This year I decided to be more sustainable when it came to my Christmas decor by creating my own decor for the tree. I used pinecones found outside, dried oranges, and also made a very simple star for the top of the tree out of a branch I found while walking the dog. The pinecones were pretty simple, I just used a good quality glue (my choice was Gorilla glue), and attached the string to the top of the cone.
The dried oranges, however, was the more tricky part… And because it was a bit of trial and error for me, I thought I would share how I did it incase it can help you in your process.
DIY dried oranges:
I started off by cutting the oranges into slices (roughly 50mm thick) before pressed them first with some kitchen roll to take out some of the juice. I found that this helped the drying process.
Then I placed them on a baking tray with baking paper on and turned the oven to 150°C. I tried a higher degree as well as using both the fan setting and the normal setting, and decided that the normal one was best (but I assume the temperature can depend a bit on the type of oven you have.)
After the oven was hot, I had the tray in and put my timer on 40 minutes. The after the timer went off, I opened the door and turned them. I did this until they looked good, which to me was 3 times. During the last round I kept a close eye on the oven to make sure they would not burn. Some of the smaller slices took less time, so I took these out prior to the larger ones.
Then once they were done, which was roughly after 120 minutes, I took them out and I let them air-dry on the tray for a few days until it was time to make them into decorations. It isquite a time-consuming process, but just be patient and the result will be good.
To make the final hanging decor, I simply used a scissor to make a little hole and then used the same thread I had on the pinecones which I tied in a knot behind the hole to secure. Then, I made a loop on the top which I again tied into a knot so they can hang on the tree.
I am very happy with the result, and think they look great on my tree. Since I have a plastic tree it is nice to have natural touches on it, and I decided to mix my homemade pieces with white baubles I bought at Zara Home – you can find them here. They light up which you can turn on and off, and creates a very cozy atmosphere in the home.
Doing a bit of DIY is a great way to slow down and focus on the small things in the busy December period. It lets you unwind and zone out for a bit, which was just what I needed.
Have you made sustainable Christmas decorations this year?
// Photo credit: Ingrid Opstad