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Friday, December 8, 2017

Natural Christmas Decoration Ideas

The Christmas season is in full swing in the Blair household!
For the first time in a few years, we have our own space, and can really realize our own interpretation of Christmas.  For a couple years we lived with a friend, and she was always super generous in letting me put out my Christmas decor, but it's a whole different feeling when it's in your own home.  Add to the excitement of it, that we're finally in Slovenia after nearly 2 years of talking about it - the magic is definitely there.

In the age of Joanna Gaines, DIY and hipsters, it's not revolutionary of me to say that I love natural Christmas decor, but there you have it!  I like looking at 50s-60s inspired Christmas decor, and trees busting with shiny-brite-style ornaments - in fact I have a couple boxes of shiny-brite reproductions from a dear sweet woman who loves me as her own, and they are precious to me.

But in this season of my life, natural beauty is what is really speaking to me.  One of the reasons, I'm sure is that Slovenia is the "Green Capital" of Europe.  People here are really into organic, local, natural, etc.  It's basically hipster heaven.
Another reason probably, is the easy access to a local market.  And then, of course there's just the esthetic of it.  So, this holiday season I've made a few natural Christmas decor things, and thought I'd share them with you, in case you feel inspired to do the same!

One of the best things about this, is you need basically the same 5-6 items for all of these.  Here's what you're going to want to stock up on:

Star anise
Cinnamon sticks
Pop corn
Holly, or any other red berries

1. Dried Orange Slices

A couple weeks ago, I wrote a post about making a dried orange slice garland.  The instructions are all there, and we had lots of fun making them.  My garland actually fell the day after I posted about it, so I just kept the slices, and ended up using them later.

2. Okay, a couple things I bought

So, as I mentioned, having a local market is a dream come true.  The produce is local, the flowers are as well, the prices are so affordable, and there is always about 5 ladies selling wreaths they've made.  So, about a month ago, I found some red berries.  The lady selling them told be to spray them with hair spray, and they'd keep.  That didn't quite pan out, unfortunately, but luckily I like how they look dried too.  The next week I bought some branches of cotton, and added them to it.  I love how it looked!

Yesterday we went down again, and I totally fell in love with this wreath.  The sweet man we bought it from gave Aidan a tulip, which our flower-loving-boy is cherishing!

This wreath just screams Christmas, and I can't get over it.  Something like this would be easy enough to make, you would need different types of greenery, berries and pinecones, and you're good to go!

3. Cranberry and Pop Corn Garland

What you'll need:
- Cranberries
- Pop corn
- Fishing line
- A large needle

There's really not to much to say, except to choose a cranberry/pop corn ratio that appeals to you.  I found 2 pop corn kernels to one cranberry to be the prettiest!  This is a really fun one to do together with the littles!  It's a great way to teach patterns!

4. Rosemary/Orange/Cinnamon Ornament

For this you'll need:
- Cinnamon stick
- Rosemary sprigs
- Dried orange slice
- Twine

I tried to think of the yummiest Christmas smells, and put them together.  Our apartment doesn't have many shelves, or places to hang things, so I wanted something that I could hang on our window handles.

So, I arranged about three sprigs of rosemary, with one cinnamon stick, then wrapped it together with twine.  I attached an orange slice, to where it hung off a little, and then made a hook.

5. Potpourri

Okay, when you hear potpourri, I know you're thinking of some great aunt, and a bowl of dusty dried pieces of flower in a bowl.  BUT!  This is not that.  I found a couple recipes on pinterest, and added them together to make something with things that I had, and liked the thought of.  So, here is what you need:

- About 10 cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 4 star anise
- An orange, cut in slices
- Rosemary sprigs

Other things you can add:
- A dash of vanilla
- Pine branches
- Apple slices
- Cranberries
- Lemon slices/lemon zest

You put it all in a pot, then you fill the pot with water, and let it simmer on a low setting on your stovetop for the day.  It smells divine!  You do have to check on it every once in a while, and add more water, but it'll last throughout the day.  I love how it filled the house with the warmth of Christmas smells.  It's a great way to use ingredients that are about to go bad, like too-soft oranges, or rosemary that is starting to brown.

 6. Natural "stuff" arrangement

To me, there's hardly anything more traditionally Christmas that clove studded oranges!  We always made them in school, and Aidan and I have made them every year of his short life.  So, we made some again this year, and then placed other things in the bowl, such as star anise, cinnamon sticks, rosemary, pine branches, red berries, cloves, dried orange slices... basically everything I had left.

It's simple, yet festive, and of course smells good!

Also, that beautiful runner you see there?  Yes, my amazing mama made that for me for Christmas, and yes, I'm crazy spoiled!
It's just gorgeous, and I love-love-love it!

So, there you have it!  Some ideas for easy natural Christmas decor this year.  Do you have any fun, family-friendly, DIY Christmas traditions?  I'd love to hear about them!

Have a wonderful holiday season, dear friends!

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