When it comes to Christmas tree decorations, I am always drawn to natural, homemade or vintage and antique options. Something about a minimalist Christmas tree decorated with natural Christmas ornaments feels extra cozy and calming to me… and who doesn’t appreciate a little extra calm this time of year?
Listed below are a few ideas for how to decorate your own minimalist Christmas tree. Some of the natural Christmas ornaments are DIY projects, others are artisan made for purchase, all are incredibly festive!
Natural Christmas Ornaments
From DIY to made for purchase, below you will find my favorite all natural Christmas ornaments for your minimalist Christmas tree.
DIY Compostable Christmas Ornaments
Citrus Ornament Tutorial – Dried citrus slices make for one of the easiest DIY natural Christmas ornaments of all. The project requires only 2 materials (citrus fruit, and twine) and one child-safe threading tool (a bobby pin). Set aside an afternoon with your family to string a handful of these pretty citrus ornaments for your tree!
Salt Dough Ornaments Tutorial – If you’re motivated to bake your own ornaments this year, salt dough ornaments are a classic choice. If you have cookie cutters, twine, and basic baking ingredients these can be baked and strung over the course of an afternoon.
DIY Twig Ornaments – If you live in a neighborhood where it is easy to forage small twigs, these rustic ornaments are a beautiful natural option for decorating your tree. The main tool you will need here is a hot glue gun to stabilize the joints, otherwise it’s just twigs and twine!
Ornaments Made from Natural Elements
Another great item to forage for ornaments are pinecones! You can make your own pinecone ornaments by drilling holes in the tops of pine cones to thread with twine. Alternatively, you can purchase pre-strung pinecone ornaments below.
Fair trade carved ornaments like the hummingbird below (carved from a tagua nut) are also pretty options. Lastly you can purchase lightweight rattan lace ball ornaments and place them on your tree branches. These are very pretty in front of Christmas tree lights!
Natural Wood Ornaments
If you are less inclined to DIY your natural Christmas tree ornaments, then artisan-made wooden ornaments are another great natural option. Below are a number of beautiful wood carved ornaments for your minimalist Christmas tree.
Felted and Fair Trade Ornaments
I am an absolute sucker for a beautiful felted ornament. Felt ornaments are a nice way to bring color to your minimalist Christmas tree while maintaining an all natural look and feel. I also have a soft spot for fair trade fabric ornaments – especially ones in the shape of animals that my toddler son currently loves (right now we are all about the elephants!).
Aside from foraging your ornaments outside, choosing to purchase vintage and antique ornaments is your next best option for sustainable Christmas tree decor. Thrift shops, antique malls, and online resale shops like Ebay have incredible antique glass ornament options.
Minimalist Christmas Tree Garland
If you choose to decorate your tree with a garland, below are a handful of pretty, natural Christmas tree garland ideas.
Dried Pasta, Citrus Peel, or Popcorn Garlands
If you’re interested in making a compostable Christmas tree garland from food materials, here are some great options from Food52! My personal favorite idea is the pasta garland. It seems like the easiest (and tidiest) to DIY and easy to do with small kids: Food52 Compostable Christmas Tree Garland.
I love a wooden garland. Strings of wooden beads or pieces of driftwood are both beautiful options for natural Christmas tree garlands.
If you prefer a pre-strung, natural wood beaded garland, Crate & Barrel has pretty options.
For an affordable, non-DIY garland, burlap is a great alternative! It takes minutes to place on the tree, can be re-used year after year (unlike food-based garlands), and is extremely affordable. I think this is a nice option for those who are intimidated by too many Christmas DIY projects.
Last but not least is felt. I think there are a ton of pretty felt garlands (LOTS of felt pom pom garlands) but my favorites are less modern and more rustic and whimsical like the felt reindeer garland pictured below.
LED Christmas Tree Lights
Who doesn’t love the romantic glow of Christmas tree lights? If you choose to light your tree, your most sustainable option is to use the strings of lights that you already own and commit to turning them off when you aren’t at home and before you go to bed. Your second best option? LED lights that are long-lasting and energy-efficient.