The most wonderful time of the year or… the most wasteful?
Like Halloween, Easter, and….pretty much any major holiday, 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 you want a sustainable Christmas wreath, you need to opt for something natural, or think a little outside the box entirely.
But how do you make a wreath environmentally friendly?
When making your own Christmas wreaths, opting for locally sourced and sustainably harvested greenery is one way to make it environmentally friendly (remember, DIY doesn’t automatically mean sustainable).
You could utilize recycled or repurposed materials for the base and biodegradable decorations to minimize environmental impact.
However, if DIY isn’t your style, look for wreaths from local artisans or eco-conscious sellers who prioritize sustainability in their creations. Some retailers offer sustainably sourced and handmade wreaths, providing a convenient option for those who may not have the time or resources to make their own.
Ultimately, whether made or bought, opting for a wreath crafted with eco-friendly principles in mind is, essentially, how you make it sustainable.
We’re going to take a look at how to make a Christmas wreath, along with other sustainable Christmas wreath ideas (and some alternatives to wreaths, too).
Our Curated List For Sustainable Wreaths (And How To Make Them)
1. What Is A Sustainable Wreath?
A sustainable wreath is like a planet-friendly version of the classic decoration you hang on your door.
Instead of using materials that harm the environment, it’s made with materials that are eco-friendly.
Think: recycled bits, natural things that break down, and materials sourced locally to cut down on travel pollution. These eco wreaths are all about reducing waste and making sure they last, so you can use them again or recycle them easily.
Choosing a sustainable wreath is a cool way to bring some holiday cheer without messing too much with Mother Nature.
The greenest wreaths around (literally and figuratively) are the ones made from natural materials, like real foliage. They’re biodegradable and have that authentic, earthy vibe. But if you’re eyeing an artificial wreath, the key is to go for the recycled plastic ones.
They last a lifetime, so you only need to buy it once, cutting down on the whole ‘replace-every-year’ deal.
Some even come with solar-powered lights, saving you from the annual battery hunt.
While artificial wreaths have their perks, the natural ones still take the cake in terms of being the most eco-friendly option, bringing a touch of nature and sustainability to your doorstep.
2. What Is A Cheap Alternative To Wreaths?
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly alternative to store-bought wreaths, the best bet is to unleash your creative side and make your own.
Nature has a way of providing a bounty of materials that won’t cost you a dime. Forage your surroundings for branches, twigs, pinecones, or even dried flowers to craft a personalized and unique wreath.
With a little DIY spirit, you can turn these foraged finds into a charming and cost-effective alternative to traditional wreaths. Not only does it save you money, but it also adds a touch of your own style to your festive decor while connecting you with the beauty of the outdoors.
So, grab some pruners and let your imagination run wild in creating a one-of-a-kind, wallet-friendly DIY Christmas wreath that reflects your values and personal flair.
3. What Natural Items Can You Use For Wreaths?
Creating an eco-friendly wreath from natural items adds a rustic and charming touch to your decor.
Here are some materials that will let you lean into the natural beauty aesthetic with your eco-friendly Christmas wreaths:
- Evergreen Branches: Pine, cedar, fir, and other evergreen branches provide a classic and aromatic base for wreaths.
- Twigs and Flexible Branches: Use flexible twigs or branches to create a sturdy base or add interesting texture to your wreath.
- Pine cones: Pine cones are versatile and add a rustic feel. You can leave them natural or paint them for a pop of color.
- Dried Flowers: Incorporate dried flowers like lavender, hydrangeas, or statice for a delicate and timeless look.
- Berries: Small berries, such as holly or rose hips, can add a festive touch and a splash of color.
- Herbs: Fragrant herbs like rosemary or sage not only add a pleasant aroma but also a touch of greenery.
- Citrus Slices: Thinly sliced dried citrus fruits, like oranges or lemons, bring a bright and cheerful element to the wreath.
- Cinnamon Sticks: Tie bundles of cinnamon sticks with twine to infuse your wreath with a warm and inviting fragrance.
- Acorns and Nuts: Small acorns or nuts, either in their natural state or painted, can add an earthy and seasonal vibe.
- Feathers: Natural feathers, especially from birds like pheasants, can lend an elegant and whimsical flair.
- Moss: Sheet moss or Spanish moss can be used to cover the wreath base or add a woodland touch.
Feel free to mix and match these materials based on your preferences and the seasonal theme you’re aiming for.
The beauty of using natural items is the endless creativity and personalization they offer for crafting unique and eco-friendly Christmas wreaths.
4. How Do You Make A Compostable Christmas Wreath?
Making a compostable Christmas wreath is a wonderful way to celebrate the season while staying environmentally conscious.
Compostable wreaths need to be made entirely from natural materials, so you won’t be able to rely on wire or a glue gun for this one!
However, you will need the following for your DIY wreath:
- Evergreen branches
- Twigs and flexible branches
- Pine cones, acorns or other similar natural decorations
- Dried flowers, citrus slices, cinnamon sticks, or dried berries (optional)
- Natural twine or jute string (cannot contain plastic or dyes)
- Pruners or scissors
How To Make A Christmas Wreath That’s Safe For Composting
Step 1: Gather Your Materials
Collect a variety of natural materials from your surroundings. Look for evergreen branches, flexible twigs, pine cones, and any other items you’d like to incorporate into your wreath.
Ensure that all materials are free from artificial additives or decorations.
Step 2: Create the Base
Shape a circular base using the flexible twigs or branches. This will serve as the foundation for your wreath.
