cookie sheet. Use toothpick to poke small hole at the top of the ornament, which will allow you to attach string or twine.
- Bake for about an hour, or until hard. Decorate ornament using paint and glitter, and coat with varnish.
2. Scented pinecones
- Scrub pinecones with water to remove insects and/or sap. Arrange on foil-lined cookie sheet and bake at 200 degrees F for about an hour.
- Fill spray bottle with water and add several drops essential oil(s). Spray pinecones until saturated and store in a sealed bag for 24 hours. Remove and air dry.
Additional tip: If you prefer to skip the spray bottle, put pinecones directly in resealable bag, sprinkle a few drops of oil on them, seal the bag and give it a good shake. Leave pinecones in sealed bag for about a week.
3. Spiced orange pomanders
- Use peeler or zester to make a pattern in the orange skin. Then, use toothpick to poke holes in orange. Next, push cloves into holes.
- If desired, roll the pomanders in ground spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg or cardamom, for added fragrance.
4. Cinnamon-stick stars
What you’ll need
Hot glue gun
- Form eight-point star by gluing four cinnamon sticks together, overlapping in the center.
- Cut a design out of burlap (e.g., an initial, snowman or a poinsettia) and glue it to center of the star. Then glue on a few pine sprigs.
- Thread twine through cinnamon sticks, creating a knot at the top for hanging.
5. Dried oranges and lemons
What you’ll need:
- Cut fruits into 1/4-inch slices; remove seeds. On foil-lined cookie sheet, arrange slices and bake at approximately 160 degrees F for three to four hours.
- Flip fruit every hour until it dried. If citrus slices start to brown or shrivel, remove from oven immediately.
- Place ornament hook through top of each slice for hanging.