Emma Sleep

Sustainable Christmas decor and festive decorating

It’s almost December and for many that marks the start of Christmas decorating at home. Christmas is a beautiful time of year but it can also be the time where people buy a whole lot of unnecessary things… which creates a whole lot of unnecessary waste. In our opinion, natural or eco-friendly Christmas decorations often look the best! So to encourage you to get foraging, crafting, repurposing and upcycling, we’ve compiled an epic round up of sustainable Christmas decor ideas.

Get inspired to save on waste (and money!) with this stylish and sustainable Christmas decorating inspo!

Related article: Low-waste Christmas gift wrapping
Related article: DIY Christmas hacks to decorate your home

Christmas vase

If you’re looking for a modern way to decorate for Christmas, look no further! Switch out your mini artificial Christmas tree for a tree in a vase instead! All you need is a big vase, some foraged branches (pine tree or bare branches are our faves) and a few cute Christmas ornaments. Sophisticated, subtle and sustainable!

plant centerpiece_Christmas decor
Image via Pinterest
tree branch in a vase_ Christmas decor
Add some cute mini Santa ornaments for a pop of colour! Image via Pinterest
minimalist vase _ Christmas decor
A simple and minimalist approach to Christmas decor! Image via Pinterest

Natural ornaments

Nothing says sustainable Christmas decor more than completely natural materials. Consider making our own foraged or handmade ornaments, such as the pinecone, dried orange slice and twig Christmas tree ornaments pictured below.

You can get so creative making your own natural Christmas ornaments. Plus, many of these smell like Christmas, adding to that festive feel in your home.

Fun and rustic ornaments to decorate your tree! Image via Pinterest
eco-friendly christmas ornaments
Image credit Hunker

Hanging wreath

Now, this is not the easiest to make but if you’re feeling ambitious and you want to elevate Christmas lunch or dinner — this is the way to do it.

Create your own Christmas themed chandelier with a hanging wreath. We love the branch and ornament wreaths pictured below or have plenty more DIY wreaths that would work equally as well in this article.

natural ornament wreath_ Sustainable Christmas decor
Homey and rustic Christmas wreath! Credit to Boselade
wreath chandelier
Look at how gorgeous this Christmas dinner set-up is! Photo via Karwei
hanging wreath_sustainable Christmas decor
Credit to Martha Stewart

Paper garland

What says sustainable Christmas decor like repurposing paper? There are so many ways you can reuse paper — from old books to wrapping paper — to create something new. And one of our favourite craft ideas is to create a gorgeous paper Christmas garland to hang on your tree, walls or fireplace.

star garland_sustainable christmas decor
This 3D origami star garland is a definite statement piece! Image via hobby craft
This paper star garland is an affordable and easy way to incorporate Sustainable Christmas decor into your home. DIY paper star garland by inspired by charm
What’s cuter than mini Christmas trees?! DIY paper trees from Alice & Lois

Candle wrap

Candles make everything look more Christmassy but there is no harm in giving them an extra festive touch by dressing them up a bit (literally!).

It’s time to turn average candles into amazing by wrapping them in some burlap, rosemary and tying cinnamon sticks to create the perfect cosy Christmas vibe. Place these in a Christmas vignette, use them as a centrepiece to create a low-cost Christmas table setting or gift them to friends and family.

candle table decor
This arrangement of white candles wrapped in rosemary and surrounded with mini apples is so dreamlike. DIY from Lily Ardor
How is this for incorporating natural elements? Cinnamon sticks totally elevate this plain white candle. DIY credit to FRONT ROE
burlap wrap candle_sustainble Christmas decor
Photo via Candlestock

DIY advent calendar

Build anticipation for Christmas with an advent calendar. And why stick to generic store bought advent calendars when you can make your own sustainable version that’s way more stylish, too! Using compostable craft boxes or wrapping paper like those pictured below has to be one of the most beautiful ways to display an advent calendar in your home.

advent calendar_sustainable christmas decor
Image via Swish + Company
wall advent calendar
Credit to studiovea
hanging presents
How excited would you be walking up and down these stairs? Image via Sostrene Grene

Glass bottle candle holder

Has a $1 glass bottle ever looked more beautiful? We think not! This elegant Christmas decor hack takes seconds to do and will set you back just a few dollars. Pick up some glass bottles (or reuse old wine bottles) and fill them with water and foliage, pop a candle on top and you’re done! Easy peasy and oh-so-gorgeous!

plants in glass bottle_ sustainable christmas decor
We can’t be the only ones who own these glass bottles from ikea, right? Photo via IKEA
glass bottle candle holders_ Sustainable Christmas decor
Very minimalist, very Scandinavian and very cute! Photo from Pinterest.
wine bottles and candles
The mismatched glass bottles and candles adds complexity and interest to your space. Image from Pinterest

Christmas terrarium

Give your old Christmas decor new life by making a Christmas themed terrarium! Essentially any lantern or large vase can be turned into a festive terrarium or glasshouse. Simply fill with artificial snow, small decor, ornaments, mini pinecones, fairy lights and all things Christmas.