Secure the ends together using natural twine or jute string, forming a sturdy loop.
Step 3: Attach Evergreen Branches
Take the evergreen branches and trim them into manageable lengths. Attach these branches to the base by overlapping them and securing them with natural twine.
Continue layering the branches until the entire base is covered, creating a lush and full appearance.
Step 4: Add Decorative Elements
Now, it’s time to get creative! Add pinecones, dried flowers, citrus slices, cinnamon sticks, or any other natural decorations you’ve gathered.
Secure each item to the wreath using natural twine, avoiding the use of non-compostable materials like wire.
Step 5: Customize to Your Liking
Feel free to experiment with different arrangements and combinations of materials. The beauty of a compostable wreath is in its uniqueness and personal touch, so let your creativity shine.
Step 6: Hang and Enjoy
Find a perfect spot to display your compostable Christmas wreath. Use a natural twine loop to hang it securely on your door or wall.
Step 7: Compost After the Holidays
When the holiday season comes to an end, dismantle your wreath and toss the organic materials into your compost bin. The natural decomposition process will enrich your compost with nutrients, completing the cycle of sustainability.
5. What Can I Use Instead Of A Wreath?
Instead of a traditional wreath, there are numerous creative alternatives to infuse your space with festive charm.
Consider a burlap or fabric wreath adorned with seasonal embellishments for a cozy and rustic touch.
Hang wooden tree ornaments or pinecones in a circle for a natural winter vibe.
A grapevine or willow branch bundle can offer a natural and minimalist aesthetic.
If you want an eco-christmas wreath alternative that isn’t a wreath at all, look no further than your local thrift or second-hand shop.
An empty picture frame makes for a quirky modern alternative to a wreath. Pick repurposed window frames or antique shutters to provide a modern, shabby-chic take on the traditional wreath.
Decorate the frame with bows, bells, holly, and gold paint (anything fun and festive) and hang it on your front door. Who said eco-friendly wreaths have to be round, anyway?
6. More DIY Eco Wreath Ideas
Since DIY wreaths are inherently more eco-friendly as they often utilize locally foraged, natural materials, or upcycled materials and objects, it seems only fitting that we should suggest some ideas for you to try!
By making your own wreath, you’re reducing the environmental impact associated with production, transportation, and the use of the non-biodegradable components that artificial wreaths contain.
Let’s take a look at some DIY sustainable Christmas wreath ideas that are both conscious and beautiful.
DIY Deconstructed Christmas Wreath
This classic wreath is self-explanatory and will look stunning next to your sustainable Christmas tree. All you need is a metal coat hanger, foliage, dried orange slices, and ribbon.
Take a walk around your local green area to gather various branches, greenery, and berries.
Shape the coat hanger into a circle, wrap it with twine for extra grip, and start wrapping your foliage around it. You can also add dried orange slices for a truly environmentally friendly Christmas wreath indeed!
Cookie Cutter Wreath
This sustainable, eco-friendly Christmas wreath can be dismantled after the holiday season and used to make cookies again. Talk about sustainable!
All you need is a set of cookie cutters in different shapes and sizes, twine, string, or ribbons. Arrange the cookie cutters in a circle, interlocking them as closely as possible, and tie them together with small pieces of twine.
We never said eco-friendly wreaths couldn’t be made from non-natural materials, so this is an awesome alternative to a natural wreath, but without any of the environmental harm that comes from buying the artificial variety.
Cork Collection Wreath
If you’ve been collecting bottle corks without knowing what to do with them, this wreath is for you. It’s a fun twist on a natural wreath and makes for some refreshingly modern holiday decor.
Shape a metal wire coat hanger into a wreath shape, wrap it with thick string or rope, and secure the loops with eco-friendly glue. Start sticking your corks to the base of the wreath, building it up in layers.
Get artistic with the arrangement and add festive garnishes like Christmas foliage and berries as a finishing touch.
Upcycled Christmas Card Wreath
If you don’t have a cork collection, don’t worry.
Use old Christmas cards to create a unique DIY Christmas wreath. Cut out a circle (wreath) shape from cardboard, add a means of hanging, and draw a Christmassy design on a scrap of card to use as a template. Trace the template onto old Christmas cards and cut out the shapes.
Stick the cut-outs onto the cardboard circle, overlapping them to create a packed-out look (be sure to save this year’s cards for another wreath next year).
To make it more fancy, you can add ribbons or bells or just keep things simple and let the rustic, ‘homemade’ aesthetic shine through.
Final Thoughts On Eco-Friendly Christmas Wreath Ideas
By opting for eco-friendly Christmas wreaths, you can enjoy the holiday season while minimizing waste.
These DIY Christmas wreath ideas allow you to showcase your creativity and contribute to a greener future.
However, if crafting isn’t your thing or you don’t have the time in between shopping for eco-friendly gifts and holiday travel plans, you can always buy a sustainable wreath. Plenty of florists make handcrafted wreaths, and many hold workshops to teach you how to make your own!
Just be sure to ask about the provenance of the wood and foliage used in your wreath, and check that all materials used are eco-friendly and plastic-free.
Adding a few of your own simple decorations can also personalize the wreath. Even if crafting isn’t your thing, this means you can still do the bare minimum and impart a personal spin.
When the time comes to deck the halls this year, let’s do it with sustainable Christmas wreaths.
Until then, share these eco-friendly wreath ideas with others so they can deck their front door more sustainabily.