Glam Up Mother Nature for a Naturally Beautiful Holiday

savedbylove1_glamupmothernatureforanaturallybeautifulholidayA foraging trip outdoors starts the holidays off right. It’s a sure-fire way to pick some holiday spirit, and an even better way to save your money for gifts for your loved ones rather than spending it on decor.


Combine your store-bought sparkle with nature’s bounty for beautiful decorations that don’t break the bank. Low- to no-cost natural elements are the perfect addition to your decoration collection for decorating the mantle, tabletop and tree.


Turn collecting natural goodies into a scavenger hunt with the kids. Gather various sizes of pinecones, acorns, bare branches, evergreens and berries. If you don’t have any evergreens outside, you can stop anywhere fresh Christmas trees are sold and get the discarded lower branches for a low cost, or possibly for free. These work just fine to cut up for decorations. Finally, add in goodies from the grocery store like apples, popcorn, cranberries or citrus fruits. Now you’ve got the recipe for a pretty holiday home. It’s time to start decorating!


Nature on Display




Start with what you already own. Clear vases or jars, cake stands, baskets and plates turn into decorations with a bit of creativity.


Create an ornament display that is sure to become a focal point. Collect bare branches and dig into your ornament collection. Tying the baubles on bare limbs makes them stand out and really come to life. Do something as simple as these red balls on one branch, or collect several branches to place in a row of jars. You could even get a large multi-limbed branch to stand in a large floor vase.


You can also fill glass containers with pinecones and acorns. Add a bit of glam by dusting them with glitter or fake snow. Try tucking a few tiny ornaments in the glass container, too—look for a really interesting one to highlight, such as a tiny pair of ice skates or a darling little Santa.


Holiday Arrangement




Create a floral-shop worthy display with a combination of your natural found items and produce. This wonderfully scented decoration is easy to make. Gather up apples, oranges, whole cloves, pinecones and greenery. Select a container—a basket or bowl will work.


Begin by pushing the cloves into the oranges in any pattern you like. If your basket or bowl is very deep, stuff the bottom of it with some balls of paper. First, set in your oranges, toward the center. Arrange pinecones and apples around the oranges. Cut small pieces of greenery and tuck them in between the fruit to hide gaps or any paper that shows. Finish by accenting here and there with a bit of something bright. You can add a few tiny ornaments, colorful cranberries, sprigs of holly or a dusting of fake snow.


Tabletop Centerpiece




A low centerpiece is just the ticket for holiday dinners because you want to be able to see over it and enjoy conversations with family and friends. You can make a beautiful, simple one with your natural collection and some shiny ornament balls.


Collect pinecones, fall leaves, greenery, ornaments and a bit of paint. Check your paint stash for holiday shades of gold, silver, white, copper or red. Choose one you think compliments your ornaments. Paint the fall leaves and a few pinecones and allow the paint to dry. Leave some of the pinecones natural.


Use a flat plate or tray to hold your centerpiece. Snip evergreens in small pieces and arrange flat to cover the plate or tray. Arrange large pinecones in the center and then add the ornaments to the plate. Tuck tiny pinecones and the painted leaves around the large cones and balls.


Let It Shine




Holiday parties and family gatherings are a celebration and celebrations call for candles. Natural elements can come into play with candles. Here are a few ideas:


  • Place a few cranberries and snips of greenery in a jar. Add water and drop a floating candle in the top. Add glamour by nestling them in some shiny bead garland or silvery icicles.
  • Place fresh cranberries in a tall vase. Nestle a candle into the berries. Tie a pretty ribbon around the vase.
  • Arrange three to five tiny votive candles on a plate with a rim. Surround them with fresh cranberries, whole nuts and acorns.


Strings of Fun




Generations of families have enjoyed stringing popcorn on thread to decorate their tree. While you can certainly do just popcorn, it’s fun to give it a glamourous touch, like adding shiny gold jingle bells or a small ornament every so often. Don’t stop with just popcorn – you can string cranberries and even gummy candies!


After the holidays are over, don’t toss out the strings of popcorn and berries. Hang them on bushes in the yard and enjoy watching the birds have a winter feast.


