5 DIY Zero Waste Christmas Wreath Ideas

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5 DIY Zero Waste Christmas Wreath Ideas


As activities go, you can’t get much more festive than creating your own Christmas wreath.

Here's how to make your own eco-friendly Christmas wreath with these zero waste ideas. Take out your twine and get ready for some eco crafting.

Phoebe Young

Fri 6 Aug 2021

The most wonderful time of the year or… the most wasteful? Like Halloween, Christmas can be full of plastic.

There's the disposable plastic cracker toys, the decorations, the gift wrapping and the larder full of food.

A Christmas wreath might seem like a great green alternative to tinsel or snow in a can. Isn’t it just a pretty doughnut of leaves?

Unfortunately, many shop-bought wreaths are green in colour only.

If the whole thing isn’t made of plastic, their twigs and branches will often be stuck into styrofoam, mounted on plastic, or covered in glitter.

Here are some great, eco-friendly Christmas wreath ideas for making a totally ‘new’, upcycled festive decoration.

They’re easy, they’re eco and they’re a great excuse for a day of boozy, cosy Christmas crafting.

The cherries on top of this Christmas cake are that these creations will either last for years or will break down in the compost.

Without further ado, let’s deck the halls with these alternative Christmas wreaths.

A Christmas wreath the pinecones

1. DIY Deconstructed Christmas Wreath

This one is pretty self-explanatory, but it is a classic nonetheless. It'll also look stunning next to your sustainable Christmas tree!

You will need:

1. Wrap up warm and take a walk around your local green area. Collect as much foliage as you can find.

Try to gather up a variety of different branches, greenery and berries if they’re available. Malleable pieces will be the easiest to bend and weave into your wreath.

2. Take your wire coat hanger and shape it into a circle as well as you can. It doesn’t matter if it’s a bit ‘quirky’. Bend the hook down into a loop and twist it into a stem at the top for hanging.

3. If you have some twine to hand, then wrap it around this stem for a bit of extra grip and a softer look. This will help make it more sturdy if you're hanging it on your front door.

Deconstructed Christmas wreath

Get creative with the natural materials you find

4. Take your most substantial pieces of foliage first. Wrap them around your metal circle and secure them with twine if necessary.

Just continue to build up your wreath in this way! It will become easier to poke in bits of foliage as it grows.

If you want to give it a little something extra then you could make some dried orange slices.

These are great for all kinds of other eco-friendly Christmas decorations and go really well with the green of a wreath. They smell divine too.

Pierce a slice, thread it onto some twine or ribbon and tie it to your wreath as a finishing touch.

close up of a dried garland wreath

If you want to give it a little something extra then you could make some dried orange slices.

Cookie Cutter Wreath

This is a very versatile wreath. The beauty of it is that it can be dismantled when you're taking down the decorations, and returned to its original form and used for making cookies again!

We got the inspiration for this craft from BBC Good Food, and have given it a few eco-friendly flourishes to make sure it is fully sustainable.

If you want a clearer idea of what the final product will look like, there are some great images here and here.

If you are giving a baking loving buddy some cookie cutters for Christmas, then this is also a great way to present them.

You will only need:

  • A set of cookie cutters. Ideally, it’s best to have at least 20 made up of different shapes and sizes
  • Twine, string or ribbon.

1. To assemble your wreath, lay your cookie cutters out on the table. Arrange them into a circle and try to get the corners and curves as closely together and interlocked as possible.

2. Take small pieces of twine and tie your cutters together.

3. Go crazy with the garnishes- add in some foliage, dried berries, popcorn garlands, ribbons, orange slices, pine cones or anything else you have to hand!

We recommend only getting this one together after you’ve got your Christmas baking out of the way.

Three cookie cutter shapes

First lay your cookie cutters out on the table

Cork Collection Wreath

You know all those bottle corks you’ve collected over the years without ever really knowing why? You can see where we’re going with this.

We drew on My Turn For Us as the inspiration for this wreath. Check out Evelyn's post for further details and great pictures.

Here is our eco edit of the steps you need to take and the swaps you need to make.

If you aren’t a collector of inanimate objects and don’t possess your own stash of corks, ask around. Someone you know is bound to have been stockpiling.

If you’re friends and relatives aren’t big drinkers, pubs often keep a collection.

