Using the Beauty of Nature to Decorate

Photo credit: tessroo from

If you are like me, you prefer a more natural approach to holiday decorating. This means that the spirit you spread across your home comes from natural sources. I would like to share some of my most favourite ways to decorate for the holidays without using a stitch of tinsel or gaudy store-bought decorations.

Each decorations will read like a recipe with the list of 'ingredients' or supplies at the top and then the instructions for assembly or how-to at the bottom.

Cinnamon Pine Cones

  • Large pinecones
  • Cinnamon (ground)
  • Spray Paint (Silver, Gold or White)

Collect large  pinecones from outside and allow to dry out inside for at least a couple of days or longer. They will open up and change shape as they dry. Once dried, put them into a large plastic bag that zips shut and shake them around with a full bag of cinnamon. Shake off the excess cinnamon and spray them with the paint colour of your choice. You may like to spray just lightly on the tips or perhaps completely for a more glamorous effect. Place them into a glass bowl for display.

Winter Branches

  • Long, slender tree branches (Willow is great for this)
  • White spray paint
  • Clear mini Christmas lights (optional)

Collect a few long, slender branches and bring them indoors to dry out. If you are pressed for time, this step can be skipped. Lay them on newspaper and spray lightly with white spray paint. Allow them to dry as per the instruction on the can and display in a large urn or tall vase. String a 1 or 2 strands of clear mini lights for a glowing, minimalist tree.

Nut Jar

  • Walnuts (1 scoop)
  • Hazelnuts (1 scoop)
  • Chesnuts (1 scoop)
  • Cranberries (1 bag)

Pour all nuts and cranberries into a large mixing bowl. Stir until they are mixed evenly and transfer to a very tall vase or clear jar with lid. Makes a striking centerpiece!

Orange Ornaments

  • Oranges (1 bag)
  • Raffia (or other natural looking ties)

Cut the oranges into round slices and place on a baking sheet. Bake in oven at 300°F for 30-45 minutes or until they look dried and most of the water has evaporated from them. Cut a length of raffia and weave it through three orange slices. There will likely be places where the fruit has dried and separated itself from the peel upon baking. Tie the raffia into a bow and hang on the tree for a wonderful orange-scented tree! Each orange will make roughly 1 ornament if you would like the slices to be the same size in each ornament.