DIY: Decorating an Outdoor Christmas Tree, the Natural Way

The festivities of Christmas call for rambunctious family dinners and social gatherings with friends. The vibrant hues of emeralds, golds and ruby decked through the house and traces of eggnog and gingerbread truly bring the Christmas spirit to life. A common family tradition to kick off the season starts with decorating the family tree, which some consider to be the heart that brings it all together.


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While you’re probably familiar with the numerous benefits trees deliver by now, we’ll add one more benefit to the list: outdoor Christmas tree. Having evergreen trees in your front yard is convenient during the holiday season when you can take those natural pyramidal frames and dress them up in tinsel and lights that they don’t have the chance to flaunt all year-round. But what if this year, instead of tinsel, you decorated your tree in something a bit more au natural? Something that could give back to the environment?

Here are nine do-it-yourself decorating tips to embellish your outdoor tree that steer away from the traditional glitz and glamor but still make your home welcoming; it’s yet another way of bringing the family together and giving back to the environment, outside critters will thank you.

    • Spray paint pinecones: It’s a sure way to make them pop and still maintain the natural feel. Don’t forget to use a non-toxic spray paint.
    • Cinnamon walnut bundles: Cinnamon is great for decorating because it looks nice, adds aroma, and can be eaten by wildlife. There are numerous ways of using cinnamon sticks, one includes bundling three to four sticks together and stringing them with walnuts to create garland around the tree. Or hang them alone as ornaments, twine compliments it well.
    • Raisins, cranberries, figs: Use whatever dry fruit you have on hand and string them on wire around the tree to pair with garland.
    • Orange/lemon pomanders: This is a fun alternative to ornaments, cut slits around an orange or lemon and let it dehydrate, the crisp scent of citrus is refreshing, and the peels will easily break-down into the soil once you’re done through with your decorations.
    • Led lights: If you’re adamant on adding lights to your display opt for an LED option, they’re more energy efficient. Better yet, go for solar powered, you’ll save on energy costs and eliminate the hassle of cords.
    • Popcorn balls: Popcorn balls are fun and can easily be decorated with frosting. Birds and squirrels are also fans of the salty treat, so don’t be surprised if they pop up among unexpected guests.
    • Gingerbread cookies: Gingerbread is classic and it’s edible, so take advantage of its solid surface, whether it’s frosting the tops or cutting into shapes.
    • Apple slices: Cut thin slices of apple, let it dehydrate, and hang them around the tree.
    • Aluminum cupcake wrappers: If you’re still looking for that finishing touch, aluminum cupcake wrappers are a cheap way of adding some glitz. The reflections of aluminum will shine and the smooth finish should hold up against snow or rain.

As with anything, make it your own. Any of these ideas can be combined or used alone in decorating your outdoor tree. Best of all, cleanup is a breeze because most the items can be eaten by wildlife or used to make compost.

What other natural tips do you have in decorating an outside tree?