This wreath requires a little bit more equipment and is slightly more fiddly than the others.

Still, it is a great way to showcase the mementoes of evenings spent in good company.

You will need:

  • A metal coat hanger
  • Thick rope
  • Eco-friendly glue
  • A collection of corks
  • Christmas foliage and berries
  • Twine
Pot of corks

You know all those bottle corks you’ve amalgamated over the years...?

1. The initial process is the same as for our first wreath. Take your coat hanger, bend it into a ‘wreath shape’. Make the hook into a loop so that it is easy to hang and wrap some twine around it.

2. Next, begin to wind the rope around your coat hanger in a tight coil. Glue each loop to itself as you go so that you have a thick, secure base upon which you can stick your corks. Leave your circle until it is completely dry.

3. Once it has hardened, simply start to stick your corks to the base of the wreath.

Start off with the corks you like the least because these will be less visible once they are underneath the special ones on top.

Build up your wreath in layers, leaving each one to dry. Use your artistic license!

You could go for a more higgledy-piggledy effect like this, or a neater look like this.

If you want, put some final Christmassy touches to the wreath by adding your festive garnishes.

Where Can You Find Eco-Friendly Glue? It's A Sticky Subject...

Glue isn't typically the most eco-friendly substance.

Luckily, in this era of conscious consumerism, there are alternatives to your classic school PVA, which will keep these crafts as low waste as possible!

There are also several recipes for how you can make your own if you want to really have a DIY day.

A row of corks lined up

Build up your wreath in layers, leaving each one to dry

Upcycled Christmas Card Wreath

Don’t have a cork collection? Don’t worry. Fish that old box of Christmas cards out from under the bed!

We got the idea for this craft from Mollie Makes, and there are some lovely examples of what these wreaths can look like here.

You will need:

  • A collection of old cards- Christmas cards are ideal of course, but any will do!
  • Some ethical glue
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • A bucket, or another wreath-sized circular object (to use as a template)
  • A pencil
  • Wire, twine or ribbon

1. Take your bucket, place it top down onto your cardboard and draw around its rim.

2. Flip it over, place the base inside your circle and draw around this.

If you don’t have a bucket or anything else you can substitute, it really doesn’t matter! You don’t need a perfect circle, so it is fine to draw one out freehand.

3. Cut this out with your scissors. Fix something to the top of your circle that will act as a means of hanging your wreath- a loop of wire, twine or ribbon for example.

4. Next, take a scrap of card and draw a Christmassy design on it. A simple holly leaf works really well. Cut it out, and you have your template.

Selection of Christmas cards

Fish that old box of cards out from under the bed!

5. Now it’s time to get that Christmas playlist going in earnest, bring out the (vegan) Baileys and set to.

Place your template on each of your old cards, draw around it, and cut out all your leaves (angels, or stars etc).

6. You can make your wreath as packed or as minimal as you like, but once you have a nice selection of Christmas card cut-outs start to stick them to your cardboard circle.

It’s best to do them in rows and overlap them, like this wreath.

Keep going until you are pleased with your wreath, and be sure to save up this year's cards for another one next year.

There are all sorts of other wreaths you can make out of your old collections of ephemera!

Why not try making a Vintage lightbulb wreath? Or, if you live by the coast, make use of the driftwood!

Cards being measured and cut

Cut out all your leaves angels, or stars

Buy A Sustainable Wreath

This is really a cheat DIY wreath in that the only ‘D’ element is that you go shopping and ask a few questions!

We don’t all have the time or inclination to sit down and craft at this busy time of year.

If this is the case for you, and you are still determined to have a Christmas door wreath, then make sure you do your research!

Be sure to ask about the provenance of the wood in the shop you source it from, and check that all the other materials used are eco-friendly and plastic free.

This is a lovely example of a sustainable wreath.

If you want to make it your own, you can always make a few simple decorations and add them on.

A Christmas wreath on a door

Determined to have a wreath? Go for a real wood one, that is as eco as possible.

Need to do some Christmas shopping?

Ethical Christmas Gift Guide 2020: You'll Love These Eco Ideas And Plastic Free Presents

Eco Christmas Stocking Gift Guide: 11 Ideas Under £16

Let us know in the comments below if you've tried any of these wreath DIYS!

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