A fabulous sustainable swap for artificial snow is regular table salt because it can be reused for natural cleaning around the home once Christmas is over. Best of all, you can also add essential oils to salt to make your Christmas terrarium smell amazing.

Check out more of our Christmas decorating hacks in this article.

How cute is this? We are obsessed! Image from bless’er house
holiday terrarium_sustainable Christmas decor
A Christmas winter wonderland in a mini house! Image via Hunker
mini terrarium_sustainable christmas decor
Christmas greenhouse via Foxy Flowers
Image credit Foxy Flowers

Wooden bead garland

Wooden beads are timeless pieces that you can use every year and even throughout the year. They are a great option for neutral colour lovers!

christmas tree garlang_sustainable christmas decor
Photo from mycreativedays
bead garland
Image credit Studio McGee

Cork crafts

OK, before we lose you, we swear this can look stylish! Forget kids crafts of turning old corks into snowmen and consider these sophisticated and sustainable Christmas decor ideas instead. Cork Christmas ornaments, cork wreaths, cork garlands… the limit is your imagination.

We also love it when people write on their corks, remembering the occasion that bottle was enjoyed or something funny that happened. It encourages some pretty memorable story telling reminiscing all the dinner parties, wine nights and bottomless brunches throughout the year!

Did you know you can also add essential oils to corks? Sprinkle a few drops onto your cork crafts and welcome the smell of Christmas into your home.


I’ve collected champagne corks for years! A lot of them have special dates on them. They make the prettiest garland DIY! #homesweetjones #christmasdecor

♬ Maestro – Hans Zimmer
cork wreath_sustainable christmas decor
Photo via Etsy
cork snowflake
Cute cork snowflake that anyone can recreate. Image credit to Etsy

Oyster shell ornaments

It’s not an Aussie Christmas without seafood! Who knew oyster shells could look so gorgeous and luxe? These oyster shell decorations are perfect for Christmas by the beach or just an added coastal vibe for those wishing to be by the sea.

Oyster shell garland
Image via Faire
christmas oyster shells
Photo from Etsy

Sustainable Christmas stockings

Christmas stockings can look pretty tacky with all that red velvet and white faux fur trim. A stylish alternative is to opt for natural materials or if you’re crafty, sewing your own from offcuts of fabric. These also make a gorgeous reusable gift wrap idea, especially popular if you’re gifting a bottle of wine!

linen stockings
So many colour options available with linen stockings. Image credit The Blanket Thief
christmas stockings
Photo from Studio McGee

Upcycled Christmas baubles

Reduce your carbon footprint by upcycling your old or outdated Christmas baubles for a more modern and trendy look. You can paint, decoupage or wrap leftover ribbon trimmings around them to give them a new life.

concrete bauble
Simply adding a tablespoon of baking powder to paint will give regular paint this clay effect. Image credit Aboderie
upcycled baubles
Photo credit to Aboderie
modern baubles_sustainable christmas decor
Image via Pinterest

Honeycomb paper ornaments

Plastic is out, paper is in! These 3D honeycomb paper ornaments are a beautiful alternative to mass-produced plastic ornaments. Perfect for minimalist or Japandi Christmas styling, you can find them in every colour of the rainbow!

paper decor
These honeycomb paper ornaments add so much interest to your space! Image via These Four Walls
honeycomb paper ornament
Image credit to H&M
grey paper ornament
Photo via ellos
paper baubles
Image credit to Italian Bark


Add a pop of colour to your space with some super cute Christmas embroidery! Talk about giving your Christmas styling a sweet and sentimental touch, which is always welcomed during Christmas time. This could also be a fun Christmas activity to with the family.

tree embroidery
Super cute Christmas tree embroidery on Etsy
xmas embroidery
Image credit to midgins’

What was your favourite sustainable Christmas decor idea in this article? Are there any other eco-friendly Christmas decorating ideas you’ve found that should make the list? Let us know in the comments down below!

Find more Christmas inspo here

nut cracker_sustainable Christmas decor
Beautiful nutcracker embroidery from Etsy

Disclaimer: This post was first published in November 2022 and continues to be updated. It contains some affiliate links. This means that when you click on a link and purchase something from that site, we may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Gina Beschorner Style Curator

Welcome to Style Curator, your destination for daily interiors inspiration, styling tips, reno advice, home tours and DIY projects!

We're on a mission to help you create a home you love. And with plenty of tips and tricks, tutorials and other home inspo, we give you all the tools to achieve it!

I’m Gina, Founder and Interior Designer, and you can read more about Style Curator here.


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