Biodegradable Christmas Decorations

Biodegradable Christmas Decorations

To reduce the amount of unnecessary plastic in the house, I decided to try my hand at making some biodegradable Christmas decorations out of food items you may have around the kitchen. Below are a few examples, but you can really run with this idea of biodegradable Christmas decorations. Try experimenting with cinnamon sticks and star anise decorations, or creating an orange pomander by sticking cloves in an orange, drying in a low oven as above and hang from the tree with ribbon. The best thing about this approach is there is no wondering where to store all the decorations until next year, you can just throw them in the compost! Just remember to remove any wire first and recycle or keep for next year. A natural, fun and cheap way to decorate your home.

Citrus Baubles 

These work really well in front of fairy lights*, as the lights glisten through the segments creating a stained glass window effect. As you are drying them out, the citrus perfume fills your house with a lovely Christmas scent, perfect for getting you into the Christmas spirit! A very cheap and easy decoration which gives a wonderful effect.

I used orange and lemon slices but you can choose a selection of citrus fruit to create these decorations such as grapefruit or lime. I think blood oranges would look beautiful! The amount of fruit you use depends on the size of your Christmas tree. I had a tiny Christmas tree so I only needed to use 1 orange and lemon.

*The fairy lights aren’t edible, I did buy them.

 

Equipment: Either ribbon, thin wire, string or strong cotton. Needle or scissors to make the hole for the string to hang the decorations. Oven.

Ingredients: A selection of oranges, lemons or other citrus fruit. As a guide, I cut about 10 slices per fruit.

  • Pre-heat your oven to about 160oC.
  • Slice about 1.5cm off the top & bottom of the fruit and discard (or save for the zest for another meal).
  • With a sharp knife, start slicing from end to end, trying to keep the slices between 0.5 – 1cm thick. Too thin and the fruit will burn, too thick and they won’t dry out.
  • Place the segments on a grill tray in the oven and leave for 2-3 hours, turning occasionally.
  • Watch carefully after 2 hours. If the fruit begins to brown drop the temperature to about 125oC.
  • The fruit should become dry but malleable with no moisture left within the fruit after about 3 hours.
  • Pierce a hole through the segment using a needle or scissors and thread your ribbon, wire or string through a tie to create a loop. This will make it easy to hang your decorations on your tree.

Popcorn tinsel

Another cheap but effective decoration for your tree is popcorn tinsel. If you buy the corn and pop it yourself it will last longer than if you get microwave popcorn which has already been salted. The salt dries the popcorn out and discolours it after a while. A way to make your tinsel even more festive is to add a cranberry every few popcorn pieces, however I didn’t have cranberries at the time so mine is just plain.

Equipment: Strong cotton or thin wire. Needle.

Ingredients: Popping corn, fresh cranberries (optional).

  1. Add a tablespoon of oil in a large pan with a lid and place on a medium heat on the stove.
  2. Add the popping corn  (I used around 70g for a garland of around 2m*)
  3. Place a lid on the pan and wait until the corn stops popping, or at least until there is about 10 second gaps between each pop.
  4. Thread the cotton onto the needle and tie a large knot at the end of the thread.
  5. Pierce a hole in the  popcorn with the needle and thread onto the cotton.
  6. Once the garland is long enough, tie at the end and place around the tree.

Cranberry beads

These look like little wooden beads and are really effective to add a lovely deep Christmas red to your tree. You can freeze any cranberries which are left over, or make some homemade cranberry sauce for your Christmas dinner. Get some recipe ideas here.

Cranberry beads

These look like little wooden beads and are really effective to add a lovely deep Christmas red to your tree. You can freeze any cranberries which are left over, or make some homemade cranberry sauce for your Christmas dinner. Get some recipe ideas here.

Equipment: Strong cotton or thin wire. Needle.

Ingredients: Fresh cranberries

  1. Thread the cotton onto the needle and tie a large knot at the end of the thread.
  2. Pierce a hole through the cranberry using the needle and thread onto the cotton.
  3. Once the garland is long enough, tie at the end and place around the tree.
Hi I'm Danni. I love to cook simple and healthy recipes. Food fuels my training for whatever challenge I have signed up to next. I also love to travel. Read about my escapades here.
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