5 stunning DIY makes for a plastic free Christmas

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We love any excuse to have an arts and crafts afternoon at pebble. Make this Christmas one where you go DIY and plastic free, we've created 5 beautiful plastic free Christmas ideas from foraged decorations and wreaths to zero waste wrapping paper and cards. These makes are biodegradable, cheap and soothing for the soul, put the kettle and let's get festive.

Molly Waring-Moore 8 November 2018


Last year, us Britons were set to waste 114,000 tonnes of plastic packaging, according to Wildlife and Countryside research – which is more than the weight of 3.3 million Emperor penguins.

“This level of plastic use and waste doesn't honour the meaning of Christmas. Christmas is a time for giving, so we would urge people to give to the planet and its people by cutting back on plastic where they can and recycling where they can’t.” - Dr Robert Sluka, leader of the marine conservation programme at A Rocha

This year, we want to encourage you to reduce your contribution to the waste and try out these eco-chic, plastic free Christmas DIYs. There are no expensive parts here, everything's foraged, recycled or repurposed and there's no plastic in sight.

You can mix them in with your existing decorations – check out our roundup of ethical Christmas decorations.

Before you start, plan a foraging trip with your family and start saving your newspapers!

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DIY Deconstructed Christmas Wreath

You will need:

  • 1 coat hanger
  • Foliage
  • Twine
  • Dried orange slices
  • Ribbon

It wouldn’t be Christmas without the wreath on the door to let the carollers know you’re up for some festive cheer. We created a found and foraged ‘deconstructed’ wreath for the ultimate festive welcome.

Take a walk around your local green areas and collect as much foliage as you can find. Look out for a variety of branches, greenery and berries. Try to find pieces that easily bend and have a variety of colour.

Remember our dried orange slices from last year? We repurposed some of them to add to the wreath. And they look even better with age! These DIYs last. You can check out our top tips for making these and more DIYs in our 2018 article.

Take your wire coat hanger and bend it into a circle as best you can. Bend the hook into a loop and twist it around a few times to make a stem at the top for hanging.

We suggest wrapping twine around the section that you want to cover to create some grip to add your foliage to.

Start with the bulkier pieces and either wrap around or tie onto the circle. We used pieces of twine to tie at various points around the circle.

Keep building up and weave in pieces to create your desired shape.

We then attached two orange slices by piercing them and threading onto the circle.

Finally, tie some ribbon and twine for a finishing touch and hang with pride. 

DIY Christmas Decorations: Twig stars

 You will need:

  • Twigs
  • String
  • Turmeric
  • Twine

These stars are a little tricky to perfect at first but are extremely satisfying once you get the hang of them. While you’re hunting for your wreath foliage, pick up smaller twigs as you go. You can even pick up the longer branches and snap them into equal lengths. You’ll need five twigs of equal length per star.

Next, take some string and dye it using turmeric. We’d recommend prepping this in advance and leaving it to dry. It’s important not to rinse it out. Top tip: Don’t leave it to dry over a nice white rug – unless you want to dye that too.

The amount of string you need will depend on the number of starts you’re making, but we’d recommend 5-10 inches per ornament.

You simply need to tie two ends of the twigs together and keep moving round until you’ve completed the star and each end is tied to another end. Then tie a loop of twine around it and hang on the tree.

You can experiment with other natural dyes to add a variety of colour and pattern. We love hibiscus tea for a deep red/purple hue.

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DIY Christmas Decorations: Origami Stars

We’re loving the stars this season and wanted to create something that would contrast with the twig stars when you’re decorating the tree. These look complicated but you’ll have them down in no time.

Start collecting newspaper or any paper that you find interesting. The size doesn’t matter as long as you can cut it down into a square. Top tip: The smaller the paper, the fiddlier it becomes so we recommend starting off with half a sheet of newspaper cut down to a square until you get the hang of it.

We also picked up some old music sheets from a local charity shop to make them a little more interesting.

We followed Homemade Gifts’ tutorial and knew it by heart after a couple makes. Stick on some Christmas tunes and start making with a cup of organic tea by your side.

Once you’ve made the stars, punch a hole into one of the points and tie a loop of twine through it. 

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DIY Newspaper Christmas cards

We’ve got a few more uses for those discarded newspapers. This year we’re making our own Christmas cards with sheets of newspaper and recycled ‘kraft’ card. These are so simple to make but will stand out.

We had to try out a classic Christmas tree design. We cut out 3 triangle tiers from the discarded paper, after the origami, and folded them in half.

We then laid them out on the card so that they had a slight overlap and stitched up the centre.

You can even experiment with tearing pieces to build up different Christmassy shapes and scenes. Get crafty!

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“There are no expensive parts here, everything's foraged, recycled or repurposed and there's no plastic in sight”

Christmas Newspaper Wrapping Paper

We’re not finished with the newspaper just yet. To match the cards, we’re using sheets of newspaper to wrap our gifts. Use twine to hold it in place so that you can skip the sticky tape.

Sticky tape isn’t recyclable, so it must be put separately in the bin and if left on recyclable paper it can get removed from recycling collections altogether. Avoid this with good old-fashioned string parcel wrapping.

It’s important to note that not all wrapping ‘paper’ is recyclable either – most have plastic content. So, newspaper not only looks chic and minimalist, it stops another sheet of wrapping paper going to landfill.

Once you’ve wrapped and tied your gift, add a few sprigs of rosemary, eucalyptus, your foraging finds or tuck in an origami star that you made earlier. The rosemary and eucalyptus will add a special Christmassy aroma.

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Loved these DIYs and want some more inspiration? Check out our eco Christmas DIYs from last year for the ultimate zero waste, eco Christmas.

Come and join other people having a plastic free Christmas in the pebble pod

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