Simple Christmas Decorations to Brighten Your Space Leave a comment

Looking for ways to add beautiful Christmas decor from nature to your space? Look no further! These simple Christmas decorations are both easy to make and beautiful and will add festive cheer to any space. 

simple Christmas decorations with pine cones, scrabble and cranberries

To create beautiful and striking holiday decorations, you don’t have to be a decorating wizard. When I decorate for Christmas, I’m not getting any dollar store finds, fake trees, or bows. And you certainly don’t need glitter! Nature gives us all we need to decorate with, from gorgeous evergreens to bright berries.

Nature is instinctively beautiful. I always use it for inspiration for all kinds of decor year-round. So, when making simple Christmas decorations, it just makes sense to turn to the outdoors. Why wouldn’t you!?

So grab your boots and some pruners, and craft up some rustic Christmas decorations from nature. You’ll get some much-needed garden therapy while dressing up your home for the holidays. I promise this is a task that will give you rosy cheeks and a festive home.

Jump ahead to…

Simple Christmas Decoration Ideas

When I’m decorating for the holidays, my main goal is always to incorporate the beauty of nature as much as possible. It makes my home feel so festive and cozy with touches of greenery, wood, and brightly coloured berries.

Nature has provided us with many unique and simple Christmas decorating ideas. Next time you are on a walk, just look around and start gathering inspiration! Meanwhile, to help you get started, here are my favourite rustic Christmas decorations from nature.

1. Floating Cranberries

Floating cranberries and evergreens in a large footed vase make for a simple and festive holiday table decoration. You can add clippings from attractive outdoor plants like holly and succulents (as I have done in this festive holiday flower arrangement), or you can simply add a few floating candles and light them up.

This piece will last for a few weeks as long as you change out the water when it starts to turn pink (which is every 4 days or so). The cranberries themselves will last many water changes. These berries are used to being in the water as they are bog plants. Therefore, they don’t decompose quickly.

floating candle with berries in front of Christmas tree as a rustic Christmas decoration
You can make this in ten minutes using clippings from your Christmas tree!

2. Rustic and Natural Christmas Candle Centerpiece

With just a few candles, a wooden box, and some fresh evergreen clippings, you can put together an incredibly elegant centrepiece for your holiday table in a few minutes. I always get compliments on this centrepiece, making my table extra festive.

White pillar candles in fresh greenery as natural Christmas decoration
For a more eco-friendly version, use balled-up chicken wire instead of floral foam.

3. Wood Slice Ornaments

One year, I got very sentimental about our Christmas tree. Kiddo and I had gone to the Christmas tree farm and cut it down ourselves. By the time Christmas had ended and the tree was all dried up, I didn’t want to say goodbye.

So I turned the tree into these wooden ornaments! I made wood slices from the trunk, and then once they dried, I used a wood-burning pen to make designs. They turned into some pretty cool, natural Christmas decorations. You can do the same, making any design you set your mind on.

4. Re-Style Your Poinsettias

Taking a little bit of time to re-pot your poinsettia once you get it home makes a huge difference. These blooms can be quite chic if given a chance!

Plant it in a decorative ceramic pot, something plain, or even a salad bowl—anything other than leaving it in that shiny foil wrapping it comes in will make it look SO much more sophisticated.

poinsettia in a vase on a table
You’d be amazed how quick the transformation can be.

5. Decorating with Fresh Wreaths

Making a fresh evergreen wreath is not that difficult, but it does take a little bit more time than these other projects. That being said, it’s a task that’s well worth it—your guests (and yourself) will be greeted with a lovely, fresh-scented evergreen at the door.

If you’ve never made one before, don’t be intimidated. I’ll walk you through exactly how to make a fresh wreath here.

evergreen wreath on front door as natural Christmas decoration
You can make a wreath with whatever greenery you have on hand.

Once you have a wreath, here’s an add-on that will really make it shine: wrap a string of decorative pinecone lights with a battery pack, and flick the switch.

You can also change the look of your wreath in moments by swapping out the lights. Here are some string lights with stars or snowflakes that would also work well!

decorative pine cone light on a wreath
Make sure any lights you add are battery-powered.

6. Festive Outdoor Planter Box

It’s easy to put together this eye-catching holiday window box planter with whatever decorative branches and greenery you have in the yard. You can even bring it indoors and display it on the mantle if you like. Either way, this simple Christmas decoration is beautiful to look at.

I’ve also made several of these for hostess gifts in years past for holiday parties. It’s truly the gift that keeps giving.

festive holiday window box with a wood planter and some fresh greenery as simple Christmas decorations
Magnolia leaves with their copper bottoms are beautiful additions.

7. Cedar Garland

Garlands are an easy way to turn your home into a winter wonderland. The best part? You can use trimmings from your own trees in your garden and neighbourhood to do so.

For my garland, I used cedar. Not only does it smell amazing, but it’s one of the best pieces of greenery to use indoors. It can last around two weeks inside before drying out and much longer outdoors. The effect of cedar is a draping, whimsical garland.

cedar Christmas garland with large pine cones and fairy lights as a rustic Christmas decoration
I decorate my cedar garland with large pinecones and Mason jars with fairy lights.

8. Miniature Garden

If you have a miniature garden, deck it out for the holidays!

To trim a tiny tree, you can make small wreaths out of evergreen clippings. I also like to use string ribbons and beads and even fasten little festive bows! See this post for instructions and more ideas.

Christmas Miniature Garden
Make a miniature land on your patio planters.

9. Cinnamon Ornaments

Chances are, you or a small human in your life have made salt dough ornaments. These cinnamon ornaments are a similar take, instead using the spicy and festive smell and colour of cinnamon to decorate your tree.

Using just three ingredients, you can make these simple Christmas decorations. They smell amazing, gently scenting your Christmas tree year after year.

10. Pinecone Trees

Make a table centrepiece by topping a few glass candle holders with pinecones. Set them on a dish and add a few clippings of evergreens, and you’ll have a centrepiece for a buffet table or atop the fireplace.

Bonus points for flocking the pinecones with a bit of white craft paint on the edges to add a little extra something.

11. Scented Pinecones

This rustic Christmas decoration is multi-purpose. Not only does it look nice, but these pinecones can deliver all kinds of aromatherapy benefits to your home with oils.

Yes, you can use pinecones as a decorative essential oil diffuser. Follow these instructions and lay your scented pinecones out on a decorative dish with some whole spices (cinnamon sticks, star anise, nutmeg) for festive decor that smells like Christmas!

Scented pine cone and natural festive spices as a centerpiece
Cinnamon sticks and star anise double as decor and scent.

12. Stars, Balls, and Evergreens

Decorate the holiday table by setting a few of the smaller branches you pruned from your Christmas tree on the tablecloth, and add a few ornaments like this birch star and a few red glass balls.

Now, you have table decor for a holiday dinner or buffet. I also have used these on top of the fireplace mantle for quick and simple Christmas decorations.

tablecloth with holiday decor including evergreen red glass ball and a birch star
A simple layout can make a big impact.

13. Decorate with Scrabble Tiles

I love Scrabble tiles for their simple wooden texture topped with letters. They are the definition of simplicity itself!

Set up festive words with Scrabble tiles amid your display. Try FaLaLa, Merry Merry, or Xmas Time for good use of the “8-point X”.

Simple Christmas Scrabble decorations with pine cones and greenery
Don’t forget to add your Scrabble tiles back to the game afterward!

14. Pinecone Spheres

If you find yourself with 20 minutes, some pinecones, and a hot glue gun, you can make these pinecone spheres as well. They take more than a few minutes, but it still isn’t a difficult project. See how to make them here. These are great tools to keep in your decor arsenal toolbelt.

Pinecone spheres as rustic Christmas decorations
Pinecone spheres look great sitting atop a fireplace mantle alongside a garland.

15. Terrarium Ornaments

It doesn’t get much more natural than a literal living plant. These terrarium ornaments were born when I asked myself how to incorporate living plants into my Christmas tree.

I filled my ornaments with moss, air plants, pine cones, clay mushrooms, and more. You can fill them with all kinds of treasures for a very personal and simple Christmas decoration.

handmade terrarium ornament
Don’t add any plants that require soil.

16. Christmas Wreath Candle

I make tons of wreaths, but this Christmas wreath candle, in particular, is one I always recommend to those who want an easy project. Since this wreath doesn’t hang, the construction is much quicker.

In terms of supplies, all you need are some small branches and a floral foam ring. You can use up all the leftover small branches from the other projects on this list before making this Christmas wreath candle centrepiece!

natural Christmas candle ring decoration
You can make this candle ring with leftover greenery from your wreath.

17. Frozen Garden Candles

I love this quick and simple project for decorating the outdoors. These frozen garden candles look wonderful on the porch or steps leading to the front door if you’re having a Christmas party.

They instantly set the mood, and your guest will marvel at the beauty of these unique yet easy-to-make ice candles.

Freeze natural elements into these ice candles for a gorgeous display
Ice lanterns are the perfect way to greet guests outside at your Christmas party.

18. Bleached Pinecone Wreath

While I love a fresh foraged leaf, there’s something so elegant about this bleached pinecone wreath. Pinecones are abundant where I live, and I make many pinecone crafts with them. By bleaching them, you change their look completely. They go from rustic to natural chic quickly!

19. Copycat Planter Ornaments

I couldn’t believe how expensive some ornaments were at the home store. They already use so many of these natural Christmas décor ideas but charge an arm and a leg for it! So I set out to recreate some planter ornaments I saw, and the results are not only stunning but easy peasy to replicate.

holiday planter ornaments
Follow my wooden ornaments tutorial, and instead of adding ribbon, add a wooden stake.

Eco-Friendly Christmas Decorations

When you’re making your own decorations, it’s easy to make them eco-friendly. My favourite way to keep things green is to use green materials! Yes, plants can be used to decorate your whole house, like wreaths, garlands, window boxes, candle displays, flower arrangements, and even ornaments. Just look at all the projects above!

At the end of the season, you can compost the whole thing.

When it comes to the supplies, try to reuse as many as possible. For instance, twine can go in the compost, but wire can’t, so try to save the longer pieces to be used again.

I avoid glitter when I can, as it is a microplastic that can contribute to ocean, air, and soil pollution.

For other décor bits, like ornaments or ribbon, try to reuse and recycle when you can. Opt for ornaments you can use year after year. Try to buy used options when possible to give décor a second life!

plant gift wrapping ideas
I decorate my plants with greenery instead of bows.

Frequently Asked Questions About Natural Christmas Decorations

How do you make a room look festive without a tree?

While I wish every room could have a tree, the reality is we don’t all have the budget and rooms for trees! Even without a tree, you can incorporate greenery in other ways. Try to add festive centrepieces to the tables in the room, such as a coffee table, side table, dining table, kitchen island, and more.

I always love to include garland. Wrap it around railings (as long as it’s not an accessibility issue), atop fireplace mantles, and on TV stands to make it green and lively.

Beyond Christmas decor from nature, you can temporarily swap out key pieces in the room for Christmas-themed items. Remove wall hangings and replace them with Christmas ones instead. Swap out textures like pillows and blankets for ones in festive colours like red, green, gold, and white. And even without a tree, you can hang ornaments in creative places like lampshades, houseplants, chairs, and more!

How can I decorate my Christmas tree with no money?

Every year, I love to include homemade ornaments on my tree. And just because they’re homemade doesn’t mean they need to look tacky or underwhelming! Some of my favourite ornaments include terrariums, botanical prints, acorns, wood-burned pictures, and more. You can see some of my homemade ornaments here.

How do you decorate a small space for Christmas?

Aim for simple yet effective natural Christmas decorations. Rather than try to cram extra stuff in, make temporary replacements instead. This could mean tucking away one knick-knack or décor piece for a Christmas-inspired one instead.

Alternatively, you can look at what you already have and see how you can enhance it. For instance, frame a candle with a wreath or put your houseplants in themed pots.

The most underused space in decorating is vertical. Opt for a tall and skinny tree like this Grinch tree. Hang handmade garlands along the walls. Put wreaths on doors, inside and out. Don’t forget to look up to see where you can place decorations!

Nine foot tall living Whoville Grinch Tree

What are sustainable alternatives to Christmas lights?

One of the best ways to cover the exterior of an entire house outdoors is by using a projector or a flood light. Rather than string together a bunch of lights, you can use one or two bulbs to colour the house.

Another great option is to change the lightbulb of your porch light with a festive colour.

For a more traditional look, you can opt for solar-powered fairy lights. They might not be as bold as regular Christmas lights, but they keep the festive spirit. Alternatively, LED lights are the best option for saving energy out of regular Christmas lights.

Insides, you can also decorate the tree with a homemade garland, like one made of stars, dried oranges, or chestnuts.

There you have it! There are so many cute, simple ways to incorporate Christmas decor from nature into your home this year. Which one is your favourite?

More Christmas Inspiration

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