As an organizational expert, Lea Schneider helps homeowners get organized, but also dabbles in decorating. She provides some great tips on using nature to decorate for the holidays. Visit the Home Depot to find a great selection of Christmas decorations.


50+ Christmas Ornaments to Make

50 Plus #Handmade #ChristmasOrnaments to Make @savedbyloves


If you are planning to have handmade Christmas ornaments adorning your tree this year, it is time to start making!  I have scoured the web to bring you my favorites to help you on your way.

Handmade Stitched Paper Christmas Ornaments @savedbyloves

These BoBunny stitched paper bird, tree and snowman ornaments are on the top of my list.  How adorable are they?  If you have a thing for stitched paper like I do, and these are right up your alley.

Handpainted Christmas Ornaments and 50+ roundup @savedbyloves

How about this precious hand painted Christmas penguin ornament at Little Gray Fox?  Do you just need him?  He makes me what to have a penguin themed tree and make like 50 of him.  The tutorial is detailed, and looks simple enough.  Oh happiness!

Recycled Magazine Page West Elm Knockoff ornament & 50+ Roundup @savedbyloves
My friend Beckie at Knock Off Decor showed me some West Elm recycled magazine page ornaments that I just had to hack last year.  These are great, eco-friendly holiday ornaments to use up those piles of magazines laying around.  If I were eligible, I would enter them in our Totally Green Crafts Contest Holiday Edition.  Wait a minute, you are eligible.  Wanna be in the running for over $600 in prizes?  Go for it!
Totally Green Crafts Contest
Christmas Tree Ornament by Carolyn's Homework
Now for these little frosted tree ornaments by Carolyn at Homework.  She has them in a beautiful Christmas vignette, but I kinda want to string them and hang them on my tree (move over, cute penguins).  See how she made them with salt!
Book Page Christmas Tree Ornament
This little book page Christmas Tree ornament from Mindi Made on Etsy doesn’t come with a tutorial, but I am inspired by it’s simplicity and whimsy!  Fits right into that green craft category for the eco minded.

On to the 50+ Round-up:

Make Aluminum Can Angel Ornaments




Make #Recycled Aluminum Can Angel Ornaments #ChristmasDecor #Upcycle @savedbyloves

 Need some great handmade Christmas gifts that won’t break the bank?  Today’s project is an adorable, virtually free Christmas ornament made from an aluminum can.  I was recently gifted a cute coke can angel, and of course had to hack it.  I came up with a template, which you can download and cut out to trace onto a can.  The smaller winged angel takes only one can, no glue, and is easy to make!  The version with the larger wings takes 2 cans, this Sizzix Angel Wings die, and super glue.

Make #Recycled Aluminum Can Angel Ornaments #ChristmasDecor #Upcycle @savedbyloves


12 oz Soda Can
Large Beads for head
Seed Beads for Halo
Craft Wire 20 Gauge
Wire Cutter
Jewelry Pliers
Scissors for cutting Aluminum
Angel template
Craft knife
Needle Tool or Bead Reamer
Masking Tape (optional)


Make #Recycled Aluminum Can Angel Ornaments #ChristmasDecor #Upcycle @savedbyloves

For the larger wings, Cut out the template without the wings, fold can into cone shape then super glue larger wings onto back of angel.

Make #Recycled Aluminum Can Angel Ornaments #ChristmasDecor #Upcycle @savedbyloves

To string your ornament for hanging on your tree, loop a piece of string through the halo and you are all set!

***As always, when cutting aluminum cans, be very careful.  They are not as sharp as I thought they would be when I first began working with them, but obviously they are sharper than paper.

Make #Recycled Aluminum Can Angel Ornaments #ChristmasDecor #Upcycle @savedbyloves

Make #Recycled Aluminum Can Angel Ornaments #ChristmasDecor #Upcycle @savedbyloves

For more projects to make from recycled cans, make sure you check out our 60+ Recycled Can projects roundup!  It will leave your recycling bin devoid of cans, and add to your upcycled handmade crafts for Christmas and year round gift giving